Biomechanics and Orthotics

At Falcon Yard Podiatry Clinic our focus is to provide an efficient and worth while solution that will keep you mobile and comfortable. Falcon Yard Podiatry Clinic, based in Chesterfield is headed by Sports Podiatrist and Orthotic Therapist, Ian Bateman.

We treat all foot and leg problems and commonly see injuries such as Plantar Fasciitis, Heel pain, Heel Spurs, shin splints, runners knee, ITB syndrome, patella tracking, Achilles tendonitis, Morton’s neuroma, postural issues and arthritis.

What does a biomechanical assessment involve?

A biomechanical assessment involves an examination of the lower limbs, looking at their structure, alignment, strengths and weaknesses.

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The foot is a complex structure of 28 different bones, 214 ligaments and 38 muscles, bearing our body weight as we walk every day.

The examination is not focused simply upon the foot but includes the pelvis, legs and knees, assessing the relationship between them. It is important to examine the lower limbs as a whole because they are closely connected and pain in one area can be due to a weakness or structural problem in another area.

What are the benefits of a biomechanical assessment?

A biomechanical assessment is very beneficial if you are experiencing pain in your feet or lower limbs but no cause has been established. A biomechanical assessment is the starting point for understanding the cause of your problem, what treatment is needed or whether further investigations are necessary.

What happens during a biomechanical assessment?

The podiatrist starts by taking a full medical history. Then you will be asked to lie on a couch while the podiatrist examines the joint range of motion of your hips, knees and feet. Your muscle strength and weakness will also be assessed and the podiatrist will look for any signs of leg length discrepancy. The podiatrist examines the structure of your foot, looking at the relationship between the forefoot and rearfoot.

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While you stand in a relaxed stance, the alignment of your feet and relationship to the lower legs will be assessed.

How long does a biomechanical assessment take?

It takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete all the tests necessary, discuss the results and advise on the recommended treatment.

What sort of treatment will I need after a biomechanical assessment?

There are many different types of recommended treatments following a biomechanical assessment, depending upon your results. For people who have good structural foot mechanics, the podiatrist will advise on the best footwear in order to reduce the risk of foot problems. Simple changes such as wearing trainers designed for your gait or wearing insoles can be very effective.

If the podiatrist believes that your mechanics could be contributing to your injury or pain, insoles or custom made orthotics will be prescribed.

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Patients are referred to a physiotherapist if they will benefit from exercises to improve muscle strength or flexibility. Referrals may also be made to an osteopath, sports doctor and rheumatologist. Patient may also be referred for imaging such as X-rays, MRI’s or CT-scans.

Some of the common sporting injuries we treat include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Generalised Anterior Knee Pain
  • Heel Pain
  • Shin Splints
  • Stress Fractures

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is a condition, which affects the Achilles tendon (lower end of the calf muscle), most often 2- 3cm above the heel bone. It is typically most painful in the mornings or after periods of rest. It can be a difficult condition to settle and requires careful management for full recovery.

Sports and activity related injuries treated most often by podiatrists are called overuse/repetitive strain injuries. The development of these injuries is usually a combination of two or more of the following:

  • Sudden change in the sport / physical activity level
  • Sudden change in the sport / physical activity type
  • Inappropriate footwear for the sport / physical activity
  • Poor muscle flexibility
  • Poor muscle strength
  • Foot / ankle biomechanics

We provide the following solutions:

  • Anti inflammation advice
  • Strapping techniques to achieve relief
  • Advice in relation to appropriate stretches
  • Advice in relation to footwear
  • Advice in relation to activity types and return to activity levels after the injury has repaired
  • Biomechanical assessment and treatment using orthotics as necessary
  • Advice to prevent the reoccurrence of this complaint

Generalised Anterior Knee Pain (Patella Femoral Syndrome)

Knee pain at the front of the knee when walking up or down stairs, during prolonged sitting, swelling and clicking are all signs of this complaint. The complaint is a response to the inflammation of the under surface of the knee cap. It is related to maltracking of the kneecap during walking, and is often caused by a combination of factors which all need to be addressed for full recovery.

Sports and activity related injuries treated most often by podiatrists are called overuse/repetitive strain injuries. The development of these injuries is usually a combination of two or more of the following:

  • Sudden change in the sport / physical activity level
  • Sudden change in the sport / physical activity type
  • Poor muscle flexibility
  • Poor muscle strength
  • Inappropriate footwear for the sport / physical activity
  • Foot / ankle biomechanics

We provide the following solutions:

  • Anti inflammation advice
  • Strapping techniques to achieve relief
  • Advice in relation to appropriate stretches
  • Advice in relation to appropriate strengthening
  • Referral to appropriate specialist
  • Advice in relation to footwear
  • Advice in relation to activity types and return to activity levels after the injury has repaired
  • Biomechanical assessment and treatment using orthotics as necessary
  • Advice to prevent the reoccurrence of this complaint

Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis / Arch Pain / Heel Spur)

Often referred to as a ‘heel spur’, this is not a bone injury but a soft tissue injury to the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs under your foot from your heel to the toes. The plantarfascia acts as a rubber band to absorb shock as you walk and stand, constantly elongates and contracts. This constant stretching can result in a tear in the soft tissue, most often at the heel. Pain is often greatest in the morning or after periods of rest. It is common in those with a flattened arch as the stretching on the plantar fascia is more significant but it can occur in any foot type. This problem is often misdiagnosed and confused with a heel fat pad syndrome. Both are treated differently so correct diagnosis is very important.

Sports and activity related injuries treated most often by podiatrists are called overuse/repetitive strain injuries. The development of these injuries is usually a combination of two or more of the following:

  • Sudden change in the sport / physical activity level
  • Sudden change in the sport / physical activity type
  • Poor muscle flexibility
  • Poor muscle strength
  • Inappropriate footwear for the sport / physical activity
  • Foot / ankle biomechanics

We provide the following solutions:

  • Anti inflammation advice
  • Strapping techniques to achieve immediate relief
  • Advice in relation to appropriate stretches
  • Advice in relation to appropriate strengthening
  • Biomechanical assessment and treatment using orthotics as necessary
  • Advice in relation to footwear
  • Advice in relation to activity types and return to activity levels after the injury has repaired

Fat Pad Syndrome (Bruised Heel)

This is heel pain that tends to be isolated to the heel bone itself. The pain can often be isolated to the middle of the heel bone with pressure. Pain is greatest when standing for long periods, especially on hard surface without shoes on. The problem is caused by too much stress to the heel bone itself, often because the existing fat pad begins to atrophy and fail to absorb shock as well as it once did. The problem often presents with plantar fasciitis, but requires a different approach to achieve complete resolution so correct diagnosis is important.

We provide the following solutions:

  • Anti inflammation advice
  • Strapping techniques to achieve immediate relief
  • Appropriate cushioning to protect the heel bone
  • Advice in relation to appropriate stretches
  • Advice in relation to appropriate strengthening
  • Biomechanical assessment and treatment using orthotics as necessary
  • Advice in relation to footwear
  • Advice in relation to activity types and return to activity levels after the injury has repaired

Shin Splints

Medial tibial stress syndrome is the term used to describe shin splints. The problem is caused by excessive stress on the shin bone and surrounding muscles. The symptoms include aching legs/tired legs and may progress to severe sharp discomfort in the lower third of the shin bone that stops activity. If left untreated, shin splints can progress to stress fractures in the shin bone.

Sports and activity related injuries treated most often by podiatrists are called overuse/repetitive strain injuries. The development of these injuries is usually a combination of two or more of the following:

  • Sudden change in the sport / physical activity level
  • Sudden change in the sport / physical activity type
  • Poor muscle flexibility
  • Poor muscle strength
  • Inappropriate footwear for the sport / physical activity
  • Foot / ankle biomechanics

We provide the following solutions:

  • Anti inflammation advice including specialist ice massage
  • Strapping techniques to achieve immediate relief
  • Advice in relation to appropriate stretches
  • Advice in relation to appropriate strengthening
  • Biomechanical assessment and treatment using orthotics as necessary
  • Advice in relation to footwear
  • Advice in relation to activity types and return to activity levels after the injury has repaired

Stress Fractures

Stress Fractures can occur in any bone in the foot and are common in the metatarsal bones i.e. long bones between the high point of the arch where the toes are attached to the foot. Stress fractures are caused by overloading the bone in response to training errors and, biomechanical imbalances and weakness.

Sports and activity related injuries treated most often by podiatrists are called overuse/repetitive strain injuries. The development of these injuries is usually a combination of two or more of the following:

  • Sudden change in the sport / physical activity level
  • Sudden change in the sport / physical activity type
  • Poor muscle flexibility
  • Poor muscle strength
  • Inappropriate footwear for the sport / physical activity
  • Foot / ankle biomechanics

We provide the following solutions:

  • Anti inflammation advice
  • Strapping techniques to achieve relief
  • Advice in relation to appropriate stretches
  • Advice in relation to appropriate strengthening
  • Biomechanical assessment and treatment using orthotics as necessary
  • Advice in relation to footwear
  • Advice in relation to activity types and return to activity levels after the injury has repaired