Plantar pressure measurement is a technique that is being increasingly utilised in clinical practice. It is utilized to examine for things like how much force there exists under the feet, that could be essential to ascertain in people that have diabetes that are prone to a foot ulcer. Plantar pressures may also be useful to help determine how people walk and how strain alters during the gait cycle. This can be useful information that will help podiatrists prescribe and design foot orthoses. This is such an important problem that an episode of the livestream, PodChatLive was devoted to it. PodChatlive is a Facebook livestream which has two hosts and a different invitee on each show where they talk about subjects of importance to podiatry and related subject areas. Additionally it is uploaded to YouTube and as an audio podcast.
In that episode, they talked 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 who owns Breakthrough Podiatry in NorthWest Indiana and has considerable experience on plantar pressure measurements, pressure mapping and their understanding and clinical application. Bruce makes use of both the in-shoe system and pressure mat equipment in his center and has been doing this for almost 20 years now. He is well published on this subject in peer reviewed academic publications, so is well placed to talk about this subject. In the episode of PodChatLive they discussed what the centre of pressure is and just how it can be used clinically to understand what is going on. They also talked about how pressure data affects his clinical decision making, particularly foot orthotic design. They reviewed the advantages and disadvantages of in-shoe compared to the mat technology and then try to provide some guidance to those who might be considering incorporating this kind of service to their practice.