Changes in the plantar pressure distribution during gait throughout gestation

Ana Paula Ribeiro, Francis Trombini-Souza, Isabel de Camargo Neves Sacco, Rodrigo Ruano, Marcelo Zugaib, Sílvia Maria Amado João

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: The intention of this investigation was to longitudinally describe and compare the plantar pressure distribution in orthostatic posture and gait throughout pregnancy. Methods: A prospective longitudinal observational study was conducted with six pregnant women (mean±SD age, 32±3 years) with a mean±SD weight gain of 10.0±1.4 kg. Peak pressure, contact time, contact area, and maximum force in five plantar areas were evaluated using capacitive insoles during gait and orthostatic posture. For 1 year, the plantar pressures of pregnant women were evaluated the last month of each trimester. Comparisons among plantar areas and trimesters were made by analysis of variance. Results: For orthostatic posture, no differences in contact time, contact area, peak pressure, and maximum force throughout the trimesters were found. During gait, peak pressure and maximum force of the medial rearfoot were reduced from the first to third and second to third trimesters. Maximum force increased at the medial forefoot from the first to second trimester. Contact area increased at the lateral rearfoot from the second to third trimester and at the midfoot from the first to third trimester. Contact time increased at the midfoot and medial and lateral forefoot from the first to third trimester. Conclusions: Pregnant women do not alter plantar pressure during orthostatic posture, but, during gait, the plantar loads were redistributed from the rearfoot (decrease) to the midfoot and forefoot (increase) throughout pregnancy. These adjustments help maintain the dynamic stability of the pregnant woman during locomotion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-423
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Podiatric Medical Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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