Effects of long term stimulation of textured insoles on postural control in health elderly

Giuseppe Annino, Francesco Palazzo, Mohammad Alwardat, Vincenzo Manzi, Pietro Lebone, Virginia Tancredi, Paola Sinibaldi-Salimei, Alfio Caronti, Michele Panzarino, Elvira Padua

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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to confirm the effects of long term (chronic) stimulating surface (textured insole) on body balance of elderly people.

METHODS: Twenty-four healthy elderly individuals were randomly distributed in two groups: control and experimental (67.75 ± 6.04 yrs, 74.55±12.14 kg, 163.7 ± 8.55 cm, 27.75 ± 3.04 kg/m2). Over one month, Control Group (CG) used smooth insoles and the Experimental Group (ExG) used textured insoles every day. Velocity net (Vnet), anteroposterior (VA/P), mediolateral (VM/L) and sway path of CoP were assessed in different eye conditions before and after the experimental procedure.

RESULTS: A mixed between-within subject ANOVA was conducted to assess the impact of soft and textured insoles and two visual conditions (vision vs no vision) across two time periods (α ≤ 0.05). The results showed any statistical difference between groups in each parameter assessed in this study. CoP, Vnet and VM/L in the experimental group showed a statistically significant effect of textured insoles only without vision (CoP: P= 0.002; η2=0.35), Vnet P=0.02; η2=0.24, VM/L P=0.04; η2=0.177) whereas VA/P showed no statistically significant effect in the same group and condition. There was no significant effect in Vnet, VA/P, VM/L and COP in control group that used smooth insole for both eye conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: The results confirm that postural stability improved in healthy elderly individuals, increasing somatosensory information's from feet plantar mechanoreceptors. Long term stimulation with textured insoles decreased CoP, Vnet and VM/L with eyes closed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Sep 15 2016


  • Journal Article


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