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  • Author: Lauren C. Olmsted x
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Lauren C. Olmsted and Jay Hertel

Context:

The effects of custom-molded foot orthotics on neuromuscular processes are not clearly understood.

Objective:

To examine these effects on postural control in subjects with different foot types.

Design:

Between-groups, repeated-measures design.

Setting:

Athletic training laboratory.

Subjects:

30 healthy subjects assigned to groups by foot type: planus (n = 11), rectus (n = 12), or cavus (n = 7).

Interventions:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

Custom orthotics were associated with some improvements in static and dynamic postural control in subjects with cavus feet.

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Lauren C. Olmsted and Craig Denegar

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Lauren C. Olmsted-Kramer and Jay Hertel

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Jay Hertel, Lauren C. Olmsted-Kramer and John H. Challis

A novel approach to quantifying postural stability in single leg stance is assessment of time-to-boundary (TTB) of center of pressure (COP) excursions. TTB measures estimate the time required for the COP to reach the boundary of the base of support if it were to continue on its instantaneous trajectory and velocity, thus quantifying the spatiotemporal characteristics of postural control. Our purposes were to examine: (a) the intrasession reliability of TTB and traditional COP-based measures of postural control, and (b) the correlations between these measures. Twenty-four young women completed three 10-second trials of single-limb quiet standing on each limb. Traditional measures included mean velocity, standard deviation, and range of mediolateral (ML) and anterior-posterior (AP) COP excursions. TTB variables were the absolute minimum, mean of minimum samples, and standard deviation of minimum samples in the ML and AP directions. The intrasession reliability of TTB measures was comparable to traditional COP based measures. Correlations between TTB and traditional COP based measures were weaker than those within each category of measures, indicating that TTB measures capture different aspects of postural control than traditional measures. TTB measures provide a unique method of assessing spatiotemporal characteristics of postural control during single limb stance.