Highlights from The 21st Biomechanics Summer School: Luke Kelly

In this, the second of my "not traveling all the way to Manchester to attend Biomechanics Summer School", we see what Luke Kelly has to say about the plantar fascia, or not!

In my first post on the stars of BSS I wrote about Kevin Kirby's new moniker, the Longitudinal Arch Load Sharing System (LALSS).

Luke certainly has a bit to say about all this!

Like Kirby, Kelly agrees the LA can absorb and return large magnitudes of mechanical energy whilst adapting to different task constraints. However, it has to also be stiff to allow forward propulsion and adequate application of force.

We have been told for many years this is achieved via the windlass mechanism, as proposed by Hicks in 1954, but what Luke is really interested in is not the plantar fascia or the ligaments, but...

The muscles.

Specifically, Kelly has asked the following research questions:

  1. can the intrinsic foot muscles produce sufficient force to alter foot mechanics
  2. can the intrinsic foot muscles actually support the arch

To answer these and other questions, Kelly devised a rather eleborate study which was published in 2014, comprising fine needle Electromyography, and 3D kinematic studies [1].

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical