Biomechanics of the knee, shin and our feet

By July 2, 2014 Biomechanics, Blog No Comments
bare-feet

Our Feet are our Foundation

The feet are the foundation of the lower limbs. Poor biomechanics often start with the foot. If a foot has high arches or is flat, there are changes that can happen to all of the postural joints of the body.

Our feet are highly adaptable. As they hit the ground and begin to absorb load, the motion they undergo is called pronation. The flexibility of our joints determines how much energy the lower extremity chain (foot-ankle-knee-hip-pelvis-low back) can absorb.

For different reasons, both flat and high-arched feet channel a large amount of energy to skeletal structures high in this chain, especially the knee and the hip, making those structures more susceptible to injury.

For example, it is common for the kneecap (patella) to develop pain because a flat foot forces the petellofemoral joint to absorb more energy. The patella can become poorly aligned because of rotation of the foot as shown in the picture to the right.

Running sports add ‘impact loading’ to the equation. Running and jumping amplify the effects of failed biomechanics. Sprains and strains are likely to occur when joints are poorly aligned, or when they absorb forces that should be directed to another part of the body. Make sure your footwear is supportive and appropriate for the activity you’re doing.

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