Determination of Ankle and Metatarsophalangeal Stiffness During Walking and Jogging

Mager, Fabian, Richards, James orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4004-3115, Hennies, Malika, Dötzel, Eugen, Chohan, Ambreen orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0544-7832, Mbuli, Alex orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2104-5385 and Capanni, Felix (2018) Determination of Ankle and Metatarsophalangeal Stiffness During Walking and Jogging. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 34 (6). pp. 448-453. ISSN 1065-8483

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Forefoot stiffness has been shown to influence joint biomechanics. However, little or no data exists on metatarsophalangeal stiffness. Twenty-four healthy rearfoot strike runners were recruited from a staff and student population at the University of Central Lancashire. Five repetitions of shod, self-selected speed level walking and jogging were performed. Kinetic and kinematic data were collected using retro-reflective markers placed on the lower limb and foot, to create a three-segment foot model using the Calibrated Anatomical System Technique. Ankle and metatarsophalangeal moments and angles were calculated. Stiffness values were calculated using a linear best fit line of moment versus of angle plots. Paired t-tests were used to compare values between walking and jogging conditions. Significant differences were seen in ankle range of motion (ROM), but not in metatarsophalangeal ROM. Maximum moments were significantly greater in the ankle during jogging, but these were not significantly different at the metatarsophalangeal joint. Average ankle joint stiffness exhibited significantly lower stiffness when walking compared to jogging. However, the metatarsophalangeal joint exhibited significantly greater stiffness when walking compared to jogging. A greater understanding of forefoot stiffness may inform the development of footwear, prosthetic feet and orthotic devices, such as ankle-foot orthoses for walking and sporting activities.

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