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The Relationship Among Foot Posture, Core and Lower Extremity Muscle Function, and Postural Stability

by MASS4D® Prescription Orthotics July 15, 2018


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship among core and lower extremity muscle function, foot posture, body mass index (BMI), and postural stability using foot-posture measures with moderate to high intra-tester and inter-tester reliability, and a postural-stability measure that considers both centre of pressure (COP) position and velocity.

The authors recruited 110 participants with no lower extremity injuries 6 months prior to the study, and no history of lower extremity surgery.

Before postural-stability testing, a force plate was used to weigh the participants. Next, the authors assessed dominant-limb, single-limb stance position postural stability on a force plate sampling at 100 Hz during three 10-second trials of the eyes-closed condition.

The eyes-closed condition was selected to increase the challenge to the somatosensory system and musculoskeletal components of the postural-control system.

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Anterior, posterior and lateral core muscular-endurance testing consisted of a single time-to-failure trial in each position as described by McGill et al.

Dominant-limb arch index (AI) and navicular index (NI) ratios during 10% and 90% weight-bearing conditions were quantified using a digital photographic measurement method.

The authors assessed maximal isometric hip strength (flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, lateral rotation, medial rotation) using a handheld dynamometer.

The findings of the study confirmed the hypothesis that a composite of anthropometric, strength, endurance, and foot-posture variables would predict anteroposterior and mediolateral postural stability.

Foot posture was a predictor variable accounting for 4.4% and 4.2% of anteroposterior and mediolateral postural stability variance, respectively.

The negative correlation coefficients suggest that increased arch height is associated with decreased mediolateral postural stability.

The cause of the relationship between high-arch posture and mediolateral postural instability may be an anterior and lateral shift in COP and decreased foot mobility often associated with high-arch postures.

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  1. Cobb, S. C., Bazett-Jones, D. M., Joshi, M. N., Earl-Boehm, J. E., James, C. R. (2014) The Relationship Among Foot Posture, Core and Lower Extremity Muscle Function, and Postural Stability. Journal of Athletic Training: April 2014, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 173-180.

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