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A review of the effects of external pressure on skin blood flow

By Derek Santos, Tom Carline, R Richmond and R Abboud


The human foot is a complex mechanical structure consisting of bones, ligaments and joints. They act together to provide a robust\ud system capable of absorbing and dissipating the intermitted pressure that is subjected to its plantar surface during walking to prevent soft\ud tissue breakdown. Current studies suggest that plantar foot pressure may lead to soft tissue breakdown (e.g. neuropathic ulceration) and\ud hence research has so far concentrated on investigating the mechanical effects of plantar foot pressure on the foot’s integrity. This has\ud been possible through the widely available pressure and force platforms as well as in-shoe pressure systems. However, to understand how\ud plantar foot pressure causes soft tissue breakdown it is vital to investigate both the physiological–mechanical interactions between the skin\ud and plantar foot pressure. This review suggests that with the current advances in technology, the physiological response of skin blood flow\ud to mechanical plantar foot pressure should be investigated and correlated further, both during static and dynamic loading, by developing a\ud new system capable of either measuring both variables simultaneously or by synchronising two systems in real time

Publisher: Elsevier
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