Shape characteristics of the foot arch: dynamics in the pregnancy period.

OBJECTIVES: The aim is data detection and finding some load consequences generated by various mechanical or physiological changes in the interaction of the end segment of the body--the foot--and the environment.

DESIGN: Shape instability of the foot caused by e.g. loading of the foot by long-term frequency loads--walking, by extreme loads--sport, by hormonal changes--pregnancy, by aging, by pathologies, etc. The footprint surface was numerically described in 3D by means of stereo-photo-gram-metrical method--DMR digital relief model. Density of discrete points--250-400 per one print.

SETTING: Detailed DMR was constructed by means of triangular web including contour picture with the use of Atlas program. The specified generated web is characterized by triangles with a cca 1 mm side in the number of up to 4,500 elements per one footprint model.

RESULTS: The results enable us to deduce shape characteristics of DMR--the shape of the interactive boundary of the foot--the rest surface, to solve foot arch straining, to solve issues of discomfort and distribution of the pressure at the boundary of the foot--the rest surface, the shoe, etc. The gained findings can be interpreted in the field of prevention, therapy, orthopedics, podology, and enable us to come up with recommendations for the orthopedic practice and industrial use in the footwear production, etc. THE MAIN FINDINGS: The difference between volume reductions of the space under the foot arch characterizes the level of "fall" of the arch. This criterion is independent of the foot size, and is in 3D.

CONCLUSIONS: Shape characteristics of footprints in pregnant women and in the period after childbirth were calculated on the basis of the defined criterion. The results of the group of four women tested in three periods suggest that there is no clear tendency towards the foot arch falling/increasing of the foot arch "fall" during the pregnancy period.

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