Evidence for early stance phase pre-loading of the plantar aponeurosis
© Caravaggi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008
Published: 26 September 2008
An inverse dynamics approach has been used to gain an insight into the mechanical behaviour of the plantar aponeurosis (PA) at different walking speeds. Mechanical  and finite element models  have evaluated its biomechanics in quasi static conditions. To our knowledge only one study has addressed the dynamic behaviour of the PA with relation to the Achilles tendon force . The aims of this study were to create a multibody model to quantify PA tension and to examine how PA tension changes with walking speed.
Three healthy young subjects with no history of foot injuries or abnormalities participated in this study. A linear ultrasound probe was employed to identify the proximal attachment of the PA onto the plantar heel. An ad hoc 12 markers protocol, modification of , was designed to record the kinematics of heel, metatarsal bones and toes at different walking speeds.
Preliminary results demonstrate model validity and reveal an interesting relation between PA tension and walking speed. The increase in PA tension with walking speed during early stance may represent a pre-loading protective mechanism to further support the longitudinal arch at higher impact forces.
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