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STUDY DESIGN: Matched group comparison of 3 subject groups with 3 different foot structures for force plate and clinical measures of postural control.
OBJECTIVES: To determine if subjects with different weight-bearing foot structure would demonstrate differences in static standing postural control, and to determine the reliability of study procedures.
BACKGROUND: Weight-bearing foot structure may influence postural control either because of a decreased base of support (supinated foot structure) or because of passive instability of the joints of the foot (pronated foot structure).
METHODS AND MEASURES: Young adults were categorized based on weight-bearing foot structure into neutral, pronated, or supinated groups (15 subjects per group). Postural control in single-limb stance with eyes closed was assessed using force plate measures and by measuring duration of single-limb stance on a firm floor and on a balance pad. Force plate measures were normalized center-of-pressure average speed; and standard deviation and maximum displacement in the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral directions.
RESULTS: Individuals in the supinated group had significantly greater center-of-pressure average speed, greater maximum displacement in the anterior-posterior direction, and greater SD and maximum displacement in the medial-lateral direction than individuals in the neutral group. The individuals in the pronated group had significantly greater SD and maximum displacement in the anterior-posterior direction, used more trials to complete force plate testing, and had shorter single-limb stance duration than those in the neutral group.
CONCLUSION: Individuals with pronated feet or supinated feet have poorer postural control than individuals with neutral feet, but perhaps through different mechanisms.