Can foot orthoses or insolses prevent injuries?
Exercise-related injuries occur commonly and, although many interventions have been used to prevent these injuries, only limited evidence supports their effect. Foot orthoses and shock-absorbing insoles are 2 of these treatments. Foot orthoses have been used to optimise the foot function and showed to alter plantar pressure distribution, activity and kinematics of the lower limb during walking and running. Shock-absorbing insoles are designed to reduce impact forces. This systematic review aimed to to estimate the effectiveness of foot orthoses and shock-absorbing insoles for the prevention of musculoskeletal injury.
Therefore, a literature research and meta-analysis has been carried out. The quality of the obtained articles was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale. In total 18 trials were included. The data from 10 trials indicated that foot orthoses are effective for preventing overall injuries. The data of 4 trials showed that foot orthoses are effective for preventing lower limb stress fractures. However, they were not effective to prevent soft-tissue injuries. Studies that evaluated shock-absorbing insoles showed no effect on the prevention of injury (neither stress fractures, or soft-tissue injuries).
The findings of this systematic review demonstrate that foot orthoses are effective for preventing overall injuries, shin pain and stress fractures of the metatarsals, tibia and femur. However, the shock-absorbing insoles were not found to be effective in preventing overall injuries, stress fractures or soft-tissue injuries. It should be noted that the methodological quality of the included studies was generally low and future well-designed trials are needed.
> From: Bonanno et al., Br J Sports Med 51 (2017) 86-96. All rights reserved to BMJ Publishig Group Ltd. Click here for the online summary.