Effect of a textured insole on balance and gait symmetry
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Asymmetry of standing balance and gait is common in individuals with neurological disorders, and achieving symmetrical stance and gait is an important goal of rehabilitation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a novel discomfort-induced approach (that is based on using a single textured insole) on the alteration in the symmetry of gait and balance. Eleven healthy subjects (6 females and 5 males, mean age of 28.0 ± 4.1 years) were tested using the Computerized Dynamic Posturography and GaitRite systems when standing or walking while wearing standard footwear with the textured insole positioned either in the left or in the right shoe, and without the insole. Significant immediate effect of the textured insole was seen in the outcome measures of static (weight bearing) and dynamic (weight symmetry index, strength symmetry) balance tests (p < 0.05) as well as in gait symmetry (single support and swing phases) (p < 0.05). The results of the study indicate that a textured insole can significantly modify the symmetry of stance and gait in healthy individuals. Pilot data from individuals with stroke also showed a reduction in the asymmetry of gait when walking with the single textured insole in the shoe on the unaffected side. This outcome provides support for future studies on the efficacy of the textured insole in minimizing asymmetry of gait and posture in individuals in need.
KeywordsGait Balance Asymmetry Textured insole
We would like to thank Dr. Noel Rao for help with recruiting subjects for the study.
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