Biomechanical effects of rocker shoes on plantar aponeurosis strain in patients with plantar fasciitis and healthy controls.
ABSTRACT: Plantar fasciitis is a frequently occurring overuse injury of the foot. Shoes with a stiff rocker profile are a commonly prescribed treatment modality used to alleviate complaints associated with plantar fasciitis. In rocker shoes the apex position was moved proximally as compared to normal shoes, limiting the progression of the ground reaction forces (GRF) and peak plantarflexion moments during gait. A stiff sole minimizes dorsiflexion of the toes. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the biomechanical effects of rocker shoes lead to minimization of plantar aponeurosis (PA) strain during gait in patients with plantar fasciitis and in healthy young adults. 8 patients with plantar fasciitis (1 male, 7 females; mean age 55.0 ± 8.4 years) and 8 healthy young adults (8 females; mean age 24.1 ± 1.6 years) participated in the study. Each participant walked for 1 minute on an instrumented treadmill while wearing consecutively in random order shoes with a normal apex position (61.2 ± 2.8% apex) with flexible insole (FN), normal apex position with stiff insole (SN), proximal apex position (56.1 ± 2.6% apex) with flexible insole (FR) and proximal apex position with stiff insole (SR). Marker position data of the foot and lower leg and GRF were recorded. An OpenSim foot model was used to compute the change in PA length based on changes in foot segment positions during gait. The changes in PA length due to increases in Achilles tendon forces were computed based on previous data of a cadaver study. PA strain computed from both methods was not statistically different between shoe conditions. Peak Achilles tendon force, peak first metatarsophalangeal (MTP1) joint angle and peak plantarflexion moment were significantly lower when walking with the rocker shoe with a proximal apex position and a stiff insole for all subjects (p<.05). Changes in Achilles tendon forces during gait accounted for 65 ± 2% of the total PA strain. Rocker shoes with a stiff insole reduce peak dorsiflexion angles of the toes and plantar flexion moments, but not PA strain because the effects of a proximal apex position and stiff insole do not occur at the same time, but independently affect PA strain at 80-90% and 90-100% of the stance phase. Rocker shoes with an apex position of ~56% are insufficient to significantly reduce peak PA strain values in patients with plantar fasciitis and healthy young adults.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In people with diabetes, offloading high-risk foot regions by optimising footwear, or insoles, may prevent ulceration. This systematic review aimed to summarise and evaluate the evidence for footwear and insole features that reduce pathological plantar pressures and the occurrence of diabetic neuropathy ulceration at the plantar forefoot in people with diabetic neuropathy. METHODS:Six electronic databases (Medline, Cinahl, Amed, Proquest, Scopus, Academic Search Premier) were searched in July 2019. The search period was from 1987 to July 2019. Articles, in English, using footwear or insoles as interventions in patients with diabetic neuropathy were reviewed. Any study design was eligible for inclusion except systematic literature reviews and case reports. Search terms were diabetic foot, physiopathology, foot deformities, neuropath*, footwear, orthoses, shoe, footwear prescription, insole, sock*, ulcer prevention, offloading, foot ulcer, plantar pressure. RESULTS:Twenty-five studies were reviewed. The included articles used repeated measure (n?=?12), case-control (n?=?3), prospective cohort (n?=?2), randomised crossover (n?=?1), and randomised controlled trial (RCT) (n?=?7) designs. This involved a total of 2063 participants. Eleven studies investigated footwear, and 14 studies investigated insoles as an intervention. Six studies investigated ulcer recurrence; no study investigated the first occurrence of ulceration. The most commonly examined outcome measures were peak plantar pressure, pressure-time integral and total contact area. Methodological quality varied. Strong evidence existed for rocker soles to reduce peak plantar pressure. Moderate evidence existed for custom insoles to offload forefoot plantar pressure. There was weak evidence that insole contact area influenced plantar pressure. CONCLUSION:Rocker soles, custom-made insoles with metatarsal additions and a high degree of contact between the insole and foot reduce plantar pressures in a manner that may reduce ulcer occurrence. Most studies rely on reduction in plantar pressure measures as an outcome, rather than the occurrence of ulceration. There is limited evidence to inform footwear and insole interventions and prescription in this population. Further high-quality studies in this field are required.
Project description:Appropriate footwear for individuals with diabetes but no ulceration history could reduce the risk of first ulceration. However, individuals who deem themselves at low risk are unlikely to seek out bespoke footwear which is personalised. Therefore, our primary aim was to investigate whether group-optimised footwear designs, which could be prefabricated and delivered in a retail setting, could achieve appropriate pressure reduction, or whether footwear selection must be on a patient-by-patient basis. A second aim was to compare responses to footwear design between healthy participants and people with diabetes in order to understand the transferability of previous footwear research, performed in healthy populations.Plantar pressures were recorded from 102 individuals with diabetes, considered at low risk of ulceration. This cohort included 17 individuals with peripheral neuropathy. We also collected data from 66 healthy controls. Each participant walked in 8 rocker shoe designs (4 apex positions × 2 rocker angles). ANOVA analysis was then used to understand the effect of two design features and descriptive statistics used to identify the group-optimised design. Using 200 kPa as a target, this group-optimised design was then compared to the design identified as the best for each participant (using plantar pressure data).Peak plantar pressure increased significantly as apex position was moved distally and rocker angle reduced (p < 0.001). The group-optimised design incorporated an apex at 52% of shoe length, a 20° rocker angle and an apex angle of 95°. With this design 71-81% of peak pressures were below the 200 kPa threshold, both in the full cohort of individuals with diabetes and also in the neuropathic subgroup. Importantly, only small increases (<5%) in this proportion were observed when participants wore footwear which was individually selected. In terms of optimised footwear designs, healthy participants demonstrated the same response as participants with diabetes, despite having lower plantar pressures.This is the first study demonstrating that a group-optimised, generic rocker shoe might perform almost as well as footwear selected on a patient by patient basis in a low risk patient group. This work provides a starting point for clinical evaluation of generic versus personalised pressure reducing footwear.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Pes planus (flatfoot) is a common deformity characterized by the midfoot arch collapses during walking. As the midfoot is responsible for shock absorption, persons with flatfoot experience increased risk of injuries such as thumb valgus, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, metatarsal pain, knee pain, lower-back pain with prolonged uphill, downhill, and level walking, depriving them of the physical and mental health benefits of walking as an exercise. METHODS:Fifteen female college students with flatfoot were recruited. A wireless plantar-pressure system was used to measure the stance time, cadence, plantar pressure, and contact area. Parameters were compared between wearing flat and arch-support insoles using a two-way repeated measures ANOVA with on an incline, decline, and level surface, respectively. The significance level ? was set to 0.05. The effect size (ES) was calculated as a measure of the practical relevance of the significance using Cohen's d. RESULTS:On the level surface, the stance time in the arch-support insole was significantly shorter than in the flat insole (p<0.05; ES = 0.48). The peak pressure of the big toe in the arch-support insole was significantly greater than in the flat insole on the uphill (p<0.05; ES = 0.53) and level surfaces (p<0.05; ES = 0.71). The peak pressure of the metatarsals 2-4 and the contact area of the midfoot in the arch-support insole were significantly greater than in the flat insole on all surfaces (all p< 0.05). CONCLUSIONS:These results imply that wearing an arch-support insole provides benefits in the shortened stance time and generation of propulsion force to the big toe while walking on uphill and level surfaces and to the metatarsals 2-4 while walking on the level surface. More evenly distributed contact areas across the midfoot may help absorb shock during uphill, downhill and level walking.
Project description:Foot orthoses are routinely used to treat plantar fasciopathy in clinical practice. However, minimal evidence exists as to the effect of both truly custom designed foot orthoses, as well as that of the shoe the foot orthoses are placed into. This study investigated the effect of wearing custom foot orthoses and new athletic footwear on first-step pain, average 24-h pain and plantar fascia thickness in people with unilateral plantar fasciopathy over 12 weeks.A parallel, three-arm randomised controlled trial with blinding of participants and assessors. 60 participants diagnosed with unilateral plantar fasciopathy were randomised to either custom foot orthoses and new shoes (orthoses group), a sham insole with a new shoes (shoe group) or a sham insole placed in the participant's regular shoes (control group). Primary outcome was first-step pain. Secondary outcomes were average 24-h pain and plantar fascia thickness measured on ultrasound. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, 4 week and 12 week trial time-points.At 4 weeks, the orthoses group reported less first-step pain (p?=?0.002) compared to the control group. At 12 weeks, the orthoses group reported less first-step pain compared to both the shoe (p?=?<?0.001) and sham (p?=?0.01) groups. Both the orthoses (p?=?<?0.001) and shoe (p?=?0.006) groups reported less average 24-h pain compared to the control group at 4 and 12 weeks. The orthoses group demonstrated reduced plantar fascia thickness on ultrasound compared to both the shoe (p?=?0.032) and control groups (p?=?0.011).Custom foot orthoses in new shoes improve first-step pain and reduce plantar fascia thickness over a period of 12 weeks compared to new shoes alone or a sham intervention.Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN 12613000446763 ). Submitted on the 10th of April 2013 and registered on the 18th of April 2013.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Diminished somatosensory function is a critical age-related change which is related to postural instability in the older population. Footwear is a cost-effective way to modulate the postural stability by altering sensorimotor inputs via mechanoreceptors on the plantar surface of the feet. Compared to insoles with indentions in the entire surface, we innovatively developed a textured insole with site-specific nodulous protrudous. This study thus aimed to investigate the immediate effect of the nodulous insole and supporting surface condition on static postural stability and lower limb muscle activation for healthy older women. METHODS:This is a single-session study with repeated measurements. Twenty-three healthy older women stood on the firm (i.e., concrete floor) and foam surfaces with their eyes open in the three footwear conditions, namely barefoot, plain shoes and shoes with an innovative textured insole, for 30 seconds. Static postural sway and muscle activation of biceps femoris (BF), vastus lateralis (VL), tibialis anterior (TA), and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) of the dominant leg were measured during each testing condition. RESULTS:Compared to a firm surface, standing on the foam could significantly increase the body sway and lower limb muscle activation (p<0.05). When standing on the foam, compared to barefoot, wearing footwear significantly decreased the VL and TA muscle activation and minimize the postural sway in medial-lateral and anterior-posterior direction, while the influence is larger for the shoes with nodulous insloe compared to the plain shoes. No significant differences between the footwear conditions for static stability and muscle activation were observed on firm surface condition. CONCLUSIONS:For older women, footwear could improve the postural stability in the unstable surface, particularly the footwear with nodulous insole, with the underlying mechanism as enhancing the mechanoreceptors on the plantar surface of the feet.
Project description:AIMS:To assess the effect of data-driven custom-made footwear concepts on plantar pressure relief to prevent diabetic foot ulceration. METHODS:Twenty-four neuropathic diabetic patients at high risk of foot ulceration were measured for in-shoe plantar pressures during walking in four data-driven custom-made footwear conditions, an athletic shoe and an off-the-shelf non-therapeutic shoe. Two evidence-based footwear conditions (Shoe-A; Insole-A) follow a scientific-based design protocol, are handmade, and use in-shoe plantar pressure guided optimization. One evidence-based insole condition (Insole-B) uses a barefoot plantar pressure and 3D foot shape-based computer-assisted design and manufacturing (CADCAM) routine. And one insole condition (Insole-C) uses a barefoot and in-shoe plantar pressure and 3D foot shape-based CADCAM design and optimization routine. Patient satisfaction was scored on walking comfort, shoe fit, weight and appearance. RESULTS:All data-driven footwear conditions significantly reduced metatarsal head peak pressure compared with the non-therapeutic shoe (17-53% relief). Shoe-A and Insole-A showed the lowest metatarsal head peak pressures (mean 112-155 kPa, 90-98% of cases <200 kPa), significantly lower than for Insole-B and Insole-C (mean 119-199 kPa, 52-100% <200 kPa). Patient satisfaction was not significantly different between footwear concepts. CONCLUSIONS:This study proves the offloading efficacy of a scientific-based, handmade, and in-shoe plantar pressure data-driven approach to custom-made footwear design, and advocates its implementation to optimize diabetic footwear for plantar foot ulcer prevention.
Project description:The quantification of plantar pressure distribution is widely done in the diagnosis of lower limbs deformities, gait analysis, footwear design, and sport applications. To date, a number of pressure insole layouts have been proposed, with different configurations according to their applications. The goal of this study is to assess the validity of a 16-sensors (1.5 × 1.5 cm) pressure insole to detect plantar pressure distribution during different tasks in the clinic and sport domains. The data of 39 healthy adults, acquired with a Pedar-X<sup>®</sup> system (Novel GmbH, Munich, Germany) during walking, weight lifting, and drop landing, were used to simulate the insole. The sensors were distributed by considering the location of the peak pressure on all trials: 4 on the hindfoot, 3 on the midfoot, and 9 on the forefoot. The following variables were computed with both systems and compared by estimating the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE): Peak/Mean Pressure, Ground Reaction Force (GRF), Center of Pressure (COP), the distance between COP and the origin, the Contact Area. The lowest (0.61%) and highest (82.4%) RMSE values were detected during gait on the medial-lateral COP and the GRF, respectively. This approach could be used for testing different layouts on various applications prior to production.
Project description:The etiology of plantar fasciitis (PF) has been related to several risk factors, but the magnitude of the plantar load is the most commonly described factor. Although PF is the third most-common injury in runners, only two studies have investigated this factor in runners, and their results are still inconclusive regarding the injury stage.Analyze and compare the plantar loads and vertical loading rate during running of runners in the acute stage of PF to those in the chronic stage of the injury in relation to healthy runners.Forty-five runners with unilateral PF (30 acute and 15 chronic) and 30 healthy control runners were evaluated while running at 12 km/h for 40 meters wearing standardized running shoes and Pedar-X insoles. The contact area and time, maximum force, and force-time integral over the rearfoot, midfoot, and forefoot were recorded and the loading rate (20-80% of the first vertical peak) was calculated. Groups were compared by ANOVAs (p<0.05).Maximum force and force-time integral over the rearfoot and the loading rate was higher in runners with PF (acute and chronic) compared with controls (p<0.01). Runners with PF in the acute stage showed lower loading rate and maximum force over the rearfoot compared to runners in the chronic stage (p<0.01).Runners with PF showed different dynamic patterns of plantar loads during running over the rearfoot area depending on the injury stage (acute or chronic). In the acute stage of PF, runners presented lower loading rate and forces over the rearfoot, possibly due to dynamic mechanisms related to pain protection of the calcaneal area.
Project description:Neuropathic diabetic foot ulceration may be prevented if the mechanical stress transmitted to the plantar tissues is reduced. Insole therapy is one practical method commonly used to reduce plantar loads and ulceration risk. The type of insole best suited to achieve this is unknown. This trial compared custom-made functional insoles with prefabricated insoles to reduce risk factors for ulceration of neuropathic diabetic feet.A participant-blinded randomised controlled trial recruited 119 neuropathic participants with diabetes who were randomly allocated to custom-made functional or prefabricated insoles. Data were collected at issue and six month follow-up using the F-scan in-shoe pressure measurement system. Primary outcomes were: peak pressure, forefoot pressure time integral, total contact area, forefoot rate of load, duration of load as a percentage of stance. Secondary outcomes were patient perceived foot health (Bristol Foot Score), quality of life (Audit of Diabetes Dependent Quality of Life). We also assessed cost of supply and fitting. Analysis was by intention-to-treat.There were no differences between insoles in peak pressure, or three of the other four kinetic measures. The custom-made functional insole was slightly more effective than the prefabricated insole in reducing forefoot pressure time integral at issue (27% vs. 22%), remained more effective at six month follow-up (30% vs. 24%, p=0.001), but was more expensive (UK £656 vs. £554, p<0.001). Full compliance (minimum wear 7 hours a day 7 days per week) was reported by 40% of participants and 76% of participants reported a minimum wear of 5 hours a day 5 days per week. There was no difference in patient perception between insoles.The custom-made insoles are more expensive than prefabricated insoles evaluated in this trial and no better in reducing peak pressure. We recommend that where clinically appropriate, the more cost effective prefabricated insole should be considered for use by patients with diabetes and neuropathy.Clinical trials.gov (NCT00999635). Note: this trial was registered on completion.
Project description:High plantar pressures have been associated with foot ulceration in people with diabetes, who can experience loss of protective sensation due to peripheral neuropathy. Therefore, characterization of elevated plantar pressure distributions can provide a means of identifying diabetic patients at potential risk of foot ulceration. Plantar pressure distribution classification can also be used to determine suitable preventive interventions, such as the provision of an appropriately designed insole. In the past, emphasis has primarily been placed on the identification of individual focal areas of elevated pressure. The goal of this study was to utilize k-means clustering analysis to identify typical regional peak plantar pressure distributions in a group of 819 diabetic feet. The number of clusters was varied from 2 to 10 to examine the effect on the differentiation and classification of regional peak plantar pressure distributions. As the number of groups increased, so too did the specificity of their pressure distributions: starting with overall low or overall high peak pressure groups and extending to clusters exhibiting several focal peak pressures in different regions of the foot. However, as the number of clusters increased, the ability to accurately classify a given regional peak plantar pressure distribution decreased. The balance between these opposing constraints can be adjusted when assessing patients with feet that are potentially "at risk" or while prescribing footwear to reduce high regional pressures. This analysis provides an understanding of the variability of the regional peak plantar pressure distributions seen within the diabetic population and serves as a guide for the preemptive assessment and prevention of diabetic foot ulcers.