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J Biomech. 1997 Nov-Dec;30(11-12):1081-5.

Mechanical energy contribution of the metatarsophalangeal joint to running and sprinting.

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Human Performance Laboratory, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Despite the fact that a number of studies have investigated lower extremity energy generation during locomotion, the influence of the metatarsophalangeal (MP) joint remained unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the relative contribution of the MP joint to the total mechanical energy in running and sprinting. A sagittal plane analysis was performed on data collected from 10 trained male athletes (five runners and five sprinters). The MP moment was assumed to be negligible until the ground reaction force acted distal to the joint. During running, once the ground reaction force crossed the MP joint, the MP moment was plantarflexor for the remainder of ground contact with average peak values of 59.9 Nm. The MP joint moment was plantarflexor throughout the stance phase for sprinting with average peak values of 112.4 Nm. Since the MP joint was dorsiflexing throughout the majority of the stance phase the joint absorbed large amounts of energy, on average 20.9 J during running and 47.8 J during sprinting. A lack of plantarflexion of the MP joint resulted in a lack of energy generation during take-off. Thus, the energy that was absorbed at the joint was dissipated in the shoe and foot structures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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