Context: Clinically, it has been suggested that increased activation of intrinsic foot muscles may alter the demand of extrinsic muscle activity surrounding the ankle joint in patients with stage II posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. However, there is limited empirical evidence supporting this notion. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a 4-week short-foot exercise (SFE) on biomechanical factors in patients with stage II posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. Design: Single-group pretest–posttest. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: Fifteen subjects (8 males and 7 females) with stage II posterior tibial tendon dysfunction who had pain in posterior tibial tendon, pronated foot deformity (foot posture index ≥+6), and flexible foot deformity (navicular drop ≥10 mm) were voluntarily recruited. Intervention: All subjects completed a 4-week SFE program (15 repetitions × 5 sets/d and 3 d/wk) of 4 stages (standing with feedback, sitting, double-leg, and one-leg standing position). Main Outcome Measures: Ankle joint kinematics and kinetics and tibialis anterior and fibularis longus muscle activation (% maximum voluntary isometric contraction) during gait were measured before and after SFE program. Cohen d effect size (ES [95% confidence intervals]) was calculated. Results: During the first rocker, tibialis anterior activation decreased at peak plantarflexion (ES = 0.75 [0.01 to 1.49]) and inversion (ES = 0.77 [0.03 to 1.51]) angle. During the second rocker, peak dorsiflexion angle (ES = 0.77 [0.03 to 1.51]) and tibialis anterior activation at peak eversion (ES = 1.57 [0.76 to 2.39]) reduced. During the third rocker, the peak abduction angle (ES = 0.80 [0.06 to 1.54]) and tibialis anterior and fibularis longus activation at peak plantarflexion (ES = 1.34 [0.54 to 2.13]; ES = 1.99 [1.11 to 2.86]) and abduction (ES = 1.29 [0.50 to 2.08]; ES = 1.67 [0.84 to 2.50]) decreased. Conclusions: Our 4-week SFE program may have positive effects on changing muscle activation patterns for tibialis anterior and fibularis longus muscles, although it could not influence their structural deformity and ankle joint moment. It could produce a potential benefit of decreased tibialis posterior activation.
- Flatfoot deformity
- Gait analysis
- Intrinsic foot muscle
- Overuse injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation