In short

Biomechanical exam for athletes

The study of the mechanical properties of the human body that affect its movements.

What is it?

A biomechanical exam for athletes, what is it?

A biomechanical exam is a comprehensive assessment of the way the human body functions while walking and while practising sports. Both static and dynamic tests are conducted to investigate the body’s osteo-articular and muscular functions.

This information is then analyzed in order to identify the source of the problem, establish a podiatric diagnosis and ultimately develop of an appropriate treatment plan.
The podiatrist also studies the patient’s biomechanics thanks to imaging technology. For example, plantar pressures are analyzed using sensors inside the shoes.

This test is particularly interesting for athletes since the pre-treatment and post-treatment data can be compared, allowing the podiatrist to measure the efficiency of a therapeutic procedure in action!

For who?

A biomechanical exam for athletes, who is it for?

The biomechanical exam is an indispensable tool in the following cases:

  • Athletes aiming to optimize their performance and prevent injuries
  • Athletes wishing to identify the source of biomechanical pain
  • Bad running technique
  • Frequent injuries
  • Instability and recurring ankle sprains
  • Plantar misalignment (flat or high arches)
  • Pain in the feet, ankles, legs, knees, hips or back
  • Excessive accumulation of calluses under the feet
  • Recurring blisters
  • Abnormal or excessive wear and tear of shoes
  • Need to validate efficiency of plantar orthotics

What are the earnings of a biomechanical exam for athletes?

  • Efficiently identifies the mechanical abnormalities of the patient
  • Supports a more accurate diagnosis and the identification of underlying causes
  • Helps the patient better understand the issue since the results of the analysis are explained to him on the spot
  • Supports the development of an appropriate and personalized treatment plan
  • Provides a holistic assessment of the foot and lower limb function
  • Provides an overall picture of the patient’s posture
How does the treatment work?
  1. Patient history and physical exam

    Review of the patient’s medical history and overview of his training. Functional tests are performed with patient lying down and standing.

  2. Computerized gait and posture analysis

    A number of determining biomechanical factors are assessed using pressure sensors connected to cameras.  

  3. Digital X-rays and related exams

    Various angles are measured to better evaluate bone alignment. Additional exams are sometimes necessary to establish a more exact diagnosis (e.g. diagnostic ultrasound).

  4. The condition and personalized treatment plan are explained

    Your podiatrist provides you with an overview of your foot health and suggests a treatment plan based on your needs.

My orthesist/prosthesist has the same training as a podiatrist to conduct biomechanical exams.

Even though orthotists or orthesists have appropriate college-level training in the overall biomechanics of the human body, podiatrists have deeper knowledge of the feet and their function. Podiatrists can also prescribe further testing, like X-rays and other imaging tests. Finally, they also have the skills to establish a podiatric, medical diagnosis in addition to prescribing a treatment plan.

A computer scan is enough to investigate my feet and make appropriate orthotics!

These generic foot “scans” produce an image of plantar pressures while you are standing. However, this two-dimensional photography does nothing to explain the source of these pressures! To make an appropriate orthosis for each foot, both a static and dynamic investigation of each one is needed, in standing position and lying down.
For example, a foot with a very high arch may have the same footprint as a foot with a fallen arch.

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