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Effects of Novel Inverted Rocker Orthoses for First Metatarsophalangeal Joint on Gastrocnemius Muscle Electromyographic Activity during Running: A Cross-Sectional Pilot Study

Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Podiatry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Faculty of Sport Sciences, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Villaviciosa de Odón, 28670 Madrid, Spain
Department of Physiotherapy, University of Seville, c/Avicena, s/n, 41009 Seville, Spain
Applied Science of Metropolia Univesity, Podiatry Department, 01600 Helsinki, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(11), 3205;
Received: 15 April 2020 / Revised: 31 May 2020 / Accepted: 3 June 2020 / Published: 5 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors for Gait, Human Movement Analysis, and Health Monitoring)
Background: The mobility of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (I MPTJ) has been related to the proper windlass mechanism and the triceps surae during the heel-off phase of running gait; the orthopedic treatment of the I MPTJ restriction has been made with typical Morton extension orthoses (TMEO). Nowadays it is unclear what effects TMEO or the novel inverted rocker orthoses (NIRO) have on the EMG activity of triceps surae during running. Objective: To compare the TMEO effects versus NIRO on EMG triceps surae on medialis and lateralis gastrocnemius activity during running. Study design: A cross-sectional pilot study. Methods: 21 healthy, recreational runners were enrolled in the present research (mean age 31.41 ± 4.33) to run on a treadmill at 9 km/h using aleatory NIRO of 6 mm, NIRO of 8 mm, TMEO of 6 mm, TMEO of 8 mm, and sports shoes only (SO), while the muscular EMG of medial and lateral gastrocnemius activity during 30 s was recorded. Statistical intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) to test reliability was calculated and the Wilcoxon test of all five different situations were tested. Results: The reliability of values was almost perfect. Data showed that the gastrocnemius lateralis increased its EMG activity between SO vs. NIRO-8 mm (22.27 ± 2.51 vs. 25.96 ± 4.68 mV, p < 0.05) and SO vs. TMEO-6mm (22.27 ± 2.51 vs. 24.72 ± 5.08 mV, p < 0.05). Regarding gastrocnemius medialis, values showed an EMG notable increase in activity between SO vs. NIRO-6mm (22.93 ± 2.1 vs. 26.44 ± 3.63, p < 0.001), vs. NIRO-8mm (28.89 ± 3.6, p < 0.001), and vs. TMEO-6mm (25.12 ± 3.51, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Both TMEO and NIRO have shown an increased EMG of the lateralis and medialis gastrocnemius muscles activity during a full running cycle gait. Clinicians should take into account the present evidence when they want to treat I MTPJ restriction with orthoses, and consider the inherent triceps surae muscular cost relative to running economy. View Full-Text
Keywords: triceps surae; first metatarsophalangeal joint; surface electromyography triceps surae; first metatarsophalangeal joint; surface electromyography
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Sánchez-Gómez, R.; Romero-Morales, C.; Gómez-Carrión, Á.; De-la-Cruz-Torres, B.; Zaragoza-García, I.; Anttila, P.; Kantola, M.; Ortuño-Soriano, I. Effects of Novel Inverted Rocker Orthoses for First Metatarsophalangeal Joint on Gastrocnemius Muscle Electromyographic Activity during Running: A Cross-Sectional Pilot Study. Sensors 2020, 20, 3205.

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