Background: Exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise (e.g. walking), may affect plantar tissue viability due to prolonged repetitive high vertical and high shear pressure stimulus on the plantar tissue, and further induce development of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). This study aimed to investigate the effects of different accumulated pressure-time integral (APTI) stimuli induced by walking on plantar skin blood flow (SBF) responses in people with diabetes mellitus (DM). Methods: A repeated measures design was used in this study. Two walking protocols (low APTI (73,000 kPa·s) and high APTI (73,000 × 1.5 kPa·s)) were randomly assigned to ten people with DM and twenty people without DM. The ratio of SBF measured by laser Doppler flowmetry after walking to that before (normalized SBF) was used to express the SBF responses. Results: After low APTI, plantar SBF of people with DM showed a similar response to people without DM (P = 0.91). However, after high APTI, people with DM had a significantly lower plantar SBF compared to people without DM (P < 0.05). In people with DM, plantar SBF in the first 2 min after both APTI stimuli significantly decreased compared to plantar SBF before walking (P < 0.05). Conclusions: People with DM had a normal SBF response after low APTI walking but had an impaired SBF response after high APTI walking, which suggests that they should avoid weight-bearing physical activity with intensity more than 73,000 kPa·s and should rest for more than 2 min after weight-bearing physical activity to allow a full vasodilatory response to reduce risk of DFUs.
- Accumulated pressure-time integral
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Plantar skin blood flow
- Weight-bearing exercise
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine