Plantar pressure measurement is a method which is getting increasingly employed in clinical practice. It's useful to assess for things like just how much force there is under the foot, which could be crucial to find out in people that have diabetes that are vulnerable to a foot ulcer. Plantar pressures can also be used to help decide how people walk and how strain shifts during the gait cycle. This may be useful information to assist clinicians order and design foot orthoses. This really is such an fundamental problem that an episode of the chat show, PodChatLive ended up being about it. PodChatlive is a Facebook live that has 2 hosts along with a different invitee on each episode where they speak about topics of relevance to podiatry as well as related issues. It is usually submitted to YouTube and as an audio podcast.
In that show, they discussed plantar pressures and pressure mapping with Dr Bruce Williams DPM from Indiana, USA. He is a Fellow and former President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and owner of Breakthrough Podiatry in NorthWest Indiana and has substantial experience on plantar pressure measurements, pressure mapping as well as their understanding and clinical application. He makes use of both the in-shoe system and pressure mat equipment within his facility and has been doing this for almost two decades now. He is well published on this issue in peer reviewed scholastic journals, so is in a position to talk about this subject. In the episode of PodChatLive they reviewed what the centre of pressure is and just how it can be used clinically to understand what is happening. Additionally they discussed how pressure info impacts his clinical decision making, mainly foot orthotic recommending. They discussed the pros and cons of in-shoe compared to the mat technology and then try to provide some advice to those who may be contemplating incorporating this kind of service to their practice.