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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

Regression coefficients for each sensor for the 3 most important predictors: AI (left panel), group (middle panel) and NF ratio (right panel).The coloured squares represent the regression coefficients for the sensors for which the parameter was an predictor.
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pone-0057209-g005: Regression coefficients for each sensor for the 3 most important predictors: AI (left panel), group (middle panel) and NF ratio (right panel).The coloured squares represent the regression coefficients for the sensors for which the parameter was an predictor.

Mentions: Figure 5 show the regression coefficients for the AI, group and NF ratio for the sensors in which the variable was selected in the regression model. The regression coefficients were positive at the mid foot region and negative at the heel and forefoot region for the AI, indicating that a higher AI (flatter MLA) causes more pressure under the mid foot and less pressure under the heel and forefoot. The coefficients for group were positive for the sensors at the proximal mid foot area and negative for the forefoot sensors, indicating that being a Malawian adult cause less pressure under the forefoot and more pressure under the proximal part of the mid foot. The regression coefficients for the NF ratio are positive for the proximal part of the forefoot and negative for the mid foot, which indicates that a higher NF ratio (a higher MLA) cause less pressure under the mid foot and more pressure under the proximal part of the forefoot


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)

Regression coefficients for each sensor for the 3 most important predictors: AI (left panel), group (middle panel) and NF ratio (right panel).The coloured squares represent the regression coefficients for the sensors for which the parameter was an predictor.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0057209-g005: Regression coefficients for each sensor for the 3 most important predictors: AI (left panel), group (middle panel) and NF ratio (right panel).The coloured squares represent the regression coefficients for the sensors for which the parameter was an predictor.
Mentions: Figure 5 show the regression coefficients for the AI, group and NF ratio for the sensors in which the variable was selected in the regression model. The regression coefficients were positive at the mid foot region and negative at the heel and forefoot region for the AI, indicating that a higher AI (flatter MLA) causes more pressure under the mid foot and less pressure under the heel and forefoot. The coefficients for group were positive for the sensors at the proximal mid foot area and negative for the forefoot sensors, indicating that being a Malawian adult cause less pressure under the forefoot and more pressure under the proximal part of the mid foot. The regression coefficients for the NF ratio are positive for the proximal part of the forefoot and negative for the mid foot, which indicates that a higher NF ratio (a higher MLA) cause less pressure under the mid foot and more pressure under the proximal part of the forefoot

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