Plantar fascia loading at different running speed: A dynamic finite element modeprediction

Tony Lin Wei Chen, Duo Wai Chi Wong, Yan Wang, Ming Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Loads on the plantar fascia could be influenced by running speed and relate to its pathology. This study calculated and compared plantar fascia strains under different running speed conditions using a dynamic finite element foot model and computational simulations. The model was previously validated featuring twenty bones, bulk soft tissue, muscles/ligaments, and a solid part of plantar fascia. A runner performed running trials under one preferred speed (PS), two lower (PS-10% and PS-20%) and two higher (PS + 10% and PS + 20%) speed conditions. The movement data were processed to drive musculoskeletal modelling and calculated boundary/loading conditions for the subsequent finite element analyses. The results show that peak strains of the plantar fascia increased with increasing running speed. From PS – 20% to PS + 20%, peak strain in the proximal and distal fascia regions increased by 96.78% and 58.89% respectively. Running speed could directly affect plantar fascia loading, which should be considered in running regimens and rehabilitation programmes. However, prescribing speed control for runners is worth pondering as it influences the trade-off between maximum single-step loads and loading frequency, which in coalescence determine the risk of plantar fascia injury and warranted further investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-21
Number of pages8
JournalHKIE Transactions Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Computational simulation
  • Finite element modelling
  • Plantar fascia
  • Running
  • Tensile strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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