The term “gait” refers to your pattern of walking. Your gait can impact the health of your feet. For example, an overpronated gait, in which the feet roll too far inwards while walking, is common in people with flat feet and can cause foot pain, strain on the big toe, shin splints, and instability. A gait analysis is a method of assessing the way that your feet move while walking and running. The findings of this assessment can help your podiatrist determine if you have an abnormal gait that may be causing your foot problems. A gait analysis can also be used to locate the source of the problem, and to help find solutions, such as custom orthotics, that can be used to correct the gait. For more information about a gait analysis, please consult with a podiatrist.
Biomechanics in Podiatry
Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.
A History of Biomechanics
- Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
- In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.
Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.
Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.