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Immediate effects of wearing textured versus smooth insoles on standing balance and spatiotemporal gait patterns when walking over even and uneven surfaces in people with multiple sclerosis

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posted on 2022-09-15, 18:00 authored by Anna L. Hatton, Katrina Williams, Mark D. Chatfield, Sheree E. Hurn, Jayishni N. Maharaj, Elise M. Gane, Thomas Cattagni, John Dixon, Keith Rome, Graham Kerr, Sandra G. Brauer

To investigate the immediate effects of wearing novel sensory-stimulating textured insoles on balance and gait in 41 people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS).

Assessments of balance (firm/foam surface; eyes open/closed) and walking (when negotiating even/uneven surfaces) were performed wearing textured insoles, smooth insoles, shoes only, and barefoot. Outcome measures were centre of pressure (CoP) movement during standing (elliptical area, sway path velocity) and spatiotemporal gait patterns (stride/step width, stride time, double-limb support time, stride length, velocity).

Wearing textured insoles led to reductions in CoP velocity measures when standing on foam with eyes open and closed when compared to barefoot (p values ≤0.02). Textured insoles did not appear to be consistently superior to smooth insoles or shoes only for improving gait. Relative to the insole/shoe conditions, walking barefoot led to poorer gait performance for the even and uneven surface tasks (p values ≤0.03).

For pwMS, stimulating the foot with “texture” appears to provide enhanced sensory input with the capacity to improve CoP movement control during standing; offering a potential new treatment option for balance rehabilitation. Further research is needed to identify which individuals may benefit most from textured insoles.Implications for rehabilitation

Textured shoe insoles, designed to stimulate plantar mechanoreceptors, are a novel approach to improve standing balance and walking patterns in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS).

Wearing textured insoles for the first time can lead to improvements in centre of pressure movement control when standing on an unstable compliant supporting surface.

Textured insoles offer a potential new treatment technique for balance rehabilitation in pwMS who show early signs of diminished foot sensation.

Textured shoe insoles, designed to stimulate plantar mechanoreceptors, are a novel approach to improve standing balance and walking patterns in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS).

Wearing textured insoles for the first time can lead to improvements in centre of pressure movement control when standing on an unstable compliant supporting surface.

Textured insoles offer a potential new treatment technique for balance rehabilitation in pwMS who show early signs of diminished foot sensation.

Funding

This work was supported by a Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia Project Grant (13-006).

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