What Is Planted Flexion?

The plantiflexion is the name given to the movement of the foot that increases its angle of 90 degrees with respect to the tibia. This movement is also known as plantar flexion or plantarflexion.

Plantarflexion involves increasing the angle formed between the foot and the tibia. The increment of said angle is usually between 30 and 60 degrees. The opposite movement, which involves reducing the angle, is known as dorsiflexion or dorsalextension.

Illustration of Plantarflexion and Dorsalextension movements

The most common situations where plantiflexion is witnessed are when climbing stairs, when wearing high-heeled shoes or in some exercises that exercise the calf muscles of the legs.

Plant flexion is also seen when shooting a ball with the ball of the foot or in many typical ballet movements.

The study of plantar flexion movement has led to several developments in areas such as medicine and the design of humanoid robots.

Implications in medicine

In general, the plantiflexion movement, like the dorsiflexion movement, is not painful. In medicine, it is evaluated whether or not a patient experiences pain when planting flexion to make diagnoses of fatigue or abnormal stretching of the structures of the foot.

Plantiflexion is widely used in orthopedics to obtain information about patients who may have problems with the ankle or the joints in the foot. Some conditions that cause pain when performing the plantiflexion movement are:

Inferior tibiotalar ligament sprain

This ailment is caused by stress on the ligament when planing. It is common in soccer players and manifests itself in chronic pain even with mild planted flexion movements.

Posterior periostitis

Also known as the dancers’ heel, it manifests as an ailment in the back of the heel when performing the plant flexion.

It involves an injury to the cartilage and periosteum ligation at the rear of the lower tibia.

Periostitis of the trigone bone

It is diagnosed when there is pain in passive plantiflexion and limitation to perform the plantiflexion movement.

This ailment appears when the trigone bone becomes squeezed between the tibia and the tarsus causing swelling and pain.

Robot design and biomechanical analysis

Another important point of plantiflexion is its study for the design of robots and the performance of biomechanical analyzes of the human body.

The design of humanoid robots in the area of ​​mechanical engineering, implies in-depth knowledge of the plant flexion movement and the muscles involved for it.

Such robots are usually required to be able to perform activities such as running and jumping, which involve plant bending movements.

Robots designed with these characteristics can be used in fields as diverse as space exploration or medicine to study injuries suffered by athletes.

Plantiflexion is also important to analyze the biomechanical movements of the feet in the study of various human activities.

For example, the movements that involve the practice of a specific sport or even the movements that are carried out in recreational activities such as games with Coal-Hop hoops.

References

  1. Cluff T. Robertson D. Balasubramaniam R. Kinetics of hula hooping: An inverse dynamics analysis Human Movement Science. 2008; 27: 622-635
  2. Liu G. et al. (2006) Design and Kinematics Analysis of Parallel Robots for Ankle Rehabilitation .IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. Beijing, China.
  3. Lunsford B. Perry J. The Standing Heel-Rise Test for Ankle Plantar Flexion: Criterion for Normal. Physical Therapy. nineteen ninety five; 75 (8): 694–698
  4. Ombregt L. (2013) A System of Orthopedic medicine. Elsevier. 3ed.
  5. Segal D. Functional Bracing and Rehabilitation of Ankle Fractures. Clinical Orthopedics & Related Research. 1985; 39-45
  6. Villa C. et al. Evolution of vaulting strategy during locomotion of individuals with transfemoral amputation on slopes and cross-slopes compared to level walking. Clinical Biomechanics. 2015; (30) 623-628.

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