How the foot strikes the ground can effect the lower limbs from the ankles to the knee, hips, pelvis and lower back. Lower limb biomechanics refers to a complex interplay between the joints, muscles and nervous system which results in a certain patterning of movement, often referred to as ‘alignment’. What is considered ‘normal’ and what is considered ‘abnormal’ in biomechanical terms is found during the assessment. The purpose of a biomechanical assessment is to determine if your pain complaint, for example sore knees while running, has been caused by or not being allowed to heal as a result of a lower limb biomechanical abnormality.
In order to determine this we perform a complete lower limb biomechanical assessment comprised of the following:
- A posture assessment, the whole body that is, but with emphasis on the waist down. The foot posture index is an assessment tool which may reliably be able to identify and score abnormalities about the foot and ankle.
- A gait assessment – both walking and running
- An assessment can be used to determine the level of external support required to place the foot and ankle in a more ‘normal’ position while standing, walking and running and may provide the basis for an orthotic
- Muscle length and flexibility tests
- Joint range of motion tests
- Tests of muscle strength and control – the more functional the better such as the squat, lunge, hop and jump tests to determine how lower limb alignment is affected by loading and movement.
- Tests of balance and agility such as the use of a balance board, uneven or unstable surfaces.
- Sports specific tests as required