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Gait Posture. 2013 Jul;38(3):443-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2013.01.012. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Dose-response effects of customised foot orthoses on lower limb muscle activity and plantar pressures in pronated foot type.

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Institute for Applied Health Research, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK.


Customised foot orthoses (FOs) featuring extrinsic rearfoot posting are commonly prescribed for individuals with a symptomatic pronated foot type. By altering the angle of the posting it is purported that a controlled dose-response effect during the stance phase of gait can be achieved, however these biomechanical changes have yet to be characterised. Customised FOs were administered to participant groups with symptomatic pronated foot types and asymptomatic normal foot types. The electromyographic (EMG) and plantar pressure effects of varying the dose were measured. Dose was varied by changing the angle of posting from 6° lateral to 10° medial in 2° steps on customised devices produced using computer aided orthoses design software. No effects due to posting level were found for EMG variables. Significant group effects were seen with customised FOs reducing above knee muscle activity in pronated foot types compared to normal foot types (biceps femoris p=0.022; vastus lateralis p<0.001; vastus medialis p=0.001). Interaction effects were seen for gastrocnemius medialis and soleus. Significant linear effects of posting level were seen for plantar pressure at the lateral rearfoot (p=0.001), midfoot (p<0.001) and lateral forefoot (p=0.002). A group effect was also seen for plantar pressure at the medial heel (p=0.009). This study provides evidence that a customised FOs can provide a dose response effect for selected plantar pressure variables, but no such effect could be identified for muscle activity. Foot type may play an important role in the effect of customised orthoses on activity of muscles above the knee.


3D printing; Electromyography; Foot; Gait analysis; Orthoses; Plantar pressure measurement

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