What is the Footscan Assessment?
Footscan is sophisticated technology used at Momentum to analyse the pressure forces and load distribution on the soles of a person’s feet.
It provides valuable insights into pressure distribution, gait analysis, and other aspects of foot biomechanics. Including, insights into how weight and pressure are distributed during activities such as walking, running, cycling, skiing or standing.
Here’s a breakdown of its functioning:
The platform contains 8000 pressure sensors or force-sensitive resistors. These sensors are strategically placed to cover the entire foot region, from the heel to the toes.
Pressure forces refer to the force exerted by different areas of the foot as it makes contact with the ground during movement or weight-bearing activities. Footscan uses 8000 high speed sensors on a pressure-sensitive mat to measure these forces in real-time. The sensors record the pressure in various parts of the foot, typically in units like Newtons. By analysing pressure forces, RS Footscan® provides a detailed map of how the foot interacts with the ground, pinpointing areas of high pressure and low pressure. High-pressure areas can indicate potential problems, such as excessive stress on certain foot structures, which may lead to discomfort or injury.
Load distribution refers to how the weight or load carried by the body is distributed across the foot during various activities. Footscan provides a graphical representation of how this load is distributed, often using a color-coded map where different colours represent varying levels of pressure. The load distribution map illustrates which parts of the foot bear the most weight and which areas experience less load. For example, the heel, arch, and forefoot regions may carry different proportions of the load. Understanding load distribution is essential in diagnosing and addressing issues like overpronation, supination, and improper weight distribution that can lead to biomechanical problems and potentially injuries.
When a patient stands, walks or runs across the Footscan platform, the sensors measure the pressure distribution under each foot in real-time. The system records data as a person’s body weight shifts while standing, walking and running.
The Footscan system provides a real-time visualization of the pressure distribution on a computer screen. This allows us to observe how the force is distributed across various regions of the foot during different phases of gait.
Gait analysis is a crucial application of the Footscan. By examining pressure patterns during walking and running it can identify irregularities or abnormalities in a person’s gait. This information can be invaluable for diagnosing and addressing gait-related issues. The result is the software also offers a risk analysis of overuse injuries developing.
The system stores the collected data for further analysis. This data can be used for in-depth assessments and to track changes in foot function over time.
Specialised software associated with the Footscan system is used to process and analyse the collected data. Our Physio team can examine pressure distribution patterns, calculate parameters such as peak pressure, time of contact, and spatial measurements.
The Footscan system is widely used in our clinical setting for assessing foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis, flat feet, shin splints and much more. It helps in designing custom orthotics or recommending appropriate footwear.
Based on the analysis, the trained team of physios at Momentum can provide feedback and recommendations to individuals. This may include orthotic prescriptions, physiotherapy, or other interventions to address foot-related issues.
The Footscan offers a comprehensive analysis of pressure forces and load distribution on the feet, making it a valuable tool for us to understand the speed, quality, and direction of movement. By visualising how pressure and weight are distributed across the feet, Footscan aids in diagnosing foot-related issues, designing custom orthotics, and optimising footwear to improve comfort, performance, and overall foot health. Old school methods of assessing a foot that is static in standing offers little to no benefit of understanding the foot and the biomechanics of what occurs in a dynamic situation suck as walking, running, cycling, skiing. Understanding these factors is essential in the management of lower limb injuries.