Orthoses are designed to assist a malaligned foot in adapting to the environment and reduce the frequency of injury. Literature is divided on the benefits of orthotics insoles for postural stability. The current study was conducted to determine the effect of prefabricated orthotic arch supports on postural stabilization. Twelve healthy young adults participated in this study and were tested with and without prefabricated orthotics. Different variables were computed from movement of center of pressure (COP) during orthotic use as suggested in the literature. The mean position of COP was significantly shifted forward and toward the dominant side. Neither the COP movement nor the velocity changes following the use of orthotics revealed significant differences. Mediolateral range of COP movement and the 95% confidence circle area of sway was significantly reduced (P = .022 and 0.048 respectively), but changes in 95% confidence circle and ellipse areas of fractal dimension were not significant (P = .053 and P = .057 respectively). In conclusion, orthotic insoles significantly improved postural sway initially by reducing mediolateral range of postural sway and 95% confidence circle area of sway at the cost of increased fractal dimension area variables and power.
Hamid Bateni (Corresponding Author) is with the Physical Therapy Program, School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL.