There are many forms of assessments here at NK Sports Podiatry, however the first assessment is always a biomechanical assessment of the whole lower limb.
A biomechanical assessment starts with a 4 paged detailed pre-assessment questionnaire, which is relevant for everyone regardless if you’re a seasoned runner, someone suffering with foot complications related to rheumatoid arthritis or suffering with undiagnosed pain that has suddenly started. This enables us to get a picture of the problem before we see you, so we can start to tailor the assessment for you and go into more detail on the relevant issues obtaining a more in depth history.
Most injuries we see are due to overload, meaning that the body cannot quite cope with what you are trying to do, this can be day to day activities, not just sports, so we need to find out why, so we are able to treat the problem and educate you to help prevent it coming back.
It is a misconception that as Podiatrists, we just look at feet, we look at the whole lower limb, as weakness or dysfunction in the hip can affect the foot. If we just look and treat the foot and ignore the weakness in the hip, the chances of having the desired outcome is lower.
We take a detailed look in footwear, looking at style, type, wear and not forgetting most importantly fit. It is thought 90% of people wear shoes that are too small.
A more traditional orthopaedic style assessment is then carried out, looking at how the joints within the foot and lower limb move, examining muscle strength, dynamic functional tests are also important as most people’s problems occur when walking or running. This is then followed up by a basic visual gait analysis to give us a quick overview on how the lower limb functions during walking and running.
Combining the pre-examination questionnaire, history and physical assessment this will give us a nice overview of what is going on and how to treat it.
Sometimes more detailed assessments are required to help formulate a treatment plan, for instance a pressure gait analysis allows us to look at how the foot interacts with the ground and a 3-D gait analysis allows us to look at lower limb function as a whole, giving us a good indication of how the hip, knee, ankle and foot interact as one.