Effects of arch height of the foot on ground reaction forces in running


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Abstract

There is a suggested link between running injuries and arch type of the foot. However, a distinct cause and effect relationship has not been established. Feet may be functionally categorized on the basis of arch height. The purpose of this study was to compare selected ground reaction force variables in running for different arch heights. Static height of the medial longitudinal arch was measured using a caliper, arch flattening during running was determined by video analysis, and ground reaction forces during running were recorded from a KISTLER force plate. Thirty-four subjects were divided into three arch height and three arch flattening groups, and single-factor analyses of variance were conducted to compare the groups. Arch height and arch flattening were not found to be significantly related. However, the initial medial force peak in the low arch group occurred significantly later than in the normal and high arch groups, and the anterior force peak in the low flattening group was lower compared with the medium and high flattening groups (P < 0.05). Both arch measurements were ineffective in accounting for the observed variability in the ground reaction forces in running. Specifically, the impact forces did not differ for the different arch height and arch lowering groups.

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