Plantar pressure measuring is a technique that is getting increasingly employed in clinical practice. It can be used to examine for things like just how much pressure there exists underneath the foot, which could be vital to figure out in those with diabetes mellitus who are susceptible to a foot wound. Plantar pressures can also be helpful to help work out how people walk and how strain changes during the gait cycle. This may be useful information to assist podiatrists prescribe and design foot orthotics. This really is such an important subject that an episode of the livestream, PodChatLive was about it. PodChatlive is a Facebook live which has two hosts plus a different guest on every show where they talk about issues of importance to podiatry and also related topics. Additionally it is published to YouTube and as an audio podcast.
In that show, they talked plantar pressures and pressure mapping 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 understanding and clinical application. Bruce makes use of both the in-shoe method and pressure mat equipment within his facility and has been doing so for almost 20 years now. He is well published on this issue in peer reviewed educational publications, so is well placed to discuss this subject. In the edition of PodChatLive they discussed exactly what the centre of pressure is and just how it can be used clinically to learn what is happening. Additionally they discussed how pressure info impacts his clinical decision making, mainly foot orthotic design. They reviewed the pros and cons of in-shoe in comparison to the mat technologies and try to offer some advice to those who may be thinking of adding this type of service to their clinics.