How Running Affects Foot Posture and In-Shoe Plantar Pressures



Being a high-impact form of exercise, practising continuous running can cause injuries in the lower limbs due to excessive foot pronation.

The study aimed to ascertain the effect of 45 minutes of running on foot posture and plantar pressures.

116 individuals without any foot-related conditions were recruited.

Foot Posture Index (FPI) measurements were collected, with a folding screen being placed between the participant and the physician.

A baropodometric exam was conducted using an instrumented in-shoe insole system (Biofoot) to analyse plantar pressures, as the recruits walked a distance of 20 m.

Measurements were analysed only in the right foot to avoid breaching assumptions of statistical independence in bilateral limb studies.

Once measurements were taken, recruits were made to continuously run for 45 minutes on a 9-km long circuit.

FPI measurement and Biofoot tests were repeated to quantify changes in foot posture and plantar pressures after running.

The study found that FPI scores decreased after 45 minutes of continuous running, with the foot posture taking a more neutral position.

A significant decrease in mean plantar pressures was also observed after 45 minutes of running in the external, internal, rearfoot and forefoot edges.

A decrease in peak plantar pressures was recorded for all the areas analysed, being more prominent in the forefoot.

These findings could be of use to clinicians to achieve a better understanding of the pattern of plantar pressures after continuous running, and to devise better preventive mechanisms for running-related injuries.

References:

  1. Maria Bravo-Aguilar, Gabriel Gijon-Nogueron, Alejandro Luque-Suarez and Javier Abian-Vicen (2016) The Influence of Running on Foot Posture and In-Shoe Plantar Pressures. Journal of the American Podiatric Medial Association: March/April 2016, Vol. 106, No. 2, pp. 109-115

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