With researchers from many scientific and medical disciplines currently devoting countless hours trying to solve the mechanical mysteries of the foot, it is important that the proper direction for research be established. The author of this article believes that one of the most important directions in podiatric biomechanics will focus on the development of accurate models of the human foot and lower extremity. Accurate models will be useful because they provide relatively accurate predictions of the magnitudes of loading forces that occur in the structural component of the human foot and lower extremity during weight-bearing activities. From its beginnings in the early 1960s, podiatric biomechanics has developed from a fledgling collection of thoughts and observations from Merton Root and his colleagues to an internationally recognized clinical science with numerous researchers, past and present, contributing to its growing base of knowledge. With an emphasis on accurate modeling of the foot and lower extremity to allow better prediction of the internal forces that create pathologic conditions during weight-bearing activities, podiatric biomechanics will continue to provide valuable insight into many of the painful syndromes that plague children and adults of the world.
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