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What is the purpose of measuring pressure under the foot?

Plantar pressure measurement is a technique that is becoming more and more employed in clinical practice. It's utilized to assess for things like just how much force there may be under the feet, which could be vital to find out in those with diabetes mellitus who are at risk of a foot ulcer. Plantar pressures will also be helpful to help determine how people walk and how force shifts throughout the gait cycle. This can be useful information that will help clinicians prescribe and design foot orthotics. This really is such an essential topic that an episode of the live, PodChatLive was focused on this. PodChatlive is a Facebook live that has two hosts along with a different invitee on every show where they talk about issues of significance to podiatry and related issues. It is usually uploaded to YouTube and as an audio podcast.

In that show, they discussed plantar pressures and pressure mapping together with Dr Bruce Williams DPM from Indiana, USA. He is a Fellow and past President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and owner of Breakthrough Podiatry in NorthWest Indiana and has substantial knowledge on plantar pressure measurements, pressure mapping and their interpretation and clinical use. He utilises both the in-shoe method and pressure mat equipment in his center and has been doing so for nearly 20 years now. He is well published on this subject in peer reviewed scholastic publications, so is in a position to discuss this subject. In the episode of PodChatLive they talked about exactly what the centre of pressure is and how you can use it clinically to understand what is going on. They also discussed how pressure information influences his clinical decision making, especially foot orthotic design. They reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of in-shoe as opposed to the mat technologies and try to provide some advice to those who might be thinking of incorporating this type of service to their practice.