Assessment of plantar pressure and balance in patients with diabetes

Arch Med Sci. 2010 Mar 1;6(1):43-8. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2010.13506. Epub 2010 Mar 9.


Introduction: Patients with diabetes for more than 10 years may have an increase in peak plantar pressure, considerable postural oscillation, balance deficit, alterations in gait pattern and an increased risk of falls. The aim of the present study was to assess the correlation between plantar pressure distribution and balance in patients with diabetes using a pressure platform (Footwork).

Material and methods: The study was carried out at the Human Movement Clinic of the Centro Universitário de Belo Horizonte (Brazil). The sample was made up of 18 right-handed individuals with type 2 diabetes - 14 females and 4 males - with an average age of 58.72 ±9.54 and an average of 18.56 ±6.61 years since diagnosis.

Result: Data analysis revealed that greater peak plantar pressure on the right hindfoot led to greater radial displacement (Rd) (r = 0.2022) and greater displacement velocity (r = 0.2240). Greater peak plantar pressure on the left hindfoot also led to greater displacement velocity (P) (r = 0.5728) and radial displacement (RD) (r = 0.1972). A positive correlation was found between time elapsed since diagnosis and peak midfoot pressure (r = 0.3752) on the right and left side as well as between BMI and plantar pressure on all regions of the foot.

Conclusions: The data reveal a correlation between postural oscillation and peak plantar pressure on the hindfoot.

Keywords: balance; baropodometry; diabetes; diabetic neuropathy; plantar pressure; stabilometry.