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Thread: Foot stiffness and footwear

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  1. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Wilton Street Glasgow

    Re: Foot stiffness and footwear

    The following thought experiment may help explain how a transverse arch extending from the tarsals ,along the metatarsals and into the forefoot can help increase foot stiffness during gait .

    First take a disc of wood with a thickness of 1 inch and a diameter of six inches and divide this into two equal semicircular parts . Next orientate the two arched sections vertically and directly facing each other and about six inches apart . Next create 5 equally spaced holes in the two facing surfaces about one inch up from the bases . Next take a length of bamboo cane ,of about six inches in length and fix its ends into hole 1 of the two facing arched sections .Do the same with the remaining 4 facing holes in the arched sections . Now imagine the whole thing glued together ( or ,if you prefer , fastened together with gut or some such material to better represent ligaments)

    You should now have a mental picture of something resembling a toast rack .
    Now pick up the construction by the two ,arched end pieces ,one in each hand . Rotate the hands inwards ,applying force and the construction flexes .

    Now picture a second construction but this time the holes are NOT placed along a straight line one inch up from the bases of the arched end pieces (respectively , the under tension transverse ligament and tarsals ) but instead place them following the curvature of the arch so that bamboo connectors (the metatarsals ) help form part of a transversely arched structure which better resists flexion (like a piece of guttering ) .

    It is also worth noting that in the first construction the sections of cane (metatarsals ) flex along their lengths but in the second example the cane is subject to compression and stretch which it is better able to resist .

    Last edited by Gerrard Farrell; 07-10-2017 at 04:54 AM.

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