Nav: Home

No good evidence that shock-absorbing insoles stave off injuries or stress fractures

December 12, 2016

There's no good evidence that shock-absorbing insoles, which are used to reduce impact and minimise muscle, tendon, and bone damage, do stave off injuries or stress fractures, reveals a pooled analysis of the available data, published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

But foot orthotics can be effective, the analysis shows, although the quality of the data on which the findings are based is variable, caution the researchers.

The most common overuse injuries associated with physical activity include medial tibial stress syndrome (stress response fracture of the shin bone), Achilles tendon, plantar fasciitis (severe heel pain caused by thickening of the plantar fascia tissue in the foot) and knee (patellofemoral) pain.

Contoured foot orthotics, which aim to redistribute pressure and alter neural sensory feedback and gait while walking or running, and soft insoles, which aim to soften impact, are often used to stave off injury risk and manage existing musculoskeletal conditions.

To find out how effective these are, the researchers trawled through research databases for relevant studies published up to June 2016.

They found 11 clinical trials relating to foot orthotics and seven that had evaluated shock-absorbing insoles.

When the data were pooled together, the results showed that foot orthotics cut the risk of overall injury and a stress fracture in the legs and feet by 28% and 41%, respectively. But they didn't stave off the risk of tendon/muscle injury, including Achilles tendon, and knee and back pain.

Shock-absorbing insoles didn't lessen the risk of any type of injury. And the data from one trial indicated they increased the risk.

The research designof this study provides the strongest evidence for drawing conclusions about cause and effect, because it brings together all of the best available evidence. However, the study authors caution that further rigorous research is needed because the quality of the studies they analysed varied considerably, as assessed by the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) score, which rates the design and methods of research trials.

Furthermore, much of the evidence stems from the use of insoles and orthotics in military personnel, whose exercise regimes and footwear are unlikely to be representative of those of the general population.
Review: Effectiveness of foot orthoses and shock-absorbing insoles for the prevention of injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis

About the journal

The British Journal of Sports Medicine is one of 60 specialist journals published by BMJ.


Related Achilles Tendon Articles:

Stem cells may significantly improve tendon healing by regulating inflammation
New research published online in The FASEB Journal suggests that tendon stem may be able to significantly improve tendon healing by regulating inflammation, which contributes to scar-like tendon healing and chronic matrix degradation.
Experimental therapy for immune diseases hits Achilles heel of activated T cells
Immune diseases like multiple sclerosis and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis unleash destructive waves of inflammation on the body, causing death or a lifetime of illness and physical impairment.
Scientists find possible Achilles heel of treatment-resistant cancers
Scientists identify two signaling proteins in cancer cells that make them resistant to chemotherapy, and show that blocking the proteins along with chemotherapy eliminate human leukemia in mouse models.
Study highlights possible Achilles' heel in key immune memory cells
Genes involved in lipid metabolism are highly active in TRM cells, roughly 20- to 30-fold more active than in other types of T-cells.
Unlocking the secrets of the Achilles' heel
Walking, running, sprinting -- every movement of the foot stretches the Achilles' tendon.
Researchers identify 'Achilles' heel' of key anti-cancer protein
Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York have discovered that a protein called Importin-11 protects the anti-cancer protein PTEN from destruction by transporting it into the cell nucleus.
Researchers identify 'Achilles' heel' of PTEN that helps drive prostate cancer progression
Researchers at CSHL have discovered the protein Importin-11 protects the tumor-suppressor protein PTEN from destruction by transporting it into the cell nucleus. their new study suggests loss of Importin-11 may destabilize PTEN, leading to development of lung, prostate, and other cancers.
Crop achilles' heel costs farmers 10 percent of potential yield
When top and bottom leaves are placed in the same low light, the lower canopy leaves showed lower rates of photosynthesis.
Nonsurgical and surgical treatments provide successful outcomes for an Achilles tear
A new literature review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) found successful outcomes for an Achilles tendon tear with either minimally invasive surgery or nonsurgical bracing with a removable boot, especially in recreational athletes.
Rat study provides insights on tendon overuse injuries
In research conducted in rats, investigators have shown for the first time the effect of rotator cuff tendon overuse, or tendinopathy, on surrounding tissues.

Related Achilles Tendon Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...