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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

Mean plantar pressure.Left panel: The MP distribution for the Malawian group; middle panel: The MP distribution for the Dutch group; Right panel: The difference in MP between the Malawian and Dutch group. The coloured squares indicate that the MP is statistically different (p<0.007) between the groups and the black small lines indicate that the groups were not significantly different. Note that for both groups only pixels are shown with a mean output above 0.5N
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pone-0057209-g003: Mean plantar pressure.Left panel: The MP distribution for the Malawian group; middle panel: The MP distribution for the Dutch group; Right panel: The difference in MP between the Malawian and Dutch group. The coloured squares indicate that the MP is statistically different (p<0.007) between the groups and the black small lines indicate that the groups were not significantly different. Note that for both groups only pixels are shown with a mean output above 0.5N

Mentions: The left and middle part of Figure 3 shows the mean MP for the Malawian and the Dutch group. Statistical analysis revealed that the MP is significantly (p<0.007) larger under the midfoot and lower under the heel and the metatarsal head II and III (see right part of Figure 3) for the Malawian group.


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)

Mean plantar pressure.Left panel: The MP distribution for the Malawian group; middle panel: The MP distribution for the Dutch group; Right panel: The difference in MP between the Malawian and Dutch group. The coloured squares indicate that the MP is statistically different (p<0.007) between the groups and the black small lines indicate that the groups were not significantly different. Note that for both groups only pixels are shown with a mean output above 0.5N
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0057209-g003: Mean plantar pressure.Left panel: The MP distribution for the Malawian group; middle panel: The MP distribution for the Dutch group; Right panel: The difference in MP between the Malawian and Dutch group. The coloured squares indicate that the MP is statistically different (p<0.007) between the groups and the black small lines indicate that the groups were not significantly different. Note that for both groups only pixels are shown with a mean output above 0.5N
Mentions: The left and middle part of Figure 3 shows the mean MP for the Malawian and the Dutch group. Statistical analysis revealed that the MP is significantly (p<0.007) larger under the midfoot and lower under the heel and the metatarsal head II and III (see right part of Figure 3) for the Malawian group.

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