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Acta Phlebologica 2006 August;7(2):75-8


language: English

Preliminary evaluation of the dynamic foot-exercisers, and review

Agus G. B. 1, Bavera P. M. 1, Agus M. A. 2

1 Institute of Vascular Surgery and Angiology University of Milan, Milan, Italy 2 Orthopedic Specialization School University of Milan, Milan, Italy


Good physical activity and a correct posture play an important role in the prevention of many diseases such as chronic venous insufficiency and the risk of venous thromboembolism, and in the improvement of the quality of life of people who sit most of the day, either for working activity – nowadays many people work sitting at the computer – or for their age, performing less motor activity. As a first approach, active exercises of the plantar, articular malleolar and muscular pump of the calf are required. Although the latter have some limits in populations with high risks, they need similar movements that fight the venous stasis by acting on it through the stimulation of the speed of flux on lower limbs. Static footboards lift up the feet in the correct way for a better posture, whereas the dynamic ones can help the vascular-articular-muscular pump system. New devices can force the venous blood to circulate more rapidly: walking while sitting. This class of such products is today known as foot exercisers or calf muscle pump facilitating devices (PFD). We were introduced to a patented, dynamic foot-mover (Top-legs®), which has been designed to encourage the user to do a certain physical activity in a spontaneous way and without any particular effort. The innovation of this dynamic PFD, which is different from other aids, is based on the following features: inside this PFD there is a liquid mass of glycerine, with the adequate viscosity, which shifts at any small movement of the feet, generating unbalancing propulsive forces; the plate swings around a spherical junction that is positioned on a higher level compared to the barycentre of the swinging liquid mass and this configuration allows a pendular movement, just like that of a seesaw, that induces the user to automatically continue with the movement. Our initial findings confirmed that in healthy individuals, all of the tested people significantly increased venous blood flow velocities and venous volume flow. Testing the efficacy of the new PFD on people with circulatory disorders brought to evidence that, after a short period of use over a few days, visible benefits were achieved and confirmed by the sensation of “light legs”. Objective evaluations are now being carried out in a group of people based on a QoL form, reduction the swelling, conditions of venous flow through color-Duplex examination, muscular contractility through the SIMI system and electromyography, referred to the Fondazione Moscati and IRCCS S. Maria Nascente-Fondazione Don Gnocchi of Milan, both University of Milan-affiliated. With the purpose of investigate the haemodynamic effects of different groups of mechanical devices we also report a review of these.

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