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Author

Xiong, Shuping
Ergonomics and Applied Biomechanics Lab
Research Interests
  • Ergonomic product design & development (especially footwear and body-fitted products)

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Load distribution to minimise pressure-related pain on foot: A model

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Title
Load distribution to minimise pressure-related pain on foot: A model
Author
Rodrigo, Asanka S.Goonetilleke, Ravindra S.Xiong, Shuping
Keywords
foot; Large deformations; Larger deformations; Load distributions; pain; Soft-tissue regions; Supporting surfaces; Tissue deformations
Issue Date
201307
Publisher
TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Citation
ERGONOMICS, v.56, no.7, pp.1180 - 1193
Abstract
The optimal force distribution to minimise pain or discomfort at the foot-shoe interface is still not known. Most shoe-related products attempt to distribute the load uniformly without much consideration to the bony and soft tissue regions. An experiment was conducted to first determine the pressure pain threshold (PPT) and tissue deformation on the plantar surface of the foot. Circular probes of areas 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0cm(2) at indentation speeds of 0.5, 1 and 2mm/s showed that PPT depends on the location stimulated, area of stimulation and the indentation speed. The results also showed that tissue stiffness is quite low for small deformations (<4mm), but significantly higher at large deformations (>4mm). The stiffness at the larger deformation region was positively correlated with PPT (r=0.63, p<0.001). The data were further used to develop a model with PPT, deformation and stimulated area. Practitioner Summary: Pressure at which there is an onset of pain is higher when a larger area of soft tissue is stimulated. Bony areas may be better suited to bear load on smaller areas to minimise pressure-related pain. Thus, manipulating supporting surface stiffness and surface contours can help minimise pain.
URI
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DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2013.797111
ISSN
0014-0139
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