The importance of plantar pressure measurements in clinical practice

Plantar pressure measurement is a method that is being increasing used in clinical practice. It is used to assess for things like how much pressure there is under the foot, which could be important to determine in those with diabetes who are at risk of a foot ulcer. Plantar pressures are also used to help determine how people walk and how pressure changes during the gait cycle. This can be useful information to help clinicians prescribe and design foot orthotics. This is such an important issue that an episode of the livestream, PodChatlive was devoted to it. PodChatlive is a Facebook livestream that has two hosts and a different guest on each episode where they discuss topic of relevance to podiatry and related topics. It is also uploaded to YouTube and as an audio podcast.

In that episode, they talked plantar pressures and pressure mapping with Dr Bruce Williams DPM is 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 and their interpretation and clinical use. Bruce utilises both the in-shoe system and pressure mat equipment within his clinic and has been doing so for almost two decades now. He is well published on this topic in peer reviewed academic journals, so is well placed to talk about this topic. In the episode of PodChatLive they discussed the what the centre of pressure is and how it can be used clinically to understand what is happening. They also talked about how pressure data influences his clinical decision making, especially foot orthotic prescribing. They talked about the pros and cons of in-shoe versus the mat technology and try to offer some guidance to those who may be considering adding this type of service to their practice.

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