Plantar pressure measurement of the foot

Plantar pressure measurement is a technique which is being more and more utilised in clinical assessments. It can be helpful to assess for such things as how much strain there exists under the foot, which could be essential to ascertain in people that have diabetes mellitus that are at risk of a foot ulcer. Plantar pressures are also helpful to help work out how people walk and how pressure shifts throughout the gait cycle. This is often useful information to assist clinicians prescribe and design foot supports. This really is such an important topic that an episode of the chat show, PodChatLive was devoted to it. PodChatlive is a Facebook live that has two hosts plus a different invitee on each show where they explore themes of importance to podiatry and also related issues. It is also uploaded to YouTube and as an audio podcast.

In that show, they spoke plantar pressures and pressure mapping together with Dr Bruce Williams DPM from Indiana, USA. He is a Fellow and past President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and who owns Breakthrough Podiatry in NorthWest Indiana and has considerable experience on plantar pressure measurements, pressure mapping in addition to their interpretation and clinical use. He utilises both the in-shoe method and pressure mat equipment within his center and has been doing this for nearly two decades now. He is well published on this subject in peer reviewed academic journals, so is well placed to discuss this topic. In the edition of PodChatLive they talked about exactly what the centre of pressure is and how you can use it clinically to comprehend what is going on. They also discussed how pressure info affects his clinical decision making, particularly foot orthotic prescribing. They discussed the pros and cons of in-shoe compared to the mat technology and try to offer some guidance to those who may be thinking of incorporating this type of service to their clinics.

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