Foot & Ankle Biomechanical Deformities
What are foot and ankle biomechanical deformities?
Foot and ankle biomechanical deformities refer to any abnormalities from the normal alignment and movement of feet and ankle bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments. Biomechanical deformities can affect the way a person moves, walks, bears weight and even stands, and can potentially lead to pain and various foot and ankle conditions.
What are some common feet and ankle biomechanical deformities?
- Flat feet: When the arch of the foot is low or absent, which causes the entire sole of the foot to touch the ground.
- High arches: Abnormally elevated arch of the foot in which the foot rolls outward excessively during walking or running.
- Overpronation: The inward rolling of the foot during walking or running. Often associated with flat feet, and can lead to various foot and ankle conditions e.g. plantar fasciitis and shin splints.
- Oversupination: The outward rolling of the foot during walking or running. Often associated with high arches, and can lead to issues like ankle sprains and stress-induced fractures.
- Hallux valgus (Bunion): A bony bump on the side of the foot caused by the big toe deviating towards the other toes. Read more about Bunions here.
- Hammertoes: When toes bend abnormally at the middle joint, causing them to resemble a hammer.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It is often associated with overpronation. Read more about plantar fasciitis here.
- Ankle instability: When the ligaments supporting the ankle are weak or damaged, leading to recurrent sprains and other complications.
- Equinus: Where the calf muscles are tight, restricting the ability to bend the ankle upward.
What is a biomechanical assessment?
A detailed evaluation of an athlete’s stance, posture, gait, joint movements, muscle strength, movements and body mechanics during sports and physical activities. The main objective of a sports biomechanical assessment is to identify any biomechanical issues that could potentially lead to injuries or hinder optimal performance. A sports biomechanical assessment can include video analysis, force plates, motion capture systems, pressure mapping systems and wearable sensors.
A biomechanical assessment can be valuable in the following situations:
- Ongoing or repetitive pain, particularly when engaged in sports or physical activity
- Athletes recovering from injuries
- Athletes looking to fine-tune their performance
- Biomechanical functions of the feet not performing as they should
- Change in gait, posture or alignment (possibly caused by previous injury)
- Injury prevention
A biomechanical assessment allows the identification and treatment of biomechanical issues, which can help athletes enhance their performance, reduce the risk of injuries, and optimise their overall capabilities.
Feet and ankle Biomechanical deformities treatments
- Custom orthotics
- Physical therapy
- stretching exercises
- Footwear assessments and modifications