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Achilles loads and load in plantar fascia

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by admin, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member


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    It not even the end of Dec and the Feb issue of Clinical Biomechanics has appeared with this nice finding (...which we sort of new anyway, but nice to have it confirmed):

    Effect of Achilles tendon loading on plantar fascia tension in the standing foot
    Clinical Biomechanics Volume 21, Issue 2 , February 2006, Pages 194-203
     
  2. The research finding that the magnitude of tensile force within the plantar fascia is directly related to magnitude of tensile force within the Achilles tendon during weightbearing is a main part of a lecture that I have given numerous times, "The 10 Functions of the Plantar Fascia". This recent paper confirms the findings of two previous studies that also showed that plantar fascial tension is directly related to Achilles tendon tension (Carlson RE, Fleming LL, Hutton WC: The biomechanical relationship between the tendoachilles, plantar fascia and metatarsophalangeal joint dorsiflexion angle. Foot Ankle Intl., 21:18-25, 2000; Erdimir A, Hamel AJ, Fauth AR, Piazza SJ, Sharkey NA: Dynamic loading of the plantar aponeurosis in walking. JBJS, 86A:546-552, 2004).

    I had explained this mechanical relationship between the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia by developing a mechanical model for the foot and leg in a series of Precision Intricast Newsletters in 2002 (Kirby KA: Foot and Lower Extremity Biomechanics II: Precision Intricast Newsletters, 1997-2002. Precision Intricast, Inc., Payson, AZ, 2002, pp. 139-152).

    Understanding this relationship between the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia is critical to understanding the mechanical nature of many of the pathologies that are present within feet and lower extremities of our patients.
     
  3. Berms

    Berms Active Member

    A portion of the Clinical Biomechanics article quoted at the beginning of this thread, states:-

    Interpretation
    Increasing tension on the Achilles tendon is coupled with an increasing strain on the plantar fascia. Overstretching of the Achilles tendon resulting from intense muscle contraction and passive stretching of tight Achilles tendon are plausible mechanical factors for overstraining of the plantar fascia


    Does the "passive stretching of the tight achilles tendon" the author refers to as a plausible mechanical factor for overstraining the plantar fascia include the general gastroc and soleus stretching we often prescribe as clinicians as part of the treatment for plantar fasciitis? If a tight or shortened achilles causes excessive load on the p.f., but passive stretching of the achilles also causes overstrain of the p.f. how do you address the issue of the problematic achilles and its effect on the p.f.? :confused:

    Adam
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2006
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