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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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Related in: MedlinePlus

Static foot geometry.Figure 2A: Medial Angle. Angle between the center of the medial malleolus, the navicular tuberculum and the medial center of the first distal metatarsal head. Figure 2B: Navicular height/foot length ratio.
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pone-0057209-g002: Static foot geometry.Figure 2A: Medial Angle. Angle between the center of the medial malleolus, the navicular tuberculum and the medial center of the first distal metatarsal head. Figure 2B: Navicular height/foot length ratio.

Mentions: The same foot as was used for the plantar pressure analysis was used for the analysis of the static foot geometry data. All collected pictures were downloaded to a computer. Using a custom written Matlab® R2006a for Windows (The MathWorks, Inc.) program, the anatomical landmarks were marked on the screen. The medial angle was defined as the angle between the center of the medial malleolus, os naviculare, and the medial center of the distal head of the first metatarsal bone (see Figure 2A). Also the NF ratio was calculated (see Figure 2B). The foot length was defined as the length between the most distal point of the heel and the most proximal point of the big toe. The navicular height was the perpendicular distance between the os naviculare and a line between the points where the anterior and posterior part of the MLA first touched the platform. Statistical difference in medial angle and NF ratio between both group were tested by means of an unpaired t-test with an α of <0.05.


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)

Static foot geometry.Figure 2A: Medial Angle. Angle between the center of the medial malleolus, the navicular tuberculum and the medial center of the first distal metatarsal head. Figure 2B: Navicular height/foot length ratio.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3585310&req=5

pone-0057209-g002: Static foot geometry.Figure 2A: Medial Angle. Angle between the center of the medial malleolus, the navicular tuberculum and the medial center of the first distal metatarsal head. Figure 2B: Navicular height/foot length ratio.
Mentions: The same foot as was used for the plantar pressure analysis was used for the analysis of the static foot geometry data. All collected pictures were downloaded to a computer. Using a custom written Matlab® R2006a for Windows (The MathWorks, Inc.) program, the anatomical landmarks were marked on the screen. The medial angle was defined as the angle between the center of the medial malleolus, os naviculare, and the medial center of the distal head of the first metatarsal bone (see Figure 2A). Also the NF ratio was calculated (see Figure 2B). The foot length was defined as the length between the most distal point of the heel and the most proximal point of the big toe. The navicular height was the perpendicular distance between the os naviculare and a line between the points where the anterior and posterior part of the MLA first touched the platform. Statistical difference in medial angle and NF ratio between both group were tested by means of an unpaired t-test with an α of <0.05.

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