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What to expect from a Biomechanical Assessment.

Some studies suggest that over 65% - 75% of the population will experience foot pain at some point in their lives.

Often this can be from simple issues such as ill fitting footwear causing excessive friction and pressure resulting in painful blisters, callus and corns. Issues like this can often be easily alleviated and maintained in our Initial Podiatry consultation and follow up sessions.

But what happens when you have pain in your foot that isn't due to a problem nail or skin issue?

There are 26 bones in each foot (28 if you include the two tiny sesamoid bones lying within a tendon that sits below the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint - your big toe joint), and hundreds of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Not to mention fascia, nerves, blood vessels, arteries and veins. There's a lot of structures that can become painful!

If you think that you may have a muscle weakness or injury, are concerned about flat feet or are suffering from issues such as heel pain, big toe joint pain or repeated ankle sprains (to name just a few!), you are likely best booking in for a Biomechanical Assessment.

This is an hours appointment in which we take a full medical history and history of the presenting issue. This will give us an idea of what may be causing your problems, and allow us to decide on the most appropriate assessments to decipher the correct diagnosis.

Assessments in a Biomechanical Assessment may consist of palpating any painful and surrounding structures (for example if someone attends with a painful heel we will 'press' around the heel and the associated structures to find out which part is hurting you, and the extend of the injury). We will also test the range of motion of structures such as your ankle joint, toe joints, knee's, hips and strength of the muscles of the leg to see if there are any relating factors further up the kinetic chain (for example, we often find that there is some gluteal and hamstring weakness which can have a negative effect on your walking style).

We will likely view your walking style, and get you to perform certain exercises to ascertain your strengths and weaknesses, and see how your pain/issue is affecting your 'normal' function. We may record or take pictures to use for further gait analysis. If this is the case, we will request your permission and your head/face will not be used in any of the imaging.

Following our assessment we will discuss the options of a relevant treatment plan that suits you, such as but not limited to:

- This may require us to recommend a change of foot wear.

- We may recommend orthotic therapy (an insert in your shoe to slightly alter the position of your foot or offload affected areas).

- Exercise therapy

- Pilates 1:1 sessions

- Onward referral for specific tests such as x-ray/mri or referral to a consultant or other healthcare professional.

You will usually walk away with a treatment plan in mind, and time permitting, will have the first set of 'homework' exercises (which we will have gone through together).

Depending on your issue, we will likely book a review for you in the following 1 -2 weeks.

Not sure what your issue is and if you need a Biomechanical Assessment?

Our general advice is: if you are experiencing pain in the foot that is not due to a visible skin lesion, you would likely benefit from a Biomechanical Assessment.

However; if you really aren't sure, you are welcome to book an Initial Podiatry Consultation. Although we won't be able to carry out the full assessment in this session, we will be able to take a history and carry out some assessments to get you on track, followed by your next appointment being a biomechanical assessment.

How to prepare for a Biomechanical Assessment?

First of all, try to take note of the pain/issue you are experiencing so you can explain your exact symptoms to your podiatrist to enable them to make the right diagnosis.

Take in to consideration things such as: when did the pain start? was there a significant incident? Which shoes were you wearing? Does any footwear make it worse? What worsens the problem? What helps it feel better? Are you getting any other pain since? Were you experiencing pain elsewhere prior?

We will want to have a look at the types of shoes you are wearing most of the time. This enables us to find out if they are worsening the issue, but importantly allows us to check their fit and if an orthoses may be suitable within them.

Wear something that you can move in and can roll up to above your knees. (We recommend wearing gym kit so that it allows us to see your movement also) - try not to wear something too 'baggy' though as it may impede the visibility of your body during motion.

Biomechanical Assessments are a 1 hour appointment and cost £80 at our Henley on Thames clinic (£90 at our Notting Hill Clinic).

Online Bookings available or call our friendly reception team on 01491 260320 or feel free to contact our Podiatrist, Jessica, directly at info@henleypodiatry.com

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