Why You Need to Start the Year by Getting Your Feet Checked

Start the Year by Getting Your Feet Checked

It’s 2018, and you’ve got some exciting plans ahead. It’s going to be your best year yet, and you’ve got some resolutions that you’re going to nail. Like many of us, at least one of your resolutions may revolve around health, fitness and well-being. But what about the very things that’ll enable you to carry out these resolutions and get you to everywhere you need to go along the way? That’s right, we’re talking about your feet.

Taking care of your feet means taking care of the vessels that carry you from A to B and get you everywhere in life. Literally. When injury strikes our feet, we’re not just affected in a physical and painful way. It impacts our goals and our mindset. We may start to feel discouraged, like our resolutions are slipping away and getting out of sight, and it can have a significant effect on our emotional and mental well-being.

We want to keep you healthy, happy and have you realise your full potential. Because when you feel great, you look great and we want you at your best! This is why we highly recommend coming in for a biomechanical assessment with one of our fantastic Podiatrists, even if you don’t have a foot injury.

During your exam we’ll check the following:

Range of Motion Through the Joints Any restrictions in the range of motion available at joints can lead to abnormal foot or leg function and hence lead to injury. We have options available, such as orthotics, that can change the way your feet and legs function to decrease your risk of injury.

Proprioception (balance) Anything that impairs your balance puts you at risks for falling and tripping, the outcome of which may be minor or serious. By assessing this risk, we can put preventative measures in place to give you more stability and reduce your risk of injury.

Muscle Strength Testing Any muscle weakness can change the way your feet and legs move. It may require much more energy to take a step and cause you to tire much faster than you otherwise would. It may also emphasise the actions of other muscles in the same area to create an undesired movement. By identifying weak muscles, we can work to strengthen them as well as taking other measures to optimise the way you walk and reduce your risk of injury.

Foot Posture Index Evaluating foot posture is a valuable tool for getting an insight into how the intrinsic muscles of your feet are working with every step you take. We’ll be able to identify which muscles and structures are being overused and overloaded. These structures, over time and with increased exercise, are at a higher risk of injury. We can use devices such as orthotics to support the areas of your feet that need it to reduce your risk of injury. These orthotics are designed especially for you from a 3D scan of your feet.

Palpation of Affected Structures If you are currently experiencing any aches or pains, or have so previously, we’ll palpate the affected area to isolate and identify the damaged structures. Once we know exactly what has been injured, we’ll be able to create a precise treatment plan to get you back on your feet and doing the things you love as quickly as possible!

Comprehensive Video Gait Analysis We use athlete-grade video gait analysis to analyse the way you move. From walking to running, we’ll check the way your bones, joints and muscles are working together to keep you taking step after step. We record the analysis and play it back to you, explaining everything that we see so you know what’s happening with your feet too. We can then discuss the most effective ways to get you moving optimally.

Force and Pressure Testing This identifies areas of high force and pressure through your feet with every step. By seeing where your high pressure areas are, we can see if any areas of your foot are being overloaded by pressure, and hence are at a higher risk of injury.

Footwear Check By checking your regular footwear, we’ll be able to see if they’re helping or hindering your feet as well as any effects that they may be having on the feet. We can recommend the best shoes for you based on your foot type and the activities that you’d like them for. Having good footwear adds stability, control and once again, reduces your risk of injury.

Our team pride ourselves on our thorough biomechanical assessments to give our patients a complete picture of what is happening with their feet, and of course, how to reduce the risk of injury – or treat an existing injury. We do this to give you the best chance of success at everything you want to achieve! Our passionate Podiatrists are happy to chat through your exercise goals and give you tips on what you can be doing to optimise your training and performance. 

biomechanical assessments

Diagnosis: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee) Our clinical assessment revealed that Kelly was suffering from Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome – otherwise known as Runner’s Knee. This is when pain presents at the kneecap, especially behind it, as is often thought to be related to damage to and irritation of the cartilage where the kneecap meets the thigh bone.

The cause of her knee pain was an interesting one. It surprised Kelly, though it’s not uncommon if you have a good understanding of lower limb biomechanics. It was actually Kelly’s feet that played the major role in the development of her knee pain.

Her right foot was excessively pronated (flat), even more so than her left. We could see on the Zebris Gait Analysis that this was causing an internal rotation (twisting) force through the knee. This, combined with an imbalance in the thigh muscles that were constantly trying to counter the twisting, resulted in a malaligned patella (kneecap) which was rubbing on the surrounding bone and over time, resulting in the pain and aches.


Simple, Easy and Effective In order to eliminate Kelly’s pain and symptoms long-term, we needed to address the cause and the contributing factors. We did this through 3 primary ways:

  • Orthotics – We used orthotics to reduce the pronation through her feet, thereby reducing the twisting of the leg and malalignment of the knee. We used our in-house Orthema Orthotic Manufacturing System to create the orthotics from a 3D model of her foot and the results of her biomechanical analysis.
  • Footwear – We recommended that Kelly replace her worn, neutral joggers with supportive joggers that have some in-built anti-pronatory control
  • Strengthening and stretching – We went through a series of strengthening and stretching exercises with Kelly to help address the imbalance and strengthen her muscles to get them working with her body efficiently

The OutcomeKnee Pain from the Feet 2

After 5 weeks, we’re happy to announce that Kelly was increasing her running distances and completing them free of pain and discomfort. She still continues with the exercises to maintain her strength and performance. The freedom of being pain-free has also opened her up to being able to partake in many other activities, sports and gym classes.

Takeaway Point: If you’re experiencing anywhere pain in your knees, hips or even back, the cause of the pain may be starting from your feet. Working on the area will help settle your symptoms, but it won’t work to treat the cause and stop it from recurring. Only through addressing the cause will you be able to get long-term relief.

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