Effects of Taping and Orthoses on Foot Biomechanics in Adults with Flat-Arched Feet

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PurposeThere is a paucity of evidence on the biomechanical effects of foot taping and foot orthoses in realistic conditions. This study aimed to determine the immediate effect and relationships between changes in multisegment foot biomechanics with foot taping and customized foot orthoses in adults with flat-arched feet.MethodsMultisegment foot biomechanics were measured in 18 adults with flat-arched feet (age 25.1 ± 2.8 yr; height 1.73 ± .13 m, body mass 70.3 ± 15.7 kg) during walking in four conditions in random order: neutral athletic shoe, neutral shoe with tape (low-Dye method and modified method) and neutral shoe with customized foot orthoses. In-shoe foot biomechanics were compared between conditions using a purpose developed foot model with three-dimensional kinematic analysis and inverse dynamics.ResultsFoot orthoses significantly delayed peak eversion compared to the neutral shoe (44% stance vs 39%, P = 0.002). Deformation across the midfoot and medial longitudinal arch was reduced with both the low-Dye taping (2.4°, P < 0.001) and modified taping technique (5.5°, P < 0.001). All interventions increased peak dorsiflexion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (1.4°–3.2°, P < 0.001–0.023). Biomechanical responses to taping significantly predicted corresponding changes to foot orthoses (R2 = 0.08–0.52, P = 0.006 to <0.001).ConclusionsFoot orthoses more effectively altered timing of hindfoot motion whereas taping was superior in supporting the midfoot and medial longitudinal arch. The biomechanical response to taping was significantly related to the subsequent change observed with the use of foot orthoses.

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