Toe flexor forces in dancers and non-dancers

Toe flexor force (hallux and second toe) was determined in the right and left feet of 24 dancers and 29 non-dancers (sitting and standing positions) using a commercially-available pressure sensor connected to a voltmeter. For the hallux and second toe combined (all trials combined), average toe flexor force was slightly greater for dancers than non-dancers (dancers, 7 +/- 4 N; non-dancers, 6 +/- 4 N; P<0.049). For dancers and non-dancers combined (all trials), the average toe flexor force of the hallux was more than twice that of the second toe (hallux, 9 +/- 4 N; 2nd toe, 4 +/- 1 N; P<0.0001); average toe flexor force was slightly greater in standing than sitting positions (standing, 7 +/- 4 N; sitting, 6 +/- 3 N; P<0.0001); and the average toe flexor force was slightly greater for the right than left foot (right, 7 +/- 4 N; left, 6 +/- 4 N; P<0.012). The average toe flexor force was greatest for the first repetition and slightly decreased for the second and third repetitions (first repetition, 7 +/- 4 N; second and third repetitions each, 6 +/- 4 N; P<0.0013). Toe flexor force measurement may potentially be applicable to clinical practice as a guide to rehabilitation after injury or as a screening parameter for readiness to advance dance or other athletic training, performance, or competition.

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