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Podiatric Musculoskeletal Assessment

A comprehensive examination of the musculosketetal system. This is done through assessing joint ranges of motion/stiffnesses, gait analysis, assess strength and identify weaknesses.

Biomechanics Assessment

A biomechanics assessment investigates how the lower limbs (legs and feet) function in relation to the rest of the body when the patient is in a state of movement (walking/running).

The foot is the only part of the human body that is wholly unique to us as humans and allows us to walk upright. As humans evolved we walked across varied and undulating terrain. This saw the human foot develop a complex set of joints and muscles. Today, typically the human foot walks across hard, flat surfaces. This requires repetitive, low-grade movement.

A moderately active person takes on average 7,500 steps per day. If a body has anomalies, it attempts to compensate for them during the gait cycle (walking or running).  These compensations put additional pressure on the muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. Over time, this can lead to inflammation or injury.

Through the process of gait analysis, Firefly's Podiatrists analyse forces of movement in the body, identifying any discrepancies that may be the cause of injury or that can eventually lead to discomfort, pain or injury.  

Modifying these discrepancies by the use of foot orthotic therapy can lead to more efficient movement. This, in turn, can increase athletic performance, reduce pain or the occurrence of injury.

A musculoskeletal assessment can identify the underlying causes of lower limb injury including; heel pain, knee pain and back pain. 

Your Musculoskeletal Assessment

What you can expect when you are assessed?

The Assessment

Typically our Podiatrists discover the patient's left and right sides are not symmetrical. This can be the result of one leg being slightly longer than the other, a leg being slightly bowed or pelvic torsion. 

There are two parts to the assessment: A static assessment where the patient is assessed laying down and standing up. This is a non-weight bearing anatomical examination that involves muscle testing, weight bearing lower limb posture assessment.

This will be followed by a dynamic assessment where the patient is assessed walking or running. 

The goal of the assessment is to identify the underlying causes of pain.  The assessment will explore:

  • are there underlying imbalances contributing to your foot, ankle, leg, knee, hip or back pain.
  • as you start increasing your mileage – are you at risk of injury?
  • Are you performing the right exercise to maximize your foot function? 
  • Do your shoes provide the right support? 
  • Do you have a chronic problem affecting the way you walk or have an artificial knee or hip? 

Once assessed, a patient specific treatment plan can be put in place to improve the symptoms. This may include: 

  • exercise strength and conditioning programme
  • over the counter orthotics
  • custom made orthotics
  • footwear advice

A full assessment can take around 45 minutes and patients are advised to bring shorts to wear so the knees can be viewed during the assessment.