November 2020 Editor's Note

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By Andrea Spridgen

Though the average person may not think about it often, O&P professionals are keenly aware that anything that interferes with a person's gait has health implications far beyond simply walking comfortably. In this issue, we explore how O&P interventions impact patients from the ground up.

Most people are healthier if they have regular physical activity; our bodies are made to move. However, a number of medical issues, including peripheral arterial disease, present a catch-22—activities such as walking can improve the condition, but the activity leads to pain. "Preventing the Burn: Is There a Role for AFOs in Mitigating the Pain of Claudication?" explores how AFO use can alleviate the pain associated with intermittent claudication and help patients participate in the recommended first-line treatment of exercise training.

To apply the most appropriate O&P intervention for gait deviations, clinicians must not only be able to observe deviations, but also have a deeper understanding of the biomechanical principles that impact gait. "Collisions in Clinical Care" examines a model that simplifies the complexities of human walking to give practitioners greater insight into the underlying mechanics of gait that can inform clinical decisions. As we have all observed when watching a child who is just learning to walk, a normal gait pattern is much different for children than for adults, as are the deviations. "How Neurologic Development Influences Gait Biomechanics and Pediatric O&P: Part I" discusses the complex factors that influence the development of normal gait that can be used to guide selection of O&P devices.

While problems with our feet or an inability to maintain a smooth walking pattern can certainly create pain in our feet and legs, the damage can impact us all the way up the musculoskeletal system. In this issue's Stepping Out article, we learn about the key role that foot orthotic intervention can play in treating low back pain.

I hope you enjoy this issue focused on the biomechanics and interventions for feet and ankles.

Happy reading.