Announcement posted by Footwork Podiatry 15 Jan 2021
Movement Assessment Technology (MAT) Takes the Guesswork Out of Podiatry Evaluations
Sometimes people visit their GP and leave feeling that the diagnosis was based on an educated guess, and they’re probably right. Without measurement of specific factors, a doctor is often using his or her experience and previous knowledge, plus a few observations to reach a conclusion. In many branches of medical science, actually performing the tests needed to pinpoint a problem will be hugely expensive. Fortunately, doctors have the experience to make a very good guess, the treatment works, and everyone is happy.
An experienced podiatrist also has the qualifications and experience to make “educated guesses,” which will often be bang on target, but that’s not good enough for Sydney podiatrist Mark Lin. Even when he can spot an issue at a glance, he likes his clients to be able to see the reasons for his conclusions at first hand – and the good news is that Movement Assessment Technology doesn’t come with the high-end bill associated with many other types of medical testing.
What MAT Does
At first glance, the MAT is…. just a mat with a lot of arcane-looking symbols on it. But this simple yet effective device has been tested in universities and has received glowing recommendations from movement professionals, including physiotherapists, chiropractors, and of course, podiatrists like Mark Lin.
Their clients perform a series of movements on the specialised mat, and the professionals trained in its use can use the markings on the mat to get precise measurements that will help to refine the interventions they might offer following evaluation. They can also use the mat to explain how they arrived at their conclusions, leaving their patients better-informed on the outcome of their assessment than they otherwise would have been.
As a sports podiatrist, Mark Lin is particularly excited about the use of MAT to improve sporting performance and to assess athletes’ recovery following injuries. However, he treats patients from all walks of life, and once again, he is confident that using MAT is beneficial in assessments.
“It makes it possible for patients to see exactly how conclusions were reached,” he says. “By keeping them informed and showing them physical evidence pointing to movement-related issues, the practitioner is able to inspire them towards treatment compliance even when they are not feeling any pain.”
When Absence of Pain Tricks Patients into Believing That They’re OK
Pain, says Lin, is only they body’s last-ditch attempt to get a person’s attention. Initially, the body tries to compensate for the issue, and the person doesn’t feel any pain. After a period of compensating, the adjusted movement patterns cause further injuries – over and above those they were trying to compensate for, and the pain begins.
After a sudden injury, the pain is immediate, but during the recovery process, the body’s ability to compensate for or favour an injury kicks in. With the pain gone, the person feels well again, and ready to return to normal activity, even though he or she has by no means recovered from the injury. At such times, they are in danger of injuring themselves anew.
“When people feel fine, they may be sceptical of a practitioner’s assertion that therapy must continue and that there is still a problem,” explains Mark. “By using MAT, it is possible to show them physical evidence that there is an issue, that they are still recovering, or that they should wait a little longer before returning to a favourite sport.”
Footwork Clinic Supports Technologies That Offer Improved Diagnosis and Recovery
Even with evidence from around the world supporting the benefits of MAT as a diagnostic tool, not all podiatrists make use of the development. They are confident in their experience, and don’t feel the need for aids. Mark Lin says that even without MAT, his “guesswork” is usually accurate. But, he feels that any advance that can assist his team of therapists, and help his patients to understand therapy recommendations, should be explored and applied if it offers real benefits. “MAT allows for certainty, both on the part of the therapist and the patient,” he explains. “That’s why it’s among the advances applied at the Footwork Clinic.”
For further information, visit the The Footwork Clinic – Leading Sports, Podiatry, Foot And Lower Limb Corrective Services to book online, or call Mark Lin or his friendly team on +61 2 9131 6891.
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The information contained in this guide is provided in good faith and is not intended to be nor is it to be used as a substitute for any sort of professional, medical or podiatric advice. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a podiatrist. Any users should always seek the advice of their podiatrist, or other qualified healthcare providers before commencing any treatment.