In women, the laxity of the plantar fascia increases during the ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle. Although it is possible that this increased laxity results in a decreased height of the foot in the medial longitudinal arch and exacerbates symptoms of several overuse injuries of the lower extremity, the influence of the menstrual cycle on static and dynamic kinematics of the medial longitudinal arch is unclear. The purpose of this study was to confirm that the medial longitudinal arch height during static standing, gait, and landing decrease during the menstrual cycle ovulation phase.
Participants in this study were 16 female college students with normal menstrual cycles and 16 male college students. Navicular height in the static standing position was measured using a three-dimensional foot scanner. Kinematics of the medial longitudinal arch during gait and landing were measured using a three-dimensional motion capture system to determine the navicular height at initial contact, minimal navicular height, and dynamic navicular drop. In all measurements, female participants were tested twice during the course of one complete menstrual cycle: once during the follicular phase and once during the ovulation phase. Male participants were tested twice with an interval of ≥1 week and <2 weeks.
In women, navicular height in the static standing position significantly decreased during the ovulation phase compared with follicular phase (mean difference [95% confidence interval] = 2.1 [0.9–3.4] mm; p = 0.002), whereas men showed no statistical difference between the first and second measurements. In both men and women, no statistical differences were identified for the dynamic medial longitudinal arch kinematics measured during gait and landing.
Navicular height in the static standing position slightly decreased during the ovulation phase.
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Published online: February 07, 2023
Accepted: January 18, 2023
Received in revised form: January 18, 2023
Received: September 30, 2022
Publication stageIn Press Corrected Proof
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