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Flat feet, happy feet? Comparison of the dynamic plantar pressure distribution and static medial foot geometry between Malawian and Dutch adults.

Stolwijk NM, Duysens J, Louwerens JW, van de Ven YH, Keijsers NL - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Therefore, static foot geometry and dynamic plantar pressure distribution of 77 adults from Malawi were compared to 77 adults from the Netherlands.The plantar pressure pattern as well as the Arch Index (AI) and the trajectory of the center of pressure during the stance phase were calculated and compared between both groups.We found that Malawian adults: (1) loaded the midfoot for a longer and the forefoot for a shorter period during roll off, (2) had significantly lower plantar pressures under the heel and a part of the forefoot, and (3) had a larger AI and a lower MLA compared to the Dutch.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Department, Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. n.stolwijk@maartenskliniek.nl

ABSTRACT
In contrast to western countries, foot complaints are rare in Africa. This is remarkable, as many African adults walk many hours each day, often barefoot or with worn-out shoes. The reason why Africans can withstand such loading without developing foot complaints might be related to the way the foot is loaded. Therefore, static foot geometry and dynamic plantar pressure distribution of 77 adults from Malawi were compared to 77 adults from the Netherlands. None of the subjects had a history of foot complaints. The plantar pressure pattern as well as the Arch Index (AI) and the trajectory of the center of pressure during the stance phase were calculated and compared between both groups. Standardized pictures were taken from the feet to assess the height of the Medial Longitudinal Arch (MLA). We found that Malawian adults: (1) loaded the midfoot for a longer and the forefoot for a shorter period during roll off, (2) had significantly lower plantar pressures under the heel and a part of the forefoot, and (3) had a larger AI and a lower MLA compared to the Dutch. These findings demonstrate that differences in static foot geometry, foot loading, and roll off technique exist between the two groups. The advantage of the foot loading pattern as shown by the Malawian group is that the plantar pressure is distributed more equally over the foot. This might prevent foot complaints.

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Measuring equipment used in the Netherlands (Figure 1A) and in Malawi (Figure 1B).Abbreviations used in Figure 1B: A = board for placement of the feet, B = board for placement of the camera,1 = longitudinal line, 2 = mediolateral line
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pone-0057209-g001: Measuring equipment used in the Netherlands (Figure 1A) and in Malawi (Figure 1B).Abbreviations used in Figure 1B: A = board for placement of the feet, B = board for placement of the camera,1 = longitudinal line, 2 = mediolateral line

Mentions: Static foot geometry was measured using two different measuring instruments. In the Netherlands the geometry was measured using the Foot Build Registration System (FBRS), as described by Tuinhout et al. [22] (see Figure 1A). The subjects were standing in upright position, with one foot on the platform and the contralateral foot placed on a higher support and were able to maintain balance by holding a bar in front of them. The ankle of the examined foot was placed in 90 degrees with extended knee. The subjects were asked to fully weight bear the examined leg. On the platform one longitudinal line and 39 vertical lines were marked. The center line of the 39 vertical lines (0-line) will be referred to as the mediolateral line. A Canon PowerShot A530 digital camera was attached to a moveable frame enabling pictures to be taken from standardized directions.


Flat feet, happy feet? Comparison of the dynamic plantar pressure distribution and static medial foot geometry between Malawian and Dutch adults.

Stolwijk NM, Duysens J, Louwerens JW, van de Ven YH, Keijsers NL - PLoS ONE (2013)

Measuring equipment used in the Netherlands (Figure 1A) and in Malawi (Figure 1B).Abbreviations used in Figure 1B: A = board for placement of the feet, B = board for placement of the camera,1 = longitudinal line, 2 = mediolateral line
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3585310&req=5

pone-0057209-g001: Measuring equipment used in the Netherlands (Figure 1A) and in Malawi (Figure 1B).Abbreviations used in Figure 1B: A = board for placement of the feet, B = board for placement of the camera,1 = longitudinal line, 2 = mediolateral line
Mentions: Static foot geometry was measured using two different measuring instruments. In the Netherlands the geometry was measured using the Foot Build Registration System (FBRS), as described by Tuinhout et al. [22] (see Figure 1A). The subjects were standing in upright position, with one foot on the platform and the contralateral foot placed on a higher support and were able to maintain balance by holding a bar in front of them. The ankle of the examined foot was placed in 90 degrees with extended knee. The subjects were asked to fully weight bear the examined leg. On the platform one longitudinal line and 39 vertical lines were marked. The center line of the 39 vertical lines (0-line) will be referred to as the mediolateral line. A Canon PowerShot A530 digital camera was attached to a moveable frame enabling pictures to be taken from standardized directions.

Bottom Line: Therefore, static foot geometry and dynamic plantar pressure distribution of 77 adults from Malawi were compared to 77 adults from the Netherlands.The plantar pressure pattern as well as the Arch Index (AI) and the trajectory of the center of pressure during the stance phase were calculated and compared between both groups.We found that Malawian adults: (1) loaded the midfoot for a longer and the forefoot for a shorter period during roll off, (2) had significantly lower plantar pressures under the heel and a part of the forefoot, and (3) had a larger AI and a lower MLA compared to the Dutch.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Department, Sint Maartenskliniek, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. n.stolwijk@maartenskliniek.nl

ABSTRACT
In contrast to western countries, foot complaints are rare in Africa. This is remarkable, as many African adults walk many hours each day, often barefoot or with worn-out shoes. The reason why Africans can withstand such loading without developing foot complaints might be related to the way the foot is loaded. Therefore, static foot geometry and dynamic plantar pressure distribution of 77 adults from Malawi were compared to 77 adults from the Netherlands. None of the subjects had a history of foot complaints. The plantar pressure pattern as well as the Arch Index (AI) and the trajectory of the center of pressure during the stance phase were calculated and compared between both groups. Standardized pictures were taken from the feet to assess the height of the Medial Longitudinal Arch (MLA). We found that Malawian adults: (1) loaded the midfoot for a longer and the forefoot for a shorter period during roll off, (2) had significantly lower plantar pressures under the heel and a part of the forefoot, and (3) had a larger AI and a lower MLA compared to the Dutch. These findings demonstrate that differences in static foot geometry, foot loading, and roll off technique exist between the two groups. The advantage of the foot loading pattern as shown by the Malawian group is that the plantar pressure is distributed more equally over the foot. This might prevent foot complaints.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus