Effect of Rear-Foot Orthotics on Postural Control in Healthy Subjects

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Objective:

To identify changes in sagittal- and frontal-plane center of pressure (COP) excursion length and velocity during single-leg stance under 6 orthotic conditions.

Design:

1 × 6 repeated-measures.

Setting:

University biomechanics laboratory.

Participants:

Fifteen healthy young adults without excessive forefoot, arch, or rear-foot malalignments.

Measurements:

Selected variables of COP length and velocity were calculated in both the frontal and sagittal planes during three 5-second trials of quiet unilateral stance.

Methods:

Postural control was assessed under 6 conditions: shoe only and 5 orthotics.

Results:

The medially posted orthotic caused the least frontal COP length and velocity, and the Cramer Sprained Ankle Orthotic® caused the greatest frontal-plane sway. No significant differences were found between the different orthotic conditions in sagittal-plane measures.

Conclusions:

Differently posted rear-foot orthotics had various effects on frontal-plane postural control in healthy participants. Further research is needed on pathological populations.

All authors are affiliated with The Pennsylvania State University. Denegar is with the Department of Kinesiology, the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, and the Penn State Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center. Hertel and Buckley are with the Department of Kinesiology. Sharkey is with the Department of Kinesiology, the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, and the Center for Locomotion Studies. Stokes is with the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation and the Penn State Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center.