High Heels and …..Orthotics?

What better way to end the year than to talk about something that some of you have worn last evening. Not only clean underwear, but also high heels!

You have heard all about high heels here on the blog (if not, click here). Now here is some info that may be surprising! This study found that increased heel height caused increased plantar pressures (no surprises) BUT the use of an orthotic or arch pad, attenuated impact forces. IOHO not a reason to wear heels (though we DO like the way they look : )) but if you need to wear them (really? you need to wear them?), then maybe consider an insert to make it more bearable.

Ivo and Shawn                                              

                           

Appl Ergon. 2005 May;36(3):355-62.

Effects of shoe inserts and heel height on foot pressure, impact force, and perceived comfort during walking.

Source

Department of Industrial Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, No. 43, Kee-Lung Road, Sec IV, Taipei, Taiwan, 106 ROC. yhlee@im.ntust.edu.tw

Abstract

Studying the impact of high-heeled shoes on kinetic changes and perceived discomfort provides a basis to advance the design and minimize the adverse effects on the human musculoskeletal system. Previous studies demonstrated the effects of inserts on kinetics and perceived comfort in flat or running shoes. No study attempted to investigate the effectiveness of inserts in high heel shoes. The purpose of this study was to determine whether increasing heel height and the use of shoe inserts change foot pressure distribution, impact force, and perceived comfort during walking. Ten healthy females volunteered for the study. The heel heights were 1.0cm (flat), 5.1cm (low), and 7.6cm (high). The heel height effects were examined across five shoe-insert conditions of shoe only; heel cup, arch support, metatarsal pad, and total contact insert (TCI). The results indicated that increasing heel height increases impact force (p<0.01), medial forefoot pressure (p<0.01), and perceived discomfort (p<0.01) during walking. A heel cup insert for high-heeled shoes effectively reduced the heel pressure and impact force (p<0.01), an arch support insert reduced the medial forefoot pressure, and both improved footwear comfort (p<0.01). In particular, a TCI reduced heel pressure by 25% and medial forefoot pressure by 24%, attenuate the impact force by 33.2%, and offered higher perceived comfort when compared to the non-insert condition.

Classic Shawn and Ivo. From our archives “Training Theories and Dialogues”. Soon available for download on our Payloadz Store page.

Enjoy some classic and timeless talk on the anatomy and physiology of the core!

all material copyright 2009. The Homunculus Group/ The Gait Guys. All rights reserved. Please ask to use our stuff!

So what do these dogs tell us?

These are pedographs of a 12 year old male who was brought into the office last week by his mother with knee pain, bilaterally, R > L and bilateral hip pain.

Clinical findings are a left tibial and femoral leg length deficiency of over 1 cm; bilateral internal tibial torsion in excess of 40 degrees; no femoral retro or ante torsion.

Gait evaluation revealed moderate rear and midfoot pronation. He leaned to the left during stance phase on the left. Arm swing had bilateral symmetry.

So, what can you tell us about internal tibial torsion?

The tibial torsion angle is measured by looking at the angle of the tibial plateau and the intermaleolar line (see middle picture above). The distal tibia begins in utero having an angle of 0 degrees in the infant an “untwists” to 22 degrees by adulthood (see far right). Tom Michaud does a great job talking about this in this book “Human Locomotion: The conservative Management of Gait Related Disorders”. When it moves less than the requisite amount (possibly due to biomechanical. genetic or environmental influences), you get internal tibial torsion. This means the foot is pointed inward when the knee is in the coronal plane (ie facing straight forward)

Too much pressure for the holidays? Take a look at that midsole of yours…

In the vein of last weeks post on plantar pressures, we find that midsoles DO DECREASE plantar pressures, especially across the midfoot (30% less pressure in this study), again dependent on foot type (In this study, low vs high arched individuals). They also INCREASE plantar contact area. Contact area can be useful for helping to influence biomechanics of different foot types (often more contact area = more force attenuation)

We also saw that they increase pressures LATERALLY (see our post here).

Bottom line? You need to look at foot type and remember that “shoes are medicine”. Watch what you are prescribing and think about what you are trying to accomplish. There is no substitute for good biomechanics.

We are The Gait Guys. Bringing you the best of gait, each week.

Shoe Types and plantar pressures

J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2009 Jul-Aug;99(4):330-8. Effect of running shoe type on the distribution and magnitude of plantar pressures in individuals with low- or high-arched feet. Molloy JM, Christie DS, Teyhen DS, Yeykal NS, Tragord BS, Neal MS, Nelson ES, McPoil T. Source US Army-Baylor University Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy, Ft Sam Houston, TX 78234-6138, USA. Joseph.Molloy@amedd.army.mil

Abstract BACKGROUND:

Research addressing the effect of running shoe type on the low- or high-arched foot during gait is limited. We sought 1) to analyze mean plantar pressure and mean contact area differences between low- and high-arched feet across three test conditions, 2) to determine which regions of the foot (rearfoot, midfoot, and forefoot) contributed to potential differences in mean plantar pressure and mean contact area, and 3) to determine the association between the static arch height index and the dynamic modified arch index.

METHODS:

Plantar pressure distributions for 75 participants (40 low arched and 35 high arched) were analyzed across three conditions (nonshod, motion control running shoes, and cushioning running shoes) during treadmill walking.

RESULTS:

In the motion control and cushioning shoe conditions, mean plantar contact area increased in the midfoot (28% for low arched and 68% for high arched), whereas mean plantar pressure decreased by approximately 30% relative to the nonshod condition. There was moderate to good negative correlation between the arch height index and the modified arch index.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cushioning and motion control running shoes tend to increase midfoot mean plantar contact area while decreasing mean plantar pressure across the low- or high-arched foot.

all material copyright 2012  The Gait Guys/ The Homunculus Group. Please ask before using our stuff or Santa will bring you athletes foot this holiday season. 

Hiya Gait Guys! I have cross over gait…watched your vids on adopting new style of running (imaginary lines etc) and want to introduce the new way of running i.e. not running on a tightrope!! How quickly can I introduce this new method? I currently run 20 miles per week, generally 3-6 mile runs. I am doing some hip and glute medius strengthening at the same time. Do I introduce it a few miles at a time as I realise it will be working new muscles and how cautious should I be? Thanks

hi !

We will answer this in podcast 19

should launch this week !

thanks for your great question

The Gait Guys

Podcast #18: Treadmills, ‘Shrooms & Santa

If you do not split a gut laughing by the time the band plays there is something wrong with you ! Who says gait stuff isn’t entertaining !
Perhaps our best podcast to date ? You decide.

Permalink URL
http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/pod-18-treadmills-shrooms-santa

itunes link:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138

Topics: Treadmills, neuroreceptors, foot types, hip biomechanixcs, gait cycle

Neuroscience piece link:

http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/3136.html

1. from Eric on our FB page:

a. Had a 9yr old girl for a shoe fitting recently. She had a forefoot valgus, with a rearfoot that is neutral or slightly varus. Fairly high arch and rigid Midfoot for a child that age as well. usually a child’s foot is super flexible so this makes me wonder if it’s a compensation for a true FF varus. How do I tell if he has an anatomic FF valgus vs a compensated version?

b. I asked Blaise Dubois his opinion on Treadmill vs outdoor running and he mentioned that the literature indicates TM’s aren’t much different than outdoor. He cites (Wank 1998). To me, running feels completely different and I can’t run nearly as efficiently on a TM as outdoor. i know some people are the opposite, which i subscribe to specificity of training.

the question i have is what basis do you use for your opinion on different motor patterns? i agree with you, but the literature seems to disagree. this is a piece from cybex so of course it will be “pro-treadmill”, but they quote several studies that concur with Wank… http://media.cybexintl.com/cybexinstitute/research/Truth_on_Fit_Apr10.pdf

hope i’m not sending too many questions. i figure you can ignore them if you have too many from other listeners.

http://media.cybexintl.com/cybexinstitute/research/Truth_on_Fit_Apr10.pdf
media.cybexintl.com
2. On the Hip Bio Pt 6 you mention ext rot leg to gain leg length.  This one has been racking my brain.  I could see how this could happen if the person supinates the foot at the same time, but is there some other external rotating mechanism occurring in the hip that would cause this lengthening?  Thanks,Ryan

___________

Hi Gait Guys,

I am a chiropractor in South Africa, and find gait, biomechanics and running fascinating…I’m hoping to become a true gait geek one day.Reading your blog has taught me so much, you guys seem to look at gait from every angle and don’t take things at face value.

I would like to find out about your Shoe Fit Certification Program. Can people from outside the USA complete the course? Would I be able to take the exam online? and would it give me any creditation in South Africa

 Hope to hear from you soon.

 Regards, Claire

3. I have been watching your video’s on you tube.  I have a cavus foot in which I have had severe nerve pain, why is the high arch caused by nerve pain?

And would any of your exercises help with my nerve pain

Thanks,Wendy

___________
4. Hi guys,
Found your youtube channel. Very interesting stuff. Have started reading up on the whole gait cycle. Its very interesting.
I have a quick question that I hope that you can help me with:
Are you aware of any correlation of hip impingement (cam/pincer) in terms of having an irregular gait cycle?
I am suffering from both CAM & PINCER impingement in my right hip. Had surgery in January, but they did not shave sufficiently off the bone, so going back to surgery soon.
I am therefore interested in seeing how surgery possible could help me with bettering my walk and strain on my lower back / leg / foot. And also in terms of looking into some theory on how to retrain myself in walking cycles.
The problem is, that this kind of rehab/research is not available here in Denmark. So would appreciate if you are aware of any research on the above, and would be able to point me in the direction of that.
Thank you – and keep those great videos coming. 🙂
Best,
Terje (Denmark)

Shoe News You can Use…

The Heel Counter– the back of the upper

This is the back of the shoe that offers structure (just squeeze the back of a shoe. this is the rigid part you feel between your thumb and 1st finger, unless of course, you are using your teeth). This is often part of or integrated with the upper.

A strong, deep heel counter with medial and lateral support is important for motion control; It offers something for the calcaneus (heel bone) to bump up against when as it is everting (moving laterally) during pronation. Look at folks that have a bump on the outside of their heel (particularly the ladies(sorry, true); this is often called a “pump bump”). Now look at the inside of their shoes. See that worn away area on the inside of the back of the shoe? Now you know where that worn away area is coming from!

Lateral support especially for people who invert a great deal or when you’re going to place an orthotic in the shoe which inverts the foot a great deal.  The lateral counter provides the foot (or orthotic) something to give resistance against.  The lateral counter needs to extend at least to the base of the fifth metatarsal, otherwise it can affect the foot during propulsion. A deep heel pocket in the shoe helps to limit the motion of the calcaneus and will also allow space for an orthotic. The heel counter should also grip right above the calcaneus, hugging the Achilles tendon.

We know you want to know more. We can help. Take the National Shoe Fit Certification Program. If you like, sit for the exam and get certified as well. Email us for details thegaitguys@gmail.com

The Gait Guys. We’re your heel counter!


all material copyright 2012 The Homunculus Group/ The Gait Guys. All rights reserved. If you want to use our stuff, please ask. If not, Captain Cunieform may pay you a visit…

Gait Forensics: Why the government and their cameras will get it right

On Podcast 17 (click here for a link to our iTunes account) we mentioned and shared a brief snippet from a recent Nova Now (video.pbs.org) entitled “How the Brain Works”. In this podcast we discuss astrophysicist extraordinaire Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s thoughts on how vision can fool us because of 2 basic types of neuroreceptors, one that detects motion while the other suppresses the background. This occurs when we are tracking an object in something called smooth pursuit.  In other words, the brain doesn’t pay attention to everything our eyes look at.  The brain just cannot process all of the visual information accurately. This is a handicap as a human. It is what can make us good at some aspects of vision and less good at others, the question is “Can this be taught and refined ?”  Great basketball players for example can see the the entire court and see plays developing. Wayne Gretzky was also reportedly great at this. This is what led him to say “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where the puck currently is.”  Watch any youth soccer  game and you will see just the opposite. You will see a hoard of little arms and legs all huddled around the soccer ball, no play is developing rather they are all in the moment competing to get the soccer ball.

Why are we talking about this from this perspective ?  Well there have been continued developments in the government’s gait recognition software, something we refer to as “Gait Forensics”.  Here are 2 links.

1. http://www.dnaindia.com/scitech/report_now-cameras-can-identify-thieves-from-their-walk_1743650

2. http://rt.com/news/identify-walk-system-britain-668/

Computers will likely have the advantage of gathering all of the info on a persons gait. It will not get caught up on the face or the clothes, there will be no discrimination. The software will likely capture head carriage, arm swing, stride length, step length, cadence, postural characteristics and so much more.  It will be more information than the human will likely be able to process because computers will not likely suppress any aspects of a persons gait like we mentioned in the opening paragraphs of this blog piece. To the computer, all  parameters will have equal and top priority, at least in gathering information.  Interpretation remains another matter. But we are most sure that in time that too will be ironed out.

Shawn and Ivo

Neuromechanics?  This early in the morning?

It has been a while since we have done a neuromechanics post. While doing some research for one of our PODcasts, We ran across this paper: http://www.ajronline.org/content/184/3/953.full

It’s title?

Midbrain Ataxia: An Introduction to the Mesencephalic Locomotor Region and the Pedunculopontine Nucleus

Yikes! What a mouthful!

What’s the bottom line?

The paper review a condition called “gait ataxia”. In plain English this means “aberrant or unsteady” gait. Things which usually cause gait ataxia originate in an area of the brain called the cerebellum, which coordinates all muscle activity. If you drink to much alcohol, it affects your cerebellum and you have a “wobbly” gait : ).

This paper looks at another area of the brain called the midbrain. It is the top part of the brainstem and contains an important gait integration and initiation center called the “midbrain locomotor nucleus”. The paper looks at 3 different cases and has some cool MRI images to see, along with alot of fancy neurological words and pathways.

Whenever we see gait ataxia, we think of impaired proprioception (look here for a bunch of posts on that, or at this post specifically).

There are many factors to consider when evaluating ataxic (or wobbly) gait, and this just gives us all one more place to look.

The Gait Guys. Making you smarter every day!