Resting foot posture and its effects on gait kinematics
Historically, therapists have attributed the variations in foot posture as contributing factors to the development of lower limb pathology. The authors of the present study sought to investigate the kinematic differences between patients with normal, pes planus and pes cavus feet to better understand their role in injury progression. Overall, they found that the cavus population displayed less motion during initial contact and midstance whereas the planus feet demonstrated reduced rearfoot ROM during pre-swing.
Ninety seven healthy participants were categorized based on normative data into one of three foot posture groups. The segmental relationship of the foot was assessed using tri-planar motion for each individual.The findings of this study verify the notion that static foot posture can impact the motion of the foot during gait. In order to come to these conclusions, three significant observations were identified in this study: greater rearfoot eversion and abduction in the pes cavus group, less dorsiflexion during initial contact and mid stance in the same group and reduced eversion of the midfoot in relation to the rear foot during pre-swing in the pes planus population.
It is not alarming that the alignment of the foot can have measurable differences of the kinematics during gait however whether this contributes to injury progression has yet to be verified. As therapists we need to ask ourselves, what is an acceptable variation in foot mechanics and alignment and when is an acceptable time to implement external support through taping and orthotics?
> From: Buldt et al., Gait Posture (2015) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Elsevier, Inc. Click here for the Pubmed summary.