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FOOTWEAR SOLE STRUCTURE
di Sergio SEGALIN
***INDUSTRIAL PATENT
***CERTIFIED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF PADUA

Clinical tests
To ascertain the effects of the prolonged, regular use of a shoe fitted with a sole having the above-described characteristics, a study was conducted on a group of volunteers (adult males and females aged between 21 and 72 years old) who normally suffered from a sense of fatigue in their legs and sometimes even pain in their feet by the end of the day.

These volunteers were asked to wear a shoe specifically designed for the test (hereinafter called the "Segalin shoe" for the sake of brevity) continuously for at least two months and a series of clinical, radiographic and electromyographic tests were performed at the baseline and at the end of the test period to evaluate its effects.

At the baseline, all the volunteers underwent a clinical assessment to ascertain any pre-existing clinically pathological conditions.
An X-ray was taken of the static arrangement of the foot before and after the trial period in the same static/dynamic conditions, wearing both the usual shoes (with no fixed or removable insole) and the Segalin shoe. The X-rays showed that, at the end of the test, all individuals retained their original, specific static arrangement unchanged - both those originally presenting with an absolutely normal articulation and those revealing anatomical variations at the baseline. This result was comforting in that it confirmed, not only experimentally (as in the past) but also clinically, that a prolonged use of the Segalin shoe did not affect the static arrangement and articulation of the foot.
The volunteers also underwent electromyographic assessment, usually conducted in two stages, i.e. once at the baseline, wearing their normal footwear, then again after the test period spent wearing the Segalin shoe continuously for at least two months. During each test, a prolonged recording was obtained bilaterally to study the activity of the posterior tibial muscle (which is mainly responsible for bearing the weight of the body while standing), with the individual in three different positions: (a) standing to attention, (b) with the body leaning forwards and the legs extended to the limit before the individuals lost their balance; and (c) with the body leaning backwards and the legs extended to the limit before the individuals lost their balance.

None of the cases examined showed any signs of "trace enhancement"(*) after continuously wearing the Segalin shoe, so muscle fatigue never increased when this shoe was used. Conversely, in all cases and in all positions considered, the recording obtained after wearing the Segalin shoe for 2 months showed a reduction in "trace intensity" by comparison with the trace obtained at the baseline, leading us to the conclusion that wearing the Segalin shoe always induced a more limited muscle contractility and consequently also less limb fatigue.
The "trace amplitude" parameter also showed a reduction in muscle contractility and a greater relaxation after prolonged use of the shoe being tested, in all the positions examined. This reduction was sometimes particularly evident and the muscle contraction practically disappeared. None of the cases showed any increase in mean trace amplitude after wearing the test shoe. Surprisingly, the beneficial effect was quite remarkable in some individuals, as illustrated in the graphs below.

* Electromyographic activity was assessed on the basis of two different parameters, i.e. "trace intensity" and "trace amplitude", which are different ways to evaluate and express the muscle's contractile activity.


In the light of these positive findings, in the words used by the testers themselves, it can be claimed that, "using the Segalin shoe, the posterior tibial muscle suffers less fatigue thanks to the more limited contractile effort required both in the primary position and in the activation phase, thanks also to the improved relaxation in the inhibition phase". In other words, the continuous use of the Segalin shoe coincided with less fatigue in the lower limbs than when the individuals were wearing their normal footwear.
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