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Effectiveness of Neuromuscular Stretching with Symmetrical Biphasic Electric Currents in the Cavus Foot

Lourdes María Fernández-Seguín Physiotherapy Department, University of Seville, Seville, Spain.

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Pedro V. Munuera Podology Department, University of Seville, Seville, Spain.

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Carolina Peña-Algaba Physiotherapy Department, University of Seville, Seville, Spain.

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Javier Ramos Ortega Podology Department, University of Seville, Seville, Spain.

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Juan Antonio Díaz-Morales Physiotherapy Department, University of Seville, Seville, Spain.

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Elena Escamilla-Martínez Nursing Department, University of Extremadura, Extremadura, Spain.

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Background:

Pes cavus is a structural deformity in which the increased plantar arch can lead to greater metatarsal verticality with the consequent excess of pressure under the forefoot zone (especially the metatarsal zone), causing pain and significant loss of functional capacity. We sought to determine whether neuromuscular stretching with symmetrical rectangular biphasic currents can reduce the pressure supported by this zone.

Methods:

This prospective, nonrandomized, longitudinal, analytical, and experimental controlled trial included 34 patients with pes cavus. Pedobarometric measurements were made using the footscan USB Gait Clinical System platform considering the toes and metatarsal heads, forefoot, midfoot, and hindfoot before and after performing stretching using a Med Tens 931 electrotherapy device. The measurements were repeated 7 days after the application.

Results:

With the Student t test for paired samples, we showed that there was a significant decline in metatarsal pressure (P < .001) in the zones of the first (P = .045) and third (P = .01) metatarsals and that this reduction was maintained 1 week after the plantar stretching.

Conclusions:

Plantar stretching with symmetrical rectangular biphasic currents is effective for the prevention and treatment of pes cavus metatarsalgia caused by excessive pressure. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(3): 191–196, 2013)

Corresponding author: Lourdes María Fernández-Seguín, PhD, Facultad de Enfermería, Fisioterapia y Podología, Centro Docente de Fisioterapia y Podología., c/Avicena s/n, 41009 Sevilla, Spain. (E-mail: lfdez@us.es)