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The effects of foot-ankle strengthening exercises and minimal footwear on gait kinematics and kinetics in older adults with plantar fasciitis

Grant number: 22/11379-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2023
Effective date (End): June 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Isabel de Camargo Neves Sacco
Grantee:Ronaldo Henrique Cruvinel Júnior
Supervisor: Irene Sprague Davis
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of South Florida (USF), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:21/00807-8 - Rehabilitation technology for prevention of foot musculoskeletal dysfunctions and treatment of people with Diabetes Mellitus: FOotCAre (FOCA) proof of concept and cost-utility analysis, BP.DD


Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common sources of plantar foot pain. As we age, the alterations in the plantar fascia makes the aging population particularly vulnerable to this condition. Assessing kinetics and kinematics gait changes in older adults in response to minimal footwear has not been done. What we knew until today is that foot exercise and minimal footwear programs are effective in increasing the size and strength of the intrinsic foot muscles of healthy adults. In addition, the use of minimal footwear is shown to improve the intrinsic muscle size in older adults. No study has yet evaluated the use of minimal footwear for daily use in older adults with plantar fasciitis. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the effects of foot-ankle strengthening exercises and minimal footwear on plantar fasciitis on gait kinematics and kinetics in older adults with plantar fasciitis. This study will be part of an ongoing full randomized controlled clinical trial in which participants between the ages of 50-70 years with active plantar fasciitis for a minimum of 6 months will be included. Participants in both groups will complete the assessments at baseline. They will return to receive their footwear and both groups will complete an 8-week transition program into their new footwear conditions. During the first 4 weeks of this, they will perform a foot exercise program. They will return to the lab at 3 months and at 6 months post-baseline for a follow-up to repeat the baseline measures. The experimental intervention involves the combination of foot strengthening/stretching and minimal footwear. Sagittal and frontal plane ankle and knee kinematics during gait along with three-dimensional ground reaction forces will be assessed at baseline and at the 3 month follow-up. Continuous data will be tested for normality using Shapiro-Wilks test. Each variable will be compared using a two factor ANOVA (2 groups - Minimal Footwear and Foot Orthosis, by 3 visits baseline, 3 months and 6 months). (AU)

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