Biomechanics is the study of the movement of the body and how the muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons work together to produce movement. If you have pain in the lower half of the body (back, hips, knees, legs, feet) that may be related to the foot function it is worth having a biomechanical examination by the podiatrist to assess if orthotics may help relieve some of the pain and symptoms. Our podiatrists work very closely with osteopaths and physiotherapists and look at the function of the body as a whole not just at the individual problem. Orthotics are inserts that are put in shoes to help compensate for the abnormalities in foot function and gait. They work by controlling the position of the foot segments, the degree of timing and the sequence of each motion. Improved muscle mechanics means less energy expenditure resulting in more efficient running and walking. Orthotics can be custom made or pre-fabricated (off the shelf standard prescriptions). Custom made orthotics can be tailored to the individuals foot type, sport, weight and footwear, and can acheive better control and comfort than a standard presciption orthotic.
The custom made orthotics from the Osteopathy and Podiatry Centre are manufactured at our laboratory in Australia, who use the latest digital techniques. The Osteopathy and Podiatry Centre was the first private podiatry clinic in Singapore that uses the latest 3D laser scanner to take very accurate measurements of the foot. We are able to make orthotics that can fit into a wide variety of shoes including sandals. Your orthotic records are stored digitally at the lab so subsequent pairs can be ordered at any time.
A 3D scan of the foot is taken with a laser scanner and this is e-mailed to the laboratory.
The scan is the altered according to the prescription that your podiatrist has carefiully chosen for you. After that the shape of the foot is ground out of a block of wood with a very accurate machine.
The orthotic is then hand made according to the prescription.
The process takes about two weeks from the taking of the scan to return to Singapore. Shell materials available are polyproplyne, EVA and carbon fibre and there is a large variety of cover materials in different colours to choose from.
Your orthotic records are digitally stored indefinitely so further pairs can be ordered at any time.
A bunion is an abnormal bony bump that forms at the joint at the base of the big toe.
It causes the big toe to move out of line towards the other toes. It may start with a slight swelling or redness around the joint but can develop to such an extent that the big toe goes under or over the second causing the second toe to become hammered.
Bunions form when the normal balances of forces to the foot are disrupted. Abnormalities in walking and bio-mechanical problems such as excessive rolling in of the foot (overpronation), short second metatarsals, ligament laxity and differences in leg length are the main cause of bunions. They develop slowly over the years often beginning unnoticed in childhood. Genetics can also play a part with bunions being seen in several generations of one family.
Common contributing factors include poorly fitted shoes, the wearing of high heels, flat feet and arthritis.
Early treatment by a podiatrist with custom made orthotics and good footwear will slow down the progression of a bunion. A podiatrist will assess the gait and bio-mechanics of the foot and prescribe an orthotic accordingly.
If the pain interferes with daily activity or you are unable to accommodate wear regular shoes surgery may be necessary and you should consult with an orthopaedic surgeon.
Shin splints is a general term used for pain in the front of the lower leg. The most common cause of shins splints is medial tibial stress syndrome. The pain associated with shin splints is a result of fatigue and trauma to the muscle's tendons where they attach themselves to the tibia. Poor footwear, foot posture and biomechanics can lead to instability, and in an effort to keep the foot, ankle and lower leg stable, the muscles exert a great force on the tibia. This excessive force can result in the tendons being partially torn away from the bone.
Shin splints can occur in adults and children alike but tend to occur in more active individuals.
Flat feet, pes planus or ‘fallen arches’ refers to a condition where the arch of the foot is flattened and in some cases but not always in contact with the floor. Flat feet do not always cause pain but as a person gets older they are more likely to have symptoms associated with the flat foot such as heel pain, shin splints bunions, Achilles tendonitis, knee and lower back pain. Other factors that can influence the likelihood of pain are obesity, footwear and activity. There are many causes of ‘flat feet’ so the podiatrist will assess the feet as well as the other external factors before deciding on an appropriate treatment plan, which may include exercises, stretches, icing, orthotics, footwear advice and weight loss. A safe diet plan can be made with our qualified dietician.
Leg Length Discrepancies (Unequal Leg Length)
Unequal leg length can cause symptoms as far up the body as the back, shoulders and neck. It can cause one sided knee, hip and lower back pain and can also be the root cause of scoliosis. Leg length can be structural (bony) or functional. Functional leg length discrepancies can have a multitude of causes such as muscular imbalances, unequal pronation or supination at the foot, pelvic rotation and sacro-iliac joint dysfunction. At the Osteopathy and Podiatry Centre we aim to treat as a team to get to the root cause of the problem.