Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Background: Degradation of the somatosensory system has been implicated in postural instability and increased falls risk for older people and Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. Here we demonstrate that textured insoles provide a passive intervention that is an inexpensive and accessible means to enhance the somatosensory input from the plantar surface of the feet.

Methods: 20 healthy older adults (controls) and 20 participants with PD were recruited for the study. We evaluated effects of manipulating somatosensory information from the plantar surface of the feet using textured insoles. Participants performed standing tests, on two different surfaces (firm and foam), under three footwear conditions: 1) barefoot; 2) smooth insoles; and 3) textured insoles. Standing balance was evaluated using a force plate yielding data on the range of anterior-posterior and medial-lateral sway, as well as standard deviations for anterior-posterior and medial-lateral sway.

Results: On the firm surface with eyes open both the smooth and textured insoles reduced medial-lateral sway in the PD group to a similar level as the controls. Only the textured insole decreased medial-lateral sway and medial-lateral sway standard deviation in the PD group on both surfaces, with and without visual input. Greatest benefits were observed in the PD group while wearing the textured insoles, and when standing on the foam surface with eyes closed.

Conclusions: Data suggested that textured insoles may provide a low-cost means of improving postural stability in high falls-risk groups, such as people with PD.

School/Institute

School of Exercise Science

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Included in

Neurosciences Commons

Share

COinS