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Am J Sports Med. 1990 Nov-Dec;18(6):636-41.

Prevention of common overuse injuries by the use of shock absorbing insoles. A prospective study.

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MRC/UCT Bioenergetics of Exercise Research Unit, University of Cape Town Medical School, South Africa.


Sedentary individuals, particularly new military recruits, who start a physical training program have a substantial risk of developing an overuse injury of the lower limb. In this study we investigated the effect of neoprene insoles on the incidence of overuse injuries during 9 weeks of basic military training. The experimental group consisted of 237 randomly selected new recruits, while 1151 recruits were the control group. Insoles were given to the experimental group and compliance was monitored. A panel of doctors documented and classified all injuries occurring during the 9 week period. A total of 54 (22.8%) and 237 (31.9%) injuries were reported in the experimental and control groups, respectively. In both groups, the majority of injuries were overuse (experimental group, 90.7%; control group, 86.4%). The mean weekly incidence of total overuse injuries and tibial stress syndrome was significantly lower (P less than 0.05) in the experimental group. The mean incidence of stress fractures was lower in the experimental group but not significantly so (0.05 less than P less than 0.1). This study shows that the incidence of total overuse injuries and tibial stress syndrome during 9 weeks of basic military training can be reduced by wearing insoles.

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