Characterisation of the dynamic vertical force distribution under the foot

  • A. Simkin
  • I. A. F. Stokes


Measurement of force distribution under the sole of the foot during walking can provide enormous quantities of data with modern recording techniques. Methods are described for presenting such data in pictorial, in parametric and in graphical form. Parametric characterisations include magnitude, timing and location of peak forces and ‘impulses’ (the force-time integrals), parameters describing the local concentration of force and the distribution of the ‘impulse’ over areas of the foot sole. Pictorial displays include force-time graphs for selected areas of the foot, display of movement of the centre of pressure on specific areas and cross-sections through the pressure distribution profile at a specified recorded instant. Such characterisations were considered useful if they provided information on pathological conditions of the feet. A ‘normal’ group was studied to give a baseline for comparisons. An example of abnormality, compared with the normal group, in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis is given. This demonstrates an abnormal distribution of force on the forefoot, and abnormal movement of the centre of pressure consistent with the patient favouring a painful region for weight-bearing.


Biomechanics Foot Force distribution Force plate Rheumatoid arthritis 


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Copyright information

© IFMBE 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Simkin
    • 1
  • I. A. F. Stokes
    • 1
  1. 1.Oxford Orthopaedic Engineering CentreNuffield Orthopaedic CentreOxfordEngland

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