Plantar pressure measurement is a technique that is being more and more utilised in clinical evaluations. It can be useful to examine for things like how much force there is underneath the feet, which may be crucial to figure out in those with diabetes who are in danger of a foot ulcer. Plantar pressures will also be useful to help determine how people walk and the pressure shifts throughout the gait cycle. This may be useful information that will help podiatrists prescribe and design foot supports. This really is such an fundamental issue that an episode of the livestream, PodChatLive was about it. PodChatlive is a Facebook live which has two hosts and a different invitee on every show where they discuss themes of relevance to podiatry and also related topics. Additionally it is uploaded to YouTube and as an audio podcast.
In that show, they spoke plantar pressures and pressure mapping together with Dr Bruce Williams DPM from Indiana, USA. Bruce is a Fellow and previous 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 in addition to their understanding and clinical use. He makes use of both the in-shoe method and pressure mat devices within his center and has been doing this for nearly 20 years now. He is well published on this issue in peer reviewed scholastic journals, so is well placed to talk about this topic. In the episode of PodChatLive they reviewed what the centre of pressure can be and just how it can be used clinically to understand what is going on. Additionally they discussed how pressure info influences his clinical decision making, particularly foot orthotic prescribing. They talked about the advantages and disadvantages of in-shoe as opposed to the mat technologies and try to provide some guidance to those who might be thinking about incorporating this type of service to their practice.