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01-12-2012 | Research | Uitgave 1/2012 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2012

Altering gait by way of stimulation of the plantar surface of the foot: the immediate effect of wearing textured insoles in older fallers

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2012
Auteurs:
Anna L Hatton, John Dixon, Keith Rome, Julia L Newton, Denis J Martin
Belangrijke opmerkingen

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1757-1146-5-11) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

ALH, JD, KR, JLN and DJM conceived and designed the study. ALH collected and inputted the data. ALH, JD and DJM conducted the statistical analysis. ALH, JD, KR, DJM and JLN compiled the data and drafted the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

Evidence suggests that textured insoles can alter gait and standing balance by way of enhanced plantar tactile stimulation. However, to date, this has not been explored in older people at risk of falling. This study investigated the immediate effect of wearing textured insoles on gait and double-limb standing balance in older fallers.

Methods

Thirty older adults >65 years (21 women, mean [SD] age 79.0 [7.1]), with self-reported history of ≥2 falls in the previous year, conducted tests of level-ground walking over 10 m (GAITRite system), and double-limb standing with eyes open and eyes closed over 30 seconds (Kistler force platform) under two conditions: wearing textured insoles (intervention) and smooth (control) insoles in their usual footwear.

Results

Wearing textured insoles caused significantly lower gait velocity (P = 0.02), step length (P = 0.04) and stride length (P = 0.03) compared with wearing smooth insoles. No significant differences were found in any of the balance parameters (P > 0.05).

Conclusions

A textured insole worn by older adults with a history of falls significantly lowers gait velocity, step length and stride length, suggesting that this population may not have an immediate benefit from this type of intervention. The effects of prolonged wear remain to be investigated.

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