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Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2007 Jan;22(1):127-9. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Regionalised centre of pressure analysis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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  • 1Division of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery, School of Health and Social Care, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, United Kingdom.



Rheumatoid arthritis patients alter their gait pattern to compensate for painful foot symptoms. The centre of pressure may be a useful indicator of these altered loading patterns. Our purpose was to undertake a comparison of the regionalised duration and velocity of the centre of pressure between rheumatoid arthritis patients with foot impairments and healthy able-bodied adults.


The progression of the centre of pressure through the foot, heel, midfoot, forefoot and toe regions was measured using an EMED-ST pressure platform. Patients walked at self selected cadence. Variables analysed were the average and maximum velocity and the duration of the centre of pressure (as % stance).


In comparison with able-bodied adults, rheumatoid arthritis patients had a statistically significant decrease in the average velocity of the centre of pressure in the total foot (P<0.001), heel (P=0.001) and midfoot (P<0.001) regions. The maximum velocity of the centre of pressure was slower in rheumatoid arthritis patients in only the midfoot region (P=0.002). During stance, the duration of the centre of pressure was longer in the midfoot (P<0.001) and shorter in the forefoot (P=0.001) in the rheumatoid arthritis patients.


Alteration of the foot loading patterns in patients with rheumatoid arthritis can be characterised by changes to the centre of pressure patterns. Off-loading the painful and deformed forefoot was a characteristic feature in this patient cohort.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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