Running biomechanics unaffected by foot orthoses

Medially wedged foot orthoses had little effect on running biomechanics, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics.

The study included 20 women with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) and 20 women without PFPS. The researchers first measured the women’s standing calcaneal eversion angle to determine if clinical signs of pronation influenced the effect of orthoses on knee and hip kinematics. Knee and hip kinematics were then measured using 3-D motion analysis as the women ran with and without a 6° full-length medially wedged foot orthosis.

The researchers found that the foot orthoses has no significant effect on hip and knee biomechanics, and the effect of the orthoses was independent of standing calcaneal eversion angle.

“Our findings suggest that medially wedge foot orthoses have little effect on knee and hip joint mechanics during running and that these effects are similar among females with and without PFPS,” the authors wrote in the study. “Thus, although medially wedged orthoses may reduce PFPS symptoms or hasten recovery time, a biomechanical explanation for this effect was not identified.”

For more information:

Boldt AR. J ApplBiomech. 2013 Feb;29(1):68-77

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