This is an article that appeared in the Bellingen Courier Sun on 15/5/13, describing the link between poor foot function and injury:

 

Good foot function may be the key to both spinal and lower limb health – according to leading local physiotherapist Aaron Hardaker.  “A slight change in biomechanics of the foot can impact their ankles, knees and hips, as well as the spine,” he says.

Mr Hardaker, owner of both Urunga Physiotherapy and Northern Beaches Physiotherapy notes that without correcting abnormal excessive movements in the foot his ability to completely solve his clients’ problems is reduced.
To be able to accurately assess the function of the foot, both his clinics use the latest computerised technology called Gaitscan.  The accuracy is provided by the pressure plate’s 4096 sensors recording 300 images per second to create a two- and three-dimensional picture of the patient’s foot.  These images allow the physiotherapists to determine where abnormal movement patterns occur and what effect they may be having on the body, as well as the need for custom made orthotics to correct the problem.

“Orthotics redistribute weight and relieve pressure on sensitive areas of the feet, provide cushioning that reduces stress, or biomechanical load, on the lower body, and correct gait and structural abnormalities”, says Marian Hannan, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-director of Musculoskeletal Research at the Harvard-affiliated Institute for Aging in Boston.

Recent research has shown that wearing orthotics can reduce low back pain and discomfort after 6 weeks, according to the recent study, “Shoe Orthotics for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study,” (Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, May 2011, Vol. 34, Issue 4, pgs. 254-260).

Mr Hardaker stated that his team of physiotherapists often see a range of conditions caused by poor foot biomechanics, including lower back pain from sports, exercises or posture, sacroiliac pain or dysfunction, knee pain and ITB syndrome, ankle pain and instability, shin splints, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and degenerative arthritic issues.

“Too often clients have presented to us with recurring injuries due to poor foot function, and no one has ever discussed the role of their feet in the problem.  Once we have assessed them using Gaitscan and provided them with custom made orthotics, the problem has become a thing of the past.  It’s fantastic!”

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