Tag Archives: podiatry

Why are plantar pressures so important?

Plantar pressure measurement is a technique that is becoming more and more employed in clinical assessments. It can be helpful to assess for things like just how much stress there exists underneath the foot, which may be important to determine in those with diabetes mellitus that are vulnerable to a foot wound. Plantar pressures can also be used to help determine how people walk and how pressure shifts throughout the gait cycle. This can be useful information to assist podiatrists prescribe and design foot orthotics. This is such an fundamental subject that an episode of the live, PodChatLive ended up being focused on this. PodChatlive is a Facebook live which has 2 hosts along with a different invitee on every show where they explore issues of significance to podiatry as well as related issues. It's also submitted to YouTube and as an audio podcast.

In that episode, they spoke plantar pressures and pressure mapping together with Dr Bruce Williams DPM from Indiana, USA. He is a Fellow and previous President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and who owns Breakthrough Podiatry in NorthWest Indiana and has substantial experience on plantar pressure measurements, pressure mapping as well as their interpretation and clinical application. Bruce makes use of both the in-shoe method and pressure mat devices in his center and has been doing so for nearly two decades now. He is well published on this subject in peer reviewed academic journals, so is in a position to talk about this theme. In the episode of PodChatLive they discussed what the centre of pressure is and the way it can be used clinically to understand what is happening. They also talked about just how pressure data affects his clinical decision making, particularly foot orthotic prescribing. They discussed the advantages and disadvantages of in-shoe as opposed to the mat technologies and then try to offer some guidance to those who might be thinking about introducing this type of service to their practice.