Purpose: Due to the vital role that blood flow plays in maintaining tissue health, compromised blood flow can prevent effective tissue healing. An adducted hallux, as often seen inside a narrow shoe, may put passive tension on the abductor hallucis, consequently compressing the lateral plantar artery (LPA) into the calcaneus and thus restricting blood flow. The purpose of this study was to compare blood flow within the LPA before and after passive hallux adduction (PHA). Methods: Forty-five healthy volunteers (20 female, 25 male; age = 24.8 ± 6.8 yr; height = 1.7 ± 0.1 m; weight = 73.4 ± 13.5 kg) participated in this study. Blood velocity and vessel diameter measurements were obtained using ultrasound imaging (L8-18i transducer, GE Logiq S8). The LPA was imaged deep to abductor hallucis for 120 seconds: 60 seconds at rest followed by 60 seconds of PHA. Maximal PHA was performed by applying pressure to the medial side of the proximal phalanx of the hallux. Blood flow was then calculated in mL/min, and pre-PHA blood flow was compared to blood flow during PHA. Results: Log transformed data was used to run a paired t-test between the preadduction and postadduction blood flow. The volume of blood flow was 22.2% lower after PHA compared to before (–0.250 ± 0.063, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Although PHA is only a simulation of what would happen to the hallux inside of a narrow shoe, our preliminary findings of decreased blood flow through PHA suggest blood flow in narrow footwear and its effects on tissues within the foot are worth investigating.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Dunbar, Julia Lorene, "Passive Hallux Adduction Decreases Blood Flow to Plantar Fascia" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 6928.
plantar fasciitis, narrow shoes, footwear