The longitudinal arch of the foot, which extends from the heel to the base of the toes, plays a vital role in keeping you on your feet. This arch acts like a shock absorber and helps you maintain balance with every step you take. It also helps you adapt to changes in terrain, such as walking on a hilly or uneven surface. Most importantly, the arch bears the weight of your body when you stand or move. The arch is part of a complex network of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones that allow the feet to work efficiently. If any part of the network is injured, it often results in arch pain. Symptoms are tightness, pulling, or a burning sensation. The most common causes of arch pain are plantar fasciitis, flat feet, overpronation, and shoes that do not fit properly. Other causes are high arches, injury, and overuse. If symptoms of arch pain persist or worsen, it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist who can determine the cause and offer the appropriate treatment options.
Biomechanics in Podiatry
Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.
A History of Biomechanics
- Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
- In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.
Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.
Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.