Your Feet and Your Body Structure…or Biomechanics
The human foot is a complex structure made up of 26 bones and two sesamoids, held together by soft tissue material – muscles, ligaments and tendons.
The human foot was designed to walk on soft surfaces like earth and sand rather than today’s hard and flat man-made surfaces. So it’s of little surprise that with the average person taking 14,000 steps per day, damage often occurs to the soft tissue supportive structures of the feet.
Over time, soft tissue slowly becomes stretched and this loss of support causes abnormal foot function during walking or running. In turn, this leads to changes in the biomechanics of the ankles and further up the leg to the knees, hip, pelvis and spinal column.
At Dr. Abbie Clinics our practitioners are trained in the unique Najjarine Assessment System (NAS), an advanced podiatric biomechanical technique designed to identify the cause of a patient’s biomechanical condition and help prescribe their treatment regime.
The system – developed by Dr Abbie Najjarine – has its origins in engineering, allowing the practitioner to analytically and holistically assess the patient’s biomechanical alignment, from the feet up, whilst educating the patient on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of their condition.
Ultimately, Dr. Abbie has combined many accepted techniques with his own unique approaches and methods into an easy to follow set of principles and formulas.
Following assessment using NAS we can diagnose the cause of a patient’s biomechanical problems and pain. Once the cause of pain is identified we can then treat the source, not just the symptoms.
To treat the source of the problem we use custom prescribed orthotic therapy integrated with other treatment methods to provide a holistic approach to eliminating pain and improving well-being.
We utilise therapeutic massage as a manual therapy designed to help with pain relief, identify trigger points and assist blood flow. Manual therapies are best used in conjunction with other conservative treatments e.g. mobilisations, dry needling and shockwave.
E.g. a subluxated (partially dislocated joint) may be difficult to mobilise into the ideal position if the surrounding muscle is tight preventing any movement OR we may identify a trigger point (taut band of tissue) that we can further direct an acupuncture needle into this area. The tight soft tissue will adversely affect range and quality of motion!
This helps restore mobility and a range of muscle motions. There are many different types of stretching exercises that can help relieve pressure and pain in the feet and lower limbs.
At Dr. Abbie Clinics we will prescribe a number of different stretching techniques to suit your particular condition and you personally, to ensure you achieve the best possible results.
Certain weight bearing exercises and techniques help strengthen weak muscles. When using any weight training technique to build strength it’s important to do this correctly.
We will ensure that you understand in depth what your strengthening training program is designed to achieve and that you use the correct techniques, whether using weight bearing methods or actual weights.
Strapping is an effective way to stimulate mechanoreceptors – proprioception. Strapping can be used as injury prevention or as a viable short term treatment method.
Strapping techniques should be used in conjunction with other conservative treatment modalities e.g. stretching, strengthening, mobilisation, orthotic therapy and injections. Strapping is common for heel pain (plantar fasciitis, severs), ankle stability, and knee pain (patella-femoral pain, os-good schlatters disease).
Restore mobility with quick pain relief – shockwave therapy uses acoustic waves and compressed air to elicit a kinetic energy response (almost like a hand-held jack hammer). Shockwave Therapy can influence soft and hard tissue alike- aiding repair, growth and mobility to reduce chronic inflammation, improve collagen and release trigger points.
Similar to dry needling we aim to induce an inflammatory response – Shockwave is indicated for a wide variety of acute and chronic injuries.
Prolotherapy and Neural Therapy
Prolotherapy, or proliferation therapy, is an injection (commonly Hypertonic Dextrose solution or Glucose) used in the treatment of osteoarthritic changes and ligamentous degeneration.
Studies suggest that cartilage-specific anabolic growth is a direct result of the injection (Topol et al, 2015).
Further studies have revealed evidence of fibroblast and vascular proliferation and collagen deposition- this increases ligament strength/thickness, shock absorption and weight bearing ability (Sit et al, 2016).
Neural Therapy – most would assume local anesthetic (LA) injections are only utilised for anesthesia purposes. However, LA injections can also be utilised as an alternative to break down scar tissue and disperse adhesions.
What is an orthotic? The University of Newcastle defines an orthotic as “The use of an appliance or apparatus to support, align, prevent or correct deformity or to modify position or motion and improve the function of the moveable parts of the body” – It is a device that changes the ground to suit the individual needs of the person (child or adult).
If patients are walking on hard unyielding surfaces that will not assist the patient with comfort and compensation, then we need to create a new walking surface to maintain the foot in a neutral position.
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) is an exceptional way of identifying the minerals and toxins within the body. What has Podiatric Biomechanics got to do with hair analysis?
Biomechanics is the study of the mechanical systems of the body and the internal and external forces that act upon them – we need to understand how a patient is operating on a molecular scale.
HTMA details any surplus of deficit of minerals and how they may be influenced by toxins of the body.
There are 26 bones (and 2 Sesamoids) in the human foot – plus or minus some accessory bones. These bones can sometimes become subluxed (partially dislocated) commonly seen as ‘cuboid syndrome’ – which is associated with ankle sprains and excess pronation.
We use a systematic approach to mobilising the foot, ankle, knee and hip bones (best used in conjunction with orthotic therapy and exercise prescription).
Soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) can often demonstrate taut bands of tissue – commonly known as trigger points, scar tissue or adhesion areas. This can adversely affect range and quality of motion around joints and muscle ultimately leading to pain and discomfort.
An acupuncture needle inserted in and around these taut bands of tissue can instigate a muscle twitch response. The body identifies the needle as a ‘foreign object’ which then will elicit an inflammatory response to the area subsequently breaking down the scar tissue.