foot function during gait

foot function during gait

(1) body decelerator (when supinated at heel strike phase of stance); mobile adaptor and shock absorber (when pronated at midstance phase of stance); (2) rigid lever (when supinated at toe-off phase of stance); foot arch height is depressed during pronation, with plantar soft-tissue structures (tendons and ligaments) becoming tense (i.e. storing potential energy); foot arch height increases during supination; stored potential energy converts to kinetic energy at the end of stance, allowing efficient toe off (see windlass effect; Table 1and Table 2)
Table 1: Phases of the gait cycle during walking
Phase of the cycleFeatures of the phaseProportion of the cycle
Stance phaseGround contact
Single-limb support
60%
40%
Double-limb support20%
Swing phaseNo ground contact
Limb in front of torso
Limb behind torso
40%
Table 2: The gait (walking) cycle
Phase of the cyclePeriodComment
Stance phase (60%)ContactFrom heel strike to foot flat
Foot unlocks to act as a shock absorber and adapt to irregularities in the ground surface
MidstanceFrom foot flat to heel lift
The total weight-bearing surface of the foot is in contact with the walking surface
PropulsionFrom heel lift to toe off
Foot is a rigid and stable lever
Swing phase (40%)From toe off limb 1 to heel strike (limb 1)
Body mass transfers from limb 1 to limb 2