We have all been there… picking the wrong shoes for sports, weekend strolls or even work only to find our poor feet aching before we have reached the end of the day. If you struggle with your foot wear particularly when being active then come and see us and we can investigate your body, shoes and how you can take the best possible step forward. Here are a few clever gadgets we like to use…
We routinely use Silicon Coach Software which is a sophisticated gait analysis programme as a part of our assessments and diagnosis. This equipment allows us accurately pinpoint abnormalities and take the guess work out of your condition or injury. When videoed walking or running, the footage is measured accurately and in slow motion. Using frame by frame analysis we can see if your foot or lower limb movements move beyond what is considered normal. Your gait cycle from heel contact to toe off can be analysed with you and any problems observed and discussed. (www.siliconcoach.com)
Sometimes the use of video is not enough to determine the cause of your condition. We also have an RS Scan pressure plate system (www.rsscan.com) that maps areas of high pressure beneath your feet. Using this we can measure areas of excessive load, compare loading through left and right limbs, as well as the loading patterns during foot movement. This is a versatile system where we can often immediately identify the cause of callus formation, joint pain or arthritis, diabetic ulcerations, stress fractures, post surgical outcomes and many more. We also use this system to measure postural sway or balance and can for example evaluate ankle instability in chronic ankle sprains. This is much more discrete than measuring balance by eye.
SportsMed Podiatry also boasts a Tekscan Matscan and Tekscan Mobile pressure measuring system (www.tekscan.com). The Mat Scan is a more sophisticated version of the RS Scan plate whereas the Mobile system is an ‘insole’ pressure measuring system as opposed to walking barefoot on a pressure plate. Very thin insoles are placed inside your shoes to record pressures while you walk, run, cycle, or just about any activity you wish to perform. As well as measuring foot forces inside your shoes as opposed to barefoot we can also compare the effectiveness of orthotic devices, different running shoes, and under different conditions. We have used this system in measuring children’s gait anomalies, elite runners, diabetics, pre and post surgical patients, and many others. We have even used this on NZ Winter Olympic skiers and snowboarders, NZ cricketers when bowling, and All Blacks when scrummaging. This is a sophisticated system that is found in universities and the laboratories of athletic shoe companies.