The millions who run, walk, or play sports may think shoe inserts that cushion the foot can help prevent injuries. But a new review challenges that notion. Only orthotics, which are actually molded to a person's foot, seem to be able to do that job, Australian researchers reported. "There appears to be little merit in using shock-absorbing insoles for the prevention of injury, while there is some evidence that foot [orthotics] are effective for the prevention of some injuries like stress fractures and shin pain," said review author Daniel Bonanno. He is a lecturer in podiatry in the College of Science, Health, and Engineering at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
In the study, Bonanno and his colleagues analyzed 11 trials that evaluated orthotics and seven trials that evaluated shock-absorbing insoles. The main findings of the review were that foot orthotics seemed to help prevent overall injuries, shin pain, and some stress fractures of the foot and leg. Shock-absorbing insoles, however, did not. Specifically, foot orthotics reduced the risk of overall injury by 28 percent, while they cut the chances of a stress fracture by 41 percent. However, they did not lower the incidence of tendon or muscle injuries, or knee and back pain, the researchers said. Shock-absorbing insoles didn't lessen the risk of any type of injury. And one trial suggested they might even increase the risk of injury, the review found.
Courtesy of Barry Block, editor of PM News.
Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics.