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Effect of 4 Weeks of Foot Orthosis Intervention on Ambulatory Capacities and Posture in Normal-Weight and Obese Patients

Patricia Griffon MSc, PDM1, Bruno Vie Pod, PhD1, Jean Paul Weber Pod1, and Yves Jammes MD, DSc2
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  • 1 School of Podiatry, Marseille, France.
  • | 2 Faculty of Medicine, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France.
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Background:

Several works have shown the benefits of foot orthosis intervention on postural stability in healthy individuals and patients with foot malalignment. However, the effects of foot orthoses on the daily ambulatory activities explored by the Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) were never examined. We hypothesized that foot orthoses could increase the gait distance and attenuate the post-6MWT posture alterations already reported in healthy individuals.

Methods:

In ten normal-weight (NW) and ten obese patients with foot malalignment and/or abnormal foot arch, we examined the benefits of 4 weeks of custom-molded orthosis intervention (D30) on 6MWT gait distance, fatigue sensation scores, ankle plantarflexion force, and post-6MWT sway of the center of pressure (COP) measured by a pedobarographic platform. Data were compared with those measured in two control-matched groups of ten NW and ten obese individuals, explored at study inclusion and at D30.

Results:

At study inclusion, the post-6MWT changes in COP surface and the medial and lateral COP deviations were significantly higher in obese participants who needed to wear the foot orthoses compared with obese control subjects. The foot orthosis intervention significantly improved the ambulatory performances of NW and obese individuals during the 6MWT, attenuated the bodily fatigue sensation after the 6MWT, and reduced the post-6MWT COP deviations, with the benefits of insoles being significantly accentuated in obese participants.

Conclusions:

Four weeks of foot orthosis intervention significantly increases gait distance and is an effective means to reduce postural sway after walking.

Corresponding author: Yves Jammes, MD, DSc, Faculty of Medicine, Aix-Marseille University, Bd. Pierre Dramard, 13916 cedex 20, Marseille, France. (E-mail: yves.jammes@univ-amu.fr)