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  • Author: Emmanuel S. da Rocha x
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Emmanuel S. da Rocha, Álvaro S. Machado, Pedro S. Franco, Eliane C. Guadagnin and Felipe P. Carpes

Abstract

Purpose. To evaluate gait asymmetry during obstacle crossing by young and elderly adults performing normal and dual-task gait. Methods. Ten healthy young adults and ten elderly adults with mild cognitive impairment performed a gait protocol by stepping over a foam obstacle during normal gait and while performing a secondary task (Stroop task). Sagittal kinematics of the lead and trail limbs were analyzed. Statistical procedures involved analysis of variance and t tests at a significance of 0.05. Results. Many of the kinematic variables presented a main effect for group (young adults vs. elderly adults), where the elderly featured poorer gait performance. It was observed that gait velocity during obstacle crossing in normal and dual-task gait was similar between the preferred and non-preferred limbs in both the young and elderly. However, the elderly were slower during normal and dual-task gait. A main effect for the dual-task condition was observed. Kinematic asymmetries for obstacle crossing were more frequent in the elderly and especially during the dual-task condition. Conclusions. The results suggest that the elderly may require more compensatory adjustments after crossing an obstacle. The asymmetries observed among the elderly may contribute to higher risk of falling during perturbed gait.

Open access

Jose Ignacio Priego Quesada, Marcos R. Kunzler, Emmanuel S. da Rocha, Álvaro S. Machado and Felipe P. Carpes

Abstract

Purpose. Increased contact pressure and skin friction may lead to higher skin temperature. Here, we hypothesized a relationship between plantar pressure and foot temperature. To elicit different conditions of stress to the foot, participants performed running trials of barefoot and shod running. Methods. Eighteen male recreational runners ran shod and barefoot at a self-selected speed for 15 min over different days. Before and immediately after running, plantar pressure during standing (via a pressure mapping system) and skin temperature (using thermography) were recorded. Results. No significant changes were found in plantar pressure after barefoot or shod conditions (p > 0.9). Shod running elicited higher temperatures in the forefoot (by 0.5-2.2°C or 0.1-1.2% compared with the whole foot, p < 0.01) and midfoot (by 0.9-2.4°C, p < 0.01). Barefoot running resulted in higher temperature variation in the rearfoot (0.1-10.4%, p = 0.04). Correlations between skin temperature and plantar pressure were not significant (r < 0.5 and r > -0.5, p > 0.05). Conclusions. The increase in temperature after the shod condition was most likely the result of footwear insulation. However, variation of the temperature in the rearfoot was higher after barefoot running, possible due to a higher contact load. Changes in temperature could not predict changes in plantar pressure and vice-versa.