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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Basmajian 1963.

The Role of Muscles in Arch Support of the Foot

updated
Basmajian JV, Stecko G. The Role of Muscles in Arch Support of the Foot. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1963 Sep;45:1184–90. PubMed #14077983.
Tags: etiology, muscle, biomechanics, plantar fasciitis, fun, pro, foot, leg, limbs, pain problems, overuse injury, injury, tendinosis

PainSci summary of Basmajian 1963?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This 1963 experiment showed that muscles in the arch of the foot only “kick in” under quite heavy loads: about 400 pounds. Although that sounds like quite a lot, loading may spike that high in an average person with every step, so the strength and responsiveness of the arch muscles may still be routinely important. We don’t have muscles there for nothing, of course. Nevertheless, this study pretty clearly shows that “the first line of defense” against arch collapse is the shape of the bones, the elasticity of ligaments, and probably the “stirrup” tendons from leg muscles (see Thordarson) — but not so much the strength of the arch muscles.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract

Simultaneous electromyography of six muscles in the leg and foot in twenty subjects reveals that only heavy loading elicits muscle activity. Loads of 100 to 200 pounds on one foot are borne easily by passive structures (ligaments and bones) that support the arches. With 400 pounds, the muscles do come into play, but even then many remain inactive. The first line of defense of the arches is ligamentous. The muscles form a dynamic reserve, called upon reflexly by excessive loads, including the take-off phase in walking.

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These three articles on PainScience.com cite Basmajian 1963 as a source:


This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: