Effectiveness of a heel cup with an arch support insole on the standing balance of the elderly

Tzu Hsuan Chen, Li Wei Chou, Mei Wun Tsai, Ming Jor Lo, Mu Jung Kao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The use of insoles may enhance postural stability and prevent falls. The aim of this study was to design a new insole and to explore the effectiveness of the insole on the standing balance of the healthy elderly. Methods: The study was conducted at a community hospital. Patients older than 65 years at an outpatient clinic without abnormal gait patterns, lower limb deformities, or foot pain were enrolled. The participants were assigned to good- and poor-stability groups on the basis of the stability index (SI), using the Biodex® Balance System. A heel cup with an arch support insole was provided. Participants wore the insole for 8 weeks for a minimum of 4 hours/day. A static balance test for SI was performed at the initial meeting and 8 weeks after the assigned insoles were worn for each participant. Results: Five participants (10.0%) of 50 total did not finish the study. There were 25 patients in the good-stability group and 20 in the poor-stability group. The SI, before and after intervention, was significantly different for all 45 participants (3.244±0.688 versus 3.064±0.671; P<0.001). The differences in SI before and after the intervention both in the good-stability group (2.764±0.546 versus 2.592±0.538) and the poor-stability group (3.845±0.188 versus 3.655±0.128) were statistically significant (P<0.001). No statistically significant difference on changes of SI were seen between the two groups. Conclusion: The results suggest a heel cup with arch support insole is effective in enhancing the standing balance of the elderly. This may be of benefit in preventing falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-356
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Interventions in Aging
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Elderly
  • Heel cup
  • Insole
  • Stability
  • Standing balance

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