- Oral presentation
- Open Access
Acute effects of whole body vibration on foot sole sensitivity and plantar pressures during gait initiation
© Alfuth et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012
- Published: 10 April 2012
- Sensory Perception
- Loading Activity
- Sensitivity Threshold
- Perception Threshold
- Plantar Pressure
Sensory receptors in the skin of the foot sole show a site-specific sensitivity to local pressures and vibrations  and provide feedback during foot loading activities. Impaired plantar feedback has been shown to affect plantar pressures and kinematics during gait [2–5]. The present study investigated the acute effects of whole body vibration on plantar sensitivity and foot loading during gait.
Fifteen healthy subjects (28.4 ± 4.4 years) were tested before and after 3 minutes of whole body vibrations at a frequency of 30 Hz (bilateral stance on a Galileo® Med M Plus vibration trainer with slightly bent knees). Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments were used to test plantar sensitivity to light touch at the hallux and the heel. Plantar pressures during gait initiation were recorded using an EMED-ST4 platform.
In conclusion, high-intensity whole-body vibration affects plantar sensitivity by slightly increasing the sensory perception thresholds. However, this decrease in plantar feedback does not seem to be functionally relevant with respect to foot loading during gait initiation.
- Hennig EM, Sterzing T: Sensitivity mapping of the human foot. Foot Ankle Int. 2009, 30: 986-991. 10.3113/FAI.2009.0986.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Eils E, Behrens S, Mers O, Thorwesten L, Volker K, Rosenbaum D: Reduced plantar sensation causes a cautious walking pattern. Gait Posture. 2004, 20: 54-60. 10.1016/S0966-6362(03)00095-X.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Eils E, Nolte S, Tewes M, Thorwesten L, Volker K, Rosenbaum D: Modified pressure distribution patterns in walking following reduction of plantar sensation. J Biomech. 2002, 35: 1307-1313. 10.1016/S0021-9290(02)00168-9.View ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
- Nurse MA, Nigg BM: The effect of changes in foot sensation on plantar pressure and muscle activity. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2001, 16: 719-727. 10.1016/S0268-0033(01)00090-0.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Nurse MA, Nigg BM: Quantifying a relationship between tactile and vibration sensitivity of the human foot with plantar pressure distributions during gait. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 1999, 14: 667-672. 10.1016/S0268-0033(99)00020-0.View ArticleGoogle Scholar
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.