Runners think about their legs, a lot. They think about warming-up and stretching ham-strings, quads and calves. The level of their hips and the position of their knee. Sprains and strains to ankle ligaments and the ACL are a constant worry. Advanced runners might be aware of deep hip muscles like the piriformis and spend time strengthening gluteal muscles. Stride length, strike patterns and cadence are measured and refined. But when did you last think about your feet?
Of all the regions of the lower limb, feet have by far the highest concentration of bones, joints and muscles, at a level of complexity it can sometimes be difficult to comprehend. For example, a quarter of the bones in the body are found in the feet. Each foot has 33 joints and over 100 muscles. Feet are, by far, the most complicated mechanical object any of us will ever use. But often, they seem to be left out. They are the things upon which we put our trainers. Sometimes, trainers just serve to get in the way.
Running is about efficiency. To get the most benefit for the effort you expend. More than any other part of the body, feet enable and express efficiency if they are allowed to and if they know how.
Biomechanics is the study of human motion in all its forms and over the last ten years a lot of study has been devoted to running. Originally from the perspective of injury recovery and rehab but always with a notion of getting the most out of what is there. For example, if there are muscles in one area of your body which you are not using, you have to use other muscles elsewhere instead. This is a waste of energy, it drains efficiency. But it can be improved.
Our Specialist Podiatrist, Steven Lassetter, has 20 years’ experience in the field of Biomechanics and is an expert in knowing how things should work. If you want to make sure you are using your absolute fullest potential, book an assessment today.
Biomechanical Assessment and Orthotics
Orthotics are devices that are put inside your shoes to change the way in which your foot works. Sometimes these devices are temporary, sometimes they are used for comfort and at other times they are powerful, specially made devices to change the way you walk or run.
Whilst the term ‘orthotic’ can be used to describe any device placed inside someone’s shoe, this section more accurately describes ‘functional orthotics’. Functional Orthotics are specially made, bespoke devices which are manufactured on a person by person, foot by foot basis; to the specifications of a pathomechanical prescription written by a biomechanics specialist podiatrist.
Problems with the way in which a person walks affect the entire structure of the body and in turn, problems with the structure of a person’s body will affect the way in which they walk. Sometimes, if a problem has existed for a long time, the relationship between all the bones, joints and muscles involved with walking can become ‘tangled-up’ and inefficient.
This inefficiency often manifests as a pain or a sensation of weakness. Due to the complexity of the relationship between all the hundreds of structures involved in walking; the reason for the pain is not always found where the pain in located.
The good news, however, is that this process is understood and can be corrected.
What is a MSK Podiatrist
A Biomechanics specialist podiatrist (MSK Podiatrist) is a specialist in understanding how the body should work and who has the knowledge and skill to assess how an individual is actually working. Plans can then be created to help that individual work their way back towards normal function. Orthotics are most commonly the first stage of treatment to both target and help pain and to help manage the reasons behind it.
Because Orthotics can be used for so many different things (and because so many problems turn out to have a biomechanical component), a great number of people benefit from going through a course of Orthotic treatment.
Orthotics can be useful for conditions including:
Hard skin and corns
Leg and knee pains
Growing pains’ in children
Pain when running
Pain when standing and walking
Tired feet and legs
Restless feet and legs
Biomechanical Assessment - £100
Bespoke Comfort Orthotics - £12- £50 (Depending on level and nature of correction required to reduce pain)
Functional Orthotics - £80- £180 (Depending on complexity of device and nature of materials used in manufacture)
Review appointment - £60
Because we offer a full range of orthotics which vary from relatively basic deflective cushioning to cast molded carbon-fiber devices, the price of an orthotics package will depend on the orthotics you are advised best suit your case and condition. Average prices for 2014 indicate the most frequently used package price for orthotics patients although each case is prescribed according to individual needs and goals.
New patient package £180- £305 (2014 New patient package average price £195)
Review package £80- £200 (2014 Review package average price £110)