Could the pelvis be the future for foot orthotics?

Special Report by Lucy Mason

An international athlete turned podiatrist is behind a medical breakthrough to treat musculoskeletal pain which could benefit everyone from injured professional athletes to people with backache or toothache.

MSK specialist podiatrist Clifton Bradeley has created a device which analyses how people move and function during activity and sport.

Bradeley has discovered that every pelvis adapts to one of four compensatory positions to stabilise the body. He believes that it is these pelvic changes which can lead to dysfunction, eventual injury and pain in different areas of the body.

His Digital Pelvic Inclinometer allows practitioners to make detailed measurements of pelvic position over time, to differentiate different types of leg length inequality and to quantify the effects of orthoses during treatment.

He says: “Having the technology to understand exactly what is going on at pelvic level is a medical breakthrough. For too long the textbook focus has been on the function of the feet. But the pelvis plays a crucial role in a person’s overall biomechanics.”

Over the past 27 years, Bradeley has carried out more than 15,000 biomechanical assessments and worked with international sports people including Premiership footballers Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia and James Milner, as well as sports brands including NIKE.

An independent scientific ‘test of reliability’ survey on his DPI is currently being done by the Sports Therapy Department at Staffordshire University and a paper is due to be published soon.

Bradeley is also working on a paper for scientific review using evidence from 100 of his patients.

So how important is the pelvis to a person’s alignment and why has Bradeley’s theory caused such controversy?

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