This compelling work from our plastic surgery toemigos from Kobe and Tokyo. It is similar work to what Dr. Manish Bharara and I did — just to an entirely new clinical level.
High plantar flexor moment and limited ankle mobility are known to cause high plantar pressure under the forefoot. Stretching is an effective physical therapy for the limited ankle range of motion (ROM), and electrical stimulation is used to regulate the activity of antagonistic muscle via the action of reciprocal inhibition. Additionally, stretching paired with electrical stimulation has been reported to improve the limited ROM significantly. This study aims to investigate the influences of stretching on triceps surae (STR), electrical stimulation to tibialis anterior (ES), and the combination (ES+STR) on the ROM, kinematic parameters, and plantar pressure distribution during gait in patients with diabetes mellitus. Planter pressure and other parameters were measured before and after the intervention of ES, STR, ES+STR, or the rest sitting on the bed (CON) for 10 min. Pressure time integral under the medial forefoot decreased in the ES+STR compared to CON (P< .05). Interestingly, ES+STR increased passive and dynamic ROM on ankle dorsiflexion during gait and increased the lateral center of pressure excursion (P < .05). Furthermore, these changes were followed by decreased contact duration under the medial forefoot (P < .05). The combined therapy improves ankle mobility during gait and reduces the contact duration and the plantar pressure under the medial forefoot in patients with diabetes mellitus.