The Effect of Soft Foot Orthotics on Three-dimensional Lower-Limb Kinematics During Walking and Running Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Although foot orthotics are often prescribed to alter the lower-extremity mechanics during the stance period of gait, there is little documentation of the actual effect of foot orthotics on the movement of the lower-extremity joints during walking and running. This study examined the effect of foot orthotics on the range of motion of the talocrural/subtalar joint and the knee joint in three dimensions during walking and running. SUBJECTS: Ten female adolescent subjects, aged 13 to 17 years (X = 14.4, SD = 1.1) who were diagnosed with patellofemoral pain syndrome and exhibited forefoot varus greater than 6 degrees and/or calcaneal valgus greater than 6 degrees participated in the study. METHODS: Thirty strides of walking and running on a treadmill were recorded for each of the orthotic and nonorthotic conditions for each subject using an optoelectronic recording technique. Analyses of variance for repeated measures were performed on the range of motion of the talocrural/subtalar joint and knee joint for each plane of motion (ie, six separate analyses). The main factors of each analysis were the effect of the orthotic (orthotic condition versus nonorthotic condition), mode of ambulation (walking and running), and phase of the stance period (contact, mid-stance, and propulsion). RESULTS: No differences were found in sagittal-plane movements. Reductions of 1 to 3 degrees occurred with orthotic use for the talocrural/subtalar joint during walking and running in the frontal and transverse planes. The orthotics reduced knee motion in the frontal plane during the contact and mid-stance phases of walking, but increased the motion during the contact and mid-stance phases of running. CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION: This study shows that corrections to the static position of forefoot varus and calcaneal valgus can result in changes in transverse- and frontal-plane motion of the foot and knee during walking and running.

publication date

  • September 1, 1994