Clinicians frequently assess movement performance during a bilateral squat to observe the biomechanical effects of foot orthotic prescription. However, the effects of rearfoot position on bilateral squat kinematics have not been established objectively to date. This study aims to investigate these effects in a population of healthy adults with a pronated foot type.
Ten healthy participants with a pronated foot type bilaterally (defined as a navicular drop >9mm) performed three squats in each of three conditions: barefoot, standing on 10mm shoe pitch platforms and standing on the platforms with foam wedges supporting the rearfoot in subtalar neutral. Kinematic data was recorded using a 3D motion analysis system. Between-conditions changes in peak joint angles attained were analysed.
Peak ankle dorsiflexion (p=0.0005) and hip abduction (p=0.024) were significantly reduced, while peak knee varus (p=0.028) and flexion (p=0.0005) were significantly increased during squatting in the subtalar neutral position compared to barefoot. Peak subtalar pronation decreased by 5.33° (SD 4.52°) when squatting on the platforms compared to barefoot (p=0.006), but no additional significant effects were noted in subtalar neutral.
Significant changes in lower limb kinematics may be observed during bilateral squatting when rearfoot alignment is altered. Shoe pitch alone may significantly reduce peak pronation during squatting in this population, but additional reductions were not observed in the subtalar neutral position. Further research investigating the effects of footwear and the subtalar neutral position in populations with lower limb pathology is required.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.