Orthotics are commonly prescribed for the treatment of lower extremity injuries secondary to hyperpronation. However, the efficacy of vacuum-molded orthotics has not been established. We assessed the effects of vacuum-molded orthotics on pain and level of function in athletes suffering from plantar fasciitis, medial tibial stress syndrome, or knee pain secondary to hyperpronation. Fourteen athletes assessed their pain and level of function during athletic activity before being fitted for orthotics (Professional Rx, SuperFeet In-Shoe Systems Inc.) and weekly for 7 weeks following break-in. Five athletes (36%) reported complete pain resolution and eight (57%) reported substantial improvement. Eight athletes (57%) reported full return to athletic participation and five (36%) reported substantial improvement in athletic function. One athlete failed to respond to treatment. Results indicate that vacuum-molded orthotics are an effective treatment for lower extremity overuse injuries secondary to hyperpronation.
Craig R. Denegar is with the School of Physical Therapy, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA 16057. Matthew P. Callahan and Craig A. Segree are students in that school. Address correspondence to Craig R. Denegar.