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Sports & Foot Biomechanics


Biomechanics is the application of the laws of mechanics and physics to the human body to gain a greater understanding of athletic performance while walking and running.

Hyde- Barker Podiatry specializes in sports biomechanics and the prescription of both tailor made orthotics and off the peg orthotics.

Biomechanics - involves the assessment of the structure, alignment and function of the feet and legs.

Over time the terrain upon which we walk has changed. We now need to walk on harder, flat man-made surfaces subjecting the feet and legs to low-grade but repetitive stress and strain.

As we take between 5,000 to18,000 steps per day. This repetitive motion can place stress on the feet, legs, pelvis and spine. If you have a low-arched (pronated) or a high arched (supinated) foot then you may be predisposed to problems. Assessment of physical structure and function of the feet, legs and upper body can help to identify factors which cause these problems.

Wearing special shoe inserts (orthotics) can help to control the function of the feet, and improve general muscle strength and flexibility.

What are orthotics?

Orthotics are special inserts designed to go into your shoes, to redistribute pressure and control and improve the function of the feet and legs.

Why do I need them?

A Biomechanical assessment can determine if your foot and leg function may be improved by wearing an orthotic, this can reduce pain, by reducing excessive motion and encouraging your foot to function correctly, thus reducing excessive stress and strain.

Prescription orthoses should form part of a wider treatment plan, with some patients needing a combination of therapies, including reassessment of footwear, stretching and strengthening exercises, and physiotherapy.

Will orthotics resolve my problem?

Orthotics will help your symptoms resolve, but they do not correct the underlying function, they control function. Orthotics form part of the rehabilitation process but cannot cure everything.

Once your orthotics have been worn in, most people like to wear them in their regular shoes and especially for sport and exercise.

Orthotics can be transferred between shoes.

Do I need custom orthotics?
Preformed or off the shelf orthotics provide a standard degree of control and are generally made for the average foot shape and are therefore not suitable for everyone.

It is not uncommon for left and right feet to function differently, thus the level of support (control) provided needs to differ for each foot.

I only have a problem during sport; do I need them for everyday?

Probably, as the orthotic changes the way in which your muscles function, it can often take up to 4 weeks for your body to adapt. If you simply wore the orthotic for sport, your body would have to adapt each time you played. This can cause discomfort, which is incorrectly blamed on the orthotic.

Will the degree of support I need change with time meaning I need new orthotics?

Possibly, in some instances, the degree of control needs to be increased over a period of time or adapted if your posture alters, and a yearly review is recommended.

Sports Injuries

The increase in sporting activity over the last 30 years has brought with it a wide range of injuries.

Many people take up sport without appropriate training or equipment (including shoes). In addition, it is common for people to ignore discomfort in the belief that this will settle only to find it becomes chronic.

This generally means that recovery and treatment can take longer. There is usually a loss of function, quite often more than pre-exercise, which means that appropriate rehabilitation is necessary.

Whilst podiatrists treat large numbers of sports patients, a number of professionals (e.g. physiotherapist) are often required for an effective recovery. At Hyde-Barker Podiatry we liaise with a wide range of professionals in house to maximise the effectiveness of your treatment. All of them are committed to high-quality treatment.

Consultation Process

All new patients have a either 30, 60, or 120 minute consultation to enable us to assess your problem, and discuss the treatment options with you.

What to wear to the consultation

We often need to assess knee and hip function, so clothes that allow easy access are preferable (e.g. shorts). If your shoe style varies, please bring a selection of shoes so that these can be assessed. Sports patients should bring their sports shoes.

Kathy Hyde-Barker
Kathy Hyde Barker Podiatrist Newark
Phil Hyde-Barker
Philip Hyde Barker
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