At Magdalena Blasko DPM, Inc., we cover a whole host of biomechanical issues. Most people do not know this, but a lot of lower extremity and back problems can be traced to our feet. If you're ready to meet, call us at (415) 353-5715 or book online to the right. If not, read on to see how we can help! Hope to see you soon!
What types of biomechanical foot issues exist?
Biomechanical foot issues can be categorized into two major groups:
Musculo-skeletal injuries are tied to specific events.
Repetitive injuries like Achillis tendinopathy (breakdown of elasticity), epicondylitis (inflamation of the inner elbow bump, for example) etc. These occur due to repetition and produce wear and tear injuries.
Traumatic injuries like fractures, muscle and ligament sprains.
Musculoskeletal dysfunctions are typically genetic with patients not realizing they have an issue in time. When this occurs in the lower extremities, it manifests itself as imbalances in the anatomy of the feet and legs, creating problems when moving.
These imbalances can be minor enough that the body can compensate for them, so the patient is asymptomatic for the majority of their life. When these compensatory forces aggravate the imbalance, then the patient becomes symptomatic. Timely biomechanical intervention by a podiatrist can delay the appearance of pain and as such, extend the functionality of the extremities.
This can be thought of as wearing glasses. Patients will still have the underlying condition (poor vision / imbalance), but the symptoms (blurry vision / pain) can be very well managed with tools (glasses / orthotics). Typical manifestations include over pronation of feet where the foot rolls inwards when moving such as with flat feet, and over supination of feet where the foot seems to roll outwards while walking.
Possible Causes of Biomechanical issues:
Weakness of muscles and joints, which can alter a patient’s gait.
Lifestyle choices – using faulty equipment for sports and wearing improper footwear frequently.
Obesity and poor posture puts weight on a patient’s frame that we as a species did not evolve to be optimized for.
Aging - contributes to an overall deterioration of cells, leading to many of the causes and symptoms previously described.
How do biomechanical foot issues affect you?
Biomechanical issues are abnormalities in movements produced by internal and external forces and the body's ability to react to them. When there is a biomechanical issue, the motion of your feet will be different than how you were designed to move.
This can lead to further injuries to your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments in the ankles, knees and lower back, making pain virtually inevitable. These will impact everyone from high performance athletes to the generally physically active population, making even the performance of routine, daily tasks uncomfortable or even painful.
The process of biomechanical assessment and treatment
Initial assessment of the client – a thorough history is taken along with injury details, extent of pain and other medical information.
Detailed general examination – according to your history, you will be thoroughly examined, especially the structures determined to be causing issues.
Biomechanical assessment – your muscles, ligaments, joints, tendons and bony structures will be evaluated individually to determine the nature of the injury or foot problem. Your posture and gait will be assessed. Your pain and level of discomfort will be assessed accordingly. Your joints will be mobilized and placed into various positions to determine how well and how far they move.
Computer controlled and interpreted testing will be performed such as vascular, gait and balance testing.
Implementation of biomechanical treatment – our team of specialists will implement a course of treatment that will begin with hands on therapies that focus on providing therapies and taking corrective measures to bring lower extremity functionality back into a sustainable range.
Starting biomechanical treatment
Types of biomechanical treatment include:
Application of topical creams, lotions and gels.
Prescription of anti-inflammatory medication.
Injection of the painful area with anti-inflammatory preparates or with amniotic fluid based treatments.
Passive (therapist performed) joint mobilization, massage, joint manipulation, myofascial treatment, assisted stretching, electric stimulation, ultrasound, and taping among many others.
Resisted stretching and exercise, self-paced or therapist guided.
Mechanical support by utilizing appropriate shoes, inserts or braces.
Prescription of canes, walkers and/or wheelchairs.
Your podiatrist will choose the most suitable treatment and will explain why these particular techniques are used and what will be accomplished from these treatment regimes. Patient education is an important part of treatment so your podiatrist will explain to you different options and will guide you through a series of exercises to strengthen your feet. Various custom-made orthotics and braces may be used to support your feet.
Ultrasound treatment, TENS, electrotherapy and other treatment techniques may be combined depending on your condition. This will help you to recover within the shortest time possible.
Biomechanical issues may be unseen to the untrained eye. Even small abnormalities like muscle length and strength can alter normal biomechanics. Our specialized staff can identify even these minor issues and help to restore normal motion through physiotherapy and other supporting techniques. This can enhance your performance and help prevent future biomechanical injuries.
Our experienced professionals at Magdalena Blasko, DPM, Inc. provide a coordinated team approach to evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of biomechanical issues of your feet. We use an integrated system of computerized testing and monitoring for each problem area to diagnose and treat any condition you may have. Stop in and we would be happy to help you to ease your pain, restore motion and maximize your functional strength.