Improvements in postural stability in figure skaters can play a significant role in performance, as well as reducing fall risk.
To explore the effect of custom foot insoles on postural stability in advanced figure skaters.
Out of laboratory.
Nine advanced figure skaters were recruited and 7 completed the study (age 38 ± 18.5 y, body-mass index 25 ± 3.6 kg/m2).
Custom foot insoles.
Main Outcome Measures:
Primary outcome of changes in postural stability (PS) quantified by center-of-mass sway with secondary outcomes of ankleand hip-joint sway and joint range of motion. Sway measurements were assessed using body-worn sensors while participants wore skates on ice. PS was assessed in single-leg stance, as well as during gliding on the dominant foot.
A significant improvement in static PS was observed after 6-wk use of custom insoles. Center-of-mass sway reduced significantly on average by 48.44% (P = .023), and ankle-joint sway reduced by 45.7% (P = .05) during single-leg-stance balance measurements. During the gliding maneuver nonsignificant changes were observed for both ankle- and knee-joint range of motion.
The results of this study suggest proof of concept toward benefits of custom insoles in improving postural stability in advanced figure skaters. To generalize the findings, randomized controlled trials with larger sample sizes are warranted.
Grewal, Lee-Eng, and Najafi are with the Dept of Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Baisch, Wu, and Jarrett are with the Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research, Rosalind Franklin University of Science & Medicine, North Chicago, IL. Humble is with the Dept of Surgery, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.