Effect of Static Foot Alignment on Plantar-Pressure Measures During Running

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context:

Altered foot dynamics due to malalignment of the foot may change plantar-pressure properties, resulting in various kinds of overuse injuries.

Objective:

To assess the effect of foot characteristics on plantar-pressure-related measures such as maximum pressure, maximum pressure–time, and pressure–time integral underneath the medial aspect of the foot during running.

Design:

Cross-sectional.

Setting:

Laboratory. Participants: 8 men and 17 women.

Main Outcome Measures:

Static non-weight-bearing rear-foot and forefoot alignment and navicular drop were measured. Plantar-pressure data were collected while subjects jogged at 2.6 m/s on a treadmill. Maximum pressure, time to maximum pressure, and pressure–time integral of the medial side of the foot were extracted for data analysis. Multiple-regression analysis was used to examine the effect of arch height and rear-foot and forefoot alignment on maximum pressure and pressure–time integral in the medial side of the foot.

Results:

In the medial rear-foot and midfoot regions, only rear-foot alignment had a significant effect on the variance of maximum pressure and pressure–time integral. There were no significant difference effects in the medial forefoot region.

Conclusion:

Rear-foot alignment was found to be a significant predictor of maximum plantar pressure and pressure–time integral in the medial rear-foot and midfoot regions. This indicates that control of rear-foot alignment may help decrease plantar pressure on the medial region of the foot, which may potentially prevent injuries associated with excessive rear-foot eversion.

Lee is with the Dept of of Physical Education, Yonsei Univeristy, Seoul, South Korea. Hertel is with the Kinesiology Program, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.