Biomechanics

July 14, 2013 - by Warren Moore - in Orthotic Research

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INTRODUCTION

The foot alignment clinic is a specialty biomechanics clinic formed to forge the latest in research, innovation and musculo skeletal knowledge. The aim of the clinic is to correct common biomechanical malalignment, via the use of orthotics made from the internationally patented ‘Foot Alignment System ‘. We believe that we can provide and guarantee the most comfortable and anatomically perfect orthotics available in Australia. Please review our methodology and decide for yourself.

BIOMECHANICS

Musculoskeletal problems are widespread and affect persons of all ages, occupations and lifestyles. The role of preventing and treating musculoskeletal problems falls within the skills of many health practitioners-biomechanists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, podiatrists and massage therapists. The common thread of these professions lies in the goal of promoting appropriate range of motion, good alignment and good muscle balance.

The high incidence of postural faults in adults is related to the environment in which we live and the tendency towards specialized and repetitive patterns of activity. Correcting postural faults requires an understanding of the mechanics of the body and its responses to the stresses and strains placed upon it.

Good posture as defined by the Posture Committee of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. ‘Good posture is that state of muscular and skeletal balance which protects the supporting structures of the body against injury or progressive deformity. Under such conditions the muscles will function most efficiently. Poor posture is a faulty relationship of the various parts of the body which produces increased strain on the supporting structures and in which there is less efficient balance of the body over its base of support.’

To understand pain in relation to faulty posture we must identify the constant or repeated stresses placed on the bodies tissues such as ligaments, tendons, muscles, fascia and joints. The soft tissues of our bodies respond to stress and strain in a predictable manner, and are illustrated below in the stress strain curve. (Fig A).

The role of orthotics is to facilitate optimum foot function by placing the sub-talar joint in its most neutral weight bearing position, and to place the forefoot in a position, that facilitates the windlass mechanism. In simple terms the foot is encouraged to become a more efficient lever in propulsion while avoiding excessive ranges of motion (internal and external rotation), which place postural stress on the entire body.

template_02PHYSIOLOGICAL LOADING

Load: Applied Force.
Deformation: Amount an object stretches or elongates.
Strain: Deformation divided by initial length
Stiffness: Amount of applied load necessary to produce a given deformation.
Ultimate Strength: Amount of load a structure can bear prior to failure.
Creep: Progressive material deformation over time under constant load.

Ligaments and tendons are made up of collagen fibers (type 1 and 3). These fibers have a crimp feature which helps to attenuate muscle-loading forces at the tendon-periosteal junction. Injury to ligament and tendon is closely related to the load deformation curve. That is a graph showing the relationship between the load applied to an object and its resulting change in dimension. (Fig A)

TOE:

Normal range of ligament tendon strain (3-4% of initial length) Loading in this range causes no molecular or macroscopic damage. Orthotics are designed to hold your foot in this region. LINEAR REGION: pathological irreversible damage occurs due to partial rupture of intermolecular cross-links and hence PAIN.

RUPTURE:

Failure point is reached at 10-20% strain.

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