The Gib test is a test of foot flexibility that may play a role in foot orthotic prescribing. It was suggested as a test by Gib Willet while a Professor of Biomechanics at the University of Nebraska Medical College in Omaha, Nebraska. It was recommemeded for use initially by Ed Glaser from the Sole Supports foot orthotic laboratory in Lyles, Tennessee for help in determining the flexibilty of a foot orthotic.
The test is performed by one hand holding the rearfoot while the other hand grasps across the forefoot to invert it by rotating the forefoot about an ‘axis’ that would be the fifth metatarsal. The range of motion is noted.
The range of motion is suggested as being graded from 1 (most flexible) to 5 (most rigid):
The concept behind the test is that the more rigid the Gib test, the more likely the ligaments of the foot can support the foot, so the more flexible the foot orthotic should or could be. The more flexible the Gib test, the less likely the ligaments can help the foot support itself, so the more rigid the foot orthotic should or could be. This application of this concept has been called ‘calibration’ by some in the foot orthotic industry.
- many other factors go into the deciding of the stiffness or flexibility of a foot orthotic
- no reliability or outcome studies have been done on this test
- it has been used as part of the inclusion criteria of this study.
- while the term ‘calibration of the foot orthotic‘ is associated with this test, the term has many other meanings so it may not be the most appropriate use of the term
GIB test of foot flexibility (Podiatry Arena)
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