Customized insoles are commonly prescribed to prevent or treat a variety of foot pathologies and to reduce foot and lower limb fatigue. Due to the patient-specific design and production of such orthotics, the concept of self-selected customized orthotics (SSCO) has recently been developed. The goal of this study was to assess the impact of SSCO technology on several physiological and biomechanical variables during uphill power walking. Thirty male participants underwent an uphill power walking intervention at constant speed in two insoles conditions (control and SSCO). The electromyographic (EMG) activity of their right gastrocnemii and vastii muscles was measured. Perceived fatigue was assessed every 5 minutes and the intervention stopped when the targeted fatigue level was reached. Baseline and post-intervention assessments were also performed. Sixty-three percent of the participants experienced an improvement in foot fatigue while wearing the SSCO. The foot arch seemed to collapse less when participants wore the SSCO, but statistical significance was not reached. The changes in mean EMG activity was not consistent between the 50% isometric contraction and the walking trial. In conclusion, while some interesting trends were observed when wearing SSCO, further investigations should be performed to try and reach statistical significance.
Part of the book: Prosthetics and Orthotics