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A comparison of two analytical techniques for detecting differences in regional vertical impulses due to plantar fasciitis

Urry, S.R. and Wearing, S.C. and Smeathers, J.E. and Grove, Kelvin (2002) A comparison of two analytical techniques for detecting differences in regional vertical impulses due to plantar fasciitis. Foot and Ankle International, 23 (2). pp. 148-154. ISSN 1071-1007

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Abstract

The vertical impulse distribution beneath the foot has been shown to be a useful objective method for evaluating gait and the efficacy of treatment programs. However, recent studies employing similar methods, but different analytical techniques, have reached divergent conclusions regarding the effect of plantar fasciitis on hindfoot, midfoot and forefoot impulses. The aim of the current study was to determine whether the impulse distribution beneath the hindfoot, midfoot and forefoot in subjects with, and without, plantar fasciitis was dependent on the analytic technique employed. A pressure platform was used to collect impulse estimates from 16 subjects with plantar fasciitis, and 16 control subjects, while walking at their preferred speed. The findings indicate that an impulse calculation incorporating the position of the center of pressure is more effective in detecting alterations in gait than the conventional method of estimating the impulse distribution beneath the foot. This study also demonstrates that subjects with plantar fasciitis possess modified gait patterns that are primarily manifest by a reduced hindfoot and an increased midfoot impulse, as defined by the pathway of the center of pressure.