Study design: A randomized controlled, crossover, within-subjects study evaluating 2 antipronation treatments.
Objectives: To investigate the antipronation effect of 2 treatments designed to reduce abnormal pronation, and the effect of an exercise challenge on the treatments.
Background: Control of abnormal pronation in order to ameliorate inappropriate stresses on injured soft tissues is frequently sought in the treatment of overuse injuries of the lower limb. Tape and temporary soft orthotics are used to control abnormal pronation. The effects of these treatments remain largely untested.
Methods and measures: Fourteen subjects (age = 23.8 +/- 3.5 years) who had at least a 10-mm navicular drop were studied. The dependent variable was vertical navicular height. The two independent variables were the treatment conditions (temporary felt orthotics, augmented LowDye tape, and control) and the exercise challenge (0, 10, and 20 minutes of controlled jogging). The subjects' vertical navicular height was measured before and after the application of the treatment conditions, and then after 10 and 20 minutes of jogging.
Results: Tape and orthotic treatments produced approximately a 19% and 14% increase in vertical navicular height, respectively, which were both significantly greater than the control condition (0%). The treatment effect, although significantly diminished following exercise challenge, remained superior to control (6.5% for orthotic and 3.5% for tape compared to -7.3% for control).
Conclusion: Antipronation tape and temporary orthotics help to control excessive foot pronation initially after application and following exercise. These treatments may be useful in the assessment and treatment of lower limb injuries that are associated with abnormal foot pronation.