How Biomechanics Can Help You

How we move and hold ourselves is essentially what human biomechanics is all about. Physical-Therapy, podiatry and orthotics are some of hte facets of physical medicine involved in this area.

In relation to humans it has a major role in diagnosis and treatment of physical problems of all kinds. Essentially it is why, for example, a pain in the back can be due to a foot problem.

Any qualified professional in this field will understand that a problem in one part of the body can have its cause elsewhere. The actual symptom or complaint may be the cause of something else or it may be an effect.

There often arises a significant question from the addict of “if it aint broke don’t fix it.” In biomechanical circles this means that when assessed by a doctor or therapist you are very likely to have some evidence of biomechanical abnormality. No one is perfect in other words.

However the question is whether to do something about it if the patient is not complaining about that particular thing? It will depend on the opinion of the professional concerned as to whether they think it is likely to develop into a serious problem or not.

Sports participants and athletes are much more aware now of the benefits of consulting a biomechanics expert with respect to injury and performance.

Biomechanical analysis may involve any of the following :

Posture examination

Joint assessment

Gait and movement analysis

All of the above are involved in looking for evidence of asymmetry, imbalance and compensatory changes in any component parts of the musculo-skeletal system.

Using different techniques, many of which now include computerised analysis technology, an extremely detailed picture of the way someone moves and holds themselves can be built up.

This information can then be used like pieces of a jigsaw to produce a treatment regime to solve the problem. This may involve physical-therapy in the form of joint mobilisation or manipulation, rehabilitative exercises or the provision of orthoses.

The orthoses we are talking about in the main will be insoles specially made from purpose designed materials to alter foot posture which can have extraordinary effects.

So if you are having pain or problems of a physical nature that are not settling you may well benefit from a good biomechanical assessment. This may well invove a few hours of your time and a little investment of money. At the time of writing this can be around the $400 or £200 mark, depending on the particular practitioner you choose.

I would say in circumstances like this though that if you are visitng a professional with a gait analysis facility that the money you are paying is going to be well spent in terms of information you get as well as the resultant product i.e. a decent orthotic and improved performance and/or quality of life.