What is it?
Static analysis, also known as baropodometry, is the study of the pressure that acts between the plantar surface of the foot and the support surface in a static position. The term borapodometry is derived from Latin:
BARO = PRESSURE PODO = FEET METRY = MEASURE
Therefore, baropodometry is the measurement of plantar pressures, allowing an evaluation of the plantar pressure distribution and also of the center of pressure (CoP), which corresponds to the position of the resulting vector from the ground reaction forces.
Why is it important?
Baropodometry allows an objective assessment of plantar pressure distribution, essential for the detection and identification of factors that trigger foot injuries and, consequently, the musculoskeletal system. Thus, it allows understanding and quantifying the biomechanical defects of the foot and verifying the evolution of the patient during the treatment or if it is necessary to modify it.
The information derived from the plantar pressure analysis is important in several areas, such as:
Biomechanics and gait analysis;
Assessment of diabetic foot and footwear prescription;
Analysis of sports performance and injury prevention;
Assessment of body posture and progress monitoring;
Rehabilitation support systems.
How to measure and what does it measure?
There are three methods of measuring plantar pressure: pressure platforms, walking mats and insoles with integrated sensors. Let’s focus on the first option, which is the simplest and most widely used in the clinical field. An example on the market is PhysioSensing (Figure 1), a portable baropodometric platform.
Figure 1 – PhysioSensing, pressure platform, by Sensing Future Technologies.
PhysioSensing measures plantar pressure through its 1600 sensors in an area of 40×40 cm, with an acquisition frequency of 100 Hz. In addition to evaluating the plantar load distribution, it allows the analysis of the average and maximum pressure applied on the feet, area of contact and the plantar arch index (normal, high or flat).
The following figure shows an example of a static analysis, where the red areas show the highest pressure and the blue areas are the lightest. This allows the identification, in this case, of an abnormal distribution of pressure in the feet.
Figure 2 – Example of a static analysis with the PhysioSensing software.
In short, the static analysis is an examination that allows characterization of the feet quickly and in detail and can also be a useful complement to validate clinical practice and generate better results for the patient.
Cláudia Tonelo Sensing Future Technologies