For The Athlete:

The Step Ahead Movement Analysis Laboratory

Many sports are hard on the feet because of quick repetitive movements, constricting footwear, and/or increased exposure to injury or trauma.  At Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic, Dr. Barnes enjoys using her training in Biomechanics & Gait Evaluation.  Emphasis is placed on preventative medicine and appropriate biomechanical alignment.  With the assistance of an on-site pedorthist and a research-quality In-Shoe Pressure Measurement / Gait Analysis System (F-scan),  Dr. Barnes routinely favors a non-surgical approach to treating many athletic or overuse foot ailments, including: heel pain, neuromas, bunions, big toe joint pain, and Achilles tendon pain. Many times this involves the fitting of either pre-fabricated or custom foot orthoses.

About Orthotics

Custom foot orthoses (“orthotics”) are prescription medical devices that are designed to control alignment and function of the foot in order to prevent or treat injury-causing motions such as pronation (rolling-in) and supination (rolling-out). They also act to make activities such as running, walking – even standing – more efficient. Finally, they can act to redistribute pressure on the bottom of the foot to relieve pain from excessive pressure or calluses.

Most foot pain is the result of a faulty relationship between the bones and muscles of the foot. Even the slightest misalignment can result in significant discomfort. This abnormal function can result in problems such as bunions, hammer toes, arch and heel pain, corns, knee pain ... even back pain.

The function of custom orthotics is much more than an arch support. Orthotics realign the structures of the foot and leg to prevent bone mal-alignment as well as muscle, tendon, and ligament fatigue. They are often used after surgery to help stop the recurrence of foot deformities.

As your foot rests on the orthotic it is gently and consistently directed into the correct position for walking, running, and standing. Because your foot is now functioning properly, the pain of muscle strain and pressure points is relieved, and the progression of deformities is stopped or slowed.

About The F-Scan Gait Analysis System

The Movement Analysis Laboratory at Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic is pleased to announce that we now offer computerized gait analysis using theF-Scan® in-shoe pressure measurement system!  This state-of-the-art system allows us to “see inside the shoe”, giving us a better understanding of how a person’s foot interacts with their footwear, and helping us provide the best, most advanced care in the area.

The average person takes thousands of steps every day, generating a force equal to several hundred tons on the bottoms of their feet.  Everyone walks a little bit differently, distributing this force in their own unique way.  For some people, the distribution of force is very uneven.  This creates areas of highly concentrated pressure that can cause pain in the foot itself, and can also cause misalignments that lead to pain throughout the lower body.

 

The F-Scan system helps us find and address the root cause of these problems by clearly quantifying areas of high pressure in a color-coded display.  It also provides us with timing and gait parameters we can use to develop optimal treatments for each individual.  We can easily share a patient’s test results with them, making it easier to explain diagnoses and treatments.   

Virtually everyone can benefit from an F-Scan exam – including athletes looking to improve their performance; diabetics dealing with neuropathy; and anyone suffering from foot, knee, hip or lower back pain.