Effect of textured foot orthotics on static and dynamic postural stability in middle-aged females

Marjorie Wilson, Keith Rome, David Hodgson, Peter Ball

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Foot orthotics (FO) may be prescribed for a range of lower limb and foot conditions. Prior studies report use of FO in enhancing postural stability in healthy younger adults, and do not control for footwear type. Currently, interest in the effects of FO on postural stability in older adults has increased. Limited reports exist of the effects on postural stability of FO made of combinations of materials, thicknesses and surface textures. In this study 40 healthy females (51.1 ± 5.8 years) recruited into a within subject test-retest randomised clinical trial were provided with identical footwear and randomised into four FO conditions (control, grid, dimple and plain, n = 10 for each condition). Participants wore the footwear for 4 weeks, a minimum of 6 h/day. A Kistler force plate was used to determine postural stability variables (anterior-posterior displacements and medial-lateral displacements) for each participant in a static position, with eyes open and eyes closed. Base of support was evaluated using the GAITRite® system. Each outcome measure was measured at baseline and 4 weeks. Postural stability variables demonstrated no significant differences between the four FO conditions. No significant differences were observed with base of support between the four conditions. We have demonstrated no detrimental effects on postural stability in older females after 4 weeks. This is regardless of orthotic texture and is independent of footwear. Biomechanical or sensory effects of FO on postural stability are still to be determined. These may be dependent on the geometry and texture of the orthotic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)36-42
    JournalGait and Posture
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


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