Biomechanics refers to an understanding of the mechanics in the body and podiatrists use this to diagnose and treat the lower limb. Biomechanics is concerned with preservation, restoration and development of the function of the foot and its associated structure. There are many biomechanical investigations podiatrists use to help them assess and evaluate the patients they treat. A lot of biomechanical problems are treated with orthoses. These are custom made insoles specifically for each patient that aim to improve function and reduce symptoms.
Some podiatrists use pre fabricated orthoses as a base and add the necessary modifications, some manufacture orthotics themselves, but many working within the NHS will use orthotic labs where orthotic technicians produce the device based on the prescription written by the podiatrist.
One area of clinical practice that focuses on biomechanics is sports injuries. There is currently a big demand for podiatrists to treat sports injuries. The work can involve working with individual athletes or working for sports teams e.g. rugby or football clubs.
Each person has their own individual footprint, this can give a podiatrist information about your foot function and shape