The effects of custom-molded foot orthotics on neuromuscular processes are not clearly understood.
To examine these effects on postural control in subjects with different foot types.
Between-groups, repeated-measures design.
Athletic training laboratory.
30 healthy subjects assigned to groups by foot type: planus (n = 11), rectus (n = 12), or cavus (n = 7).
Custom-fit semirigid orthotics.
Main Outcome Measures:
Static postural control was measured on a force plate. Dynamic postural control was measured using the Star Excursion Balance Test. Both measurements were assessed with and without orthotics at baseline and 2 weeks later.
For static postural control, a significant condition-by-group interaction was found. Subjects with cavus feet had a decreased center-of-pressure velocity while wearing orthotics. For dynamic postural control, a significant condition-by-direction-by-group interaction was found. Subjects with cavus feet had increased reach distances in 3 of 8 directions while wearing orthotics.
Custom orthotics were associated with some improvements in static and dynamic postural control in subjects with cavus feet.
The authors are with The Pennsylvania State University Dept of Kinesiology, University Park, PA 16802.