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The effect of plantar fasciitis on vertical foot-ground reaction force

Wearing, S.C. and Smeathers, J.E. and Urry, S.R. (2003) The effect of plantar fasciitis on vertical foot-ground reaction force. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 409. pp. 175-185. ISSN 0009-921X

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Abstract

Despite the implication that mechanical overload is fundamental to the development of plantar fasciitis, gait analysis has revealed inconsistent findings regarding its effect on lower limb loading. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the regional vertical ground reaction force in patients with and without plantar fasciitis. A pressure platform was used to determine the vertical ground reaction force beneath the feet of 16 patients with, and an equivalent number of patients without, unilateral plantar fasciitis while completing 10 gait trials at a self-selected walking speed. The magnitude and timing of ground reaction force for the entire foot and for the regions of the rearfoot, midfoot, forefoot, and digits were measured for each limb. The findings indicate that patients with plantar fasciitis make gait adjustments that result in reduced force beneath the rearfoot and forefoot of the symptomatic foot. In addition, increased digital loading was observed in patients with plantar fasciitis suggesting that digital function plays an important, and previously unidentified, protective role.