Most of us don’t give much thought to how our feet and ankles move when we stand up, take a step, go for a run, or engage in just about any type of physical activity — that is, until something goes wrong, and pain or an injury makes us stop and pay attention.
Each foot consists of 26 bones, 30 joints, and a network of over 100 muscles, ligaments, and joints that absorb and balance the force of every step and physical movement.
Biomechanics helps to explain the movements and function of your feet when you engage in any physical activity. At PMC Foot and Ankle Clinic in Spring, Texas, Eric Blanson, DPM, and our team of foot and ankle specialists use biomechanics to help prevent, treat, and diagnose sports injuries and other orthopedic problems.
While there are seemingly millions of styles of sneakers out there, anyone who has ever bought the wrong type of footwear for their particular activity knows that athletic shoes are about more than just style.
For example, if you’re a runner who has low arches or flatfoot (flat feet), you need a more supportive shoe, and possibly a pair of orthotics to ensure that your ankles stay in alignment while you run, and that your arches are getting the support they need.
Your foot’s angle when it hits the pavement with each step is also unique to you, and it determines how the force and impact of each step is absorbed and distributed. If you’re what’s known as a heel striker, for example, your heels touch the floor before the rest of your foot lands, which can make you more susceptible to foot injuries and heel pain.
That’s where biomechanics comes in. Understanding how your body moves can help you to anticipate potential injury risks, and know what type of support you need to keep your feet, ankles, knees, and the rest of your body healthy and in great shape.
Understanding biomechanics is especially useful in sports and physical activities like dance and gymnastics, but they encompass more than athletics. Our bodies are constantly in movement, and the joints and soft tissue in the feet and ankles are vulnerable to wear and tear as we age.
Biomechanics paints a fuller picture of what’s going on in everything from ordinary foot and ankle pain and sports injuries to diabetic and geriatric foot care. A better understanding of how your body functions while in movement can help you to take better care of yourself, and avoid preventable strains and injuries in the future.
Dr. Blanson and our team can provide a comprehensive examination of your gait, foot and arch structure, and history to prevent or manage any existing foot and ankle pain and injuries.
For more information about biomechanics and how it affects your foot and ankle health, contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Blanson at our office in Spring, Texas.