Background: Toe-out foot positioning is increasingly analyzed as a compensatory body-mechanical strategy to reduce pain and joint constraints in people with degenerative joint disease during gait. However, its influence during functional tasks, such as sit-to-stand, has not been reported.
Research question: How uni- and bilateral toe-out foot positioning influence body-dynamics during a STS task?
Methods: The study was conducted on 15 healthy participants. Seven feet conditions were tested: neutral (N); right toe-out angle of 10° (U10), 20° (U20), and 30° (U30); bilateral toe-out angle of 10° (B10), 20° (B20), and 30° (B30). Execution time, trunk kinematic, vertical ground reaction force ratio as well as maximal knee and hip joint moments were analyzed and compared.
Results: A significant difference was found across conditions in the STS execution time (p = 0.036) showing a main effect on temporal parameters using both uni- and bilateral toe-out foot positioning. A significant difference between conditions was also obtained for the vertical force ratio (p = 0.018) and the maximal knee flexion moment (p = 0.008). Post-hoc tests demonstrated a significant difference on force ratio and on knee flexion moment only while using a more pronounced unilateral toe-out foot positioning.
Significance: The influence of toe-out foot positioning on body-dynamics during STS supports the idea of an alteration of body-mechanical strategy, as reported in literature gait studies. The results could have an impact on the management of patients using these strategies in order to reduce the onset of secondary joint diseases such as osteoarthritis.
Keywords: Ground reaction force ratio; Kinematics; Kinetics; Sit-to-stand; Toe-out foot positioning.
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