The effectiveness of foot orthotics in improving postural control in individuals with chronic ankle instability: a critically appraised topic

J Sport Rehabil. 2015 Feb;24(1):68-71. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2013-0036. Epub 2013 Aug 12.


Clinical scenario: Chronic ankle instability (CAI) is a condition commonly experienced by physically active individuals. It has been suggested that foot orthotics may increase a CAI patient's postural control.

Clinical question: For patients with CAI, is there evidence to suggest that an orthotic intervention will help improve postural control?

Summary of key findings: The literature was searched for studies of level 2 evidence or higher that investigated the effects of foot orthotics on postural control in patients with CAI. The search of the literature produced 5 possible studies for inclusion; 2 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included. One randomized controlled trial and 1 outcomes study were included. Foot orthotics appear to be effective at improving postural control in patients with CAI.

Clinical bottom line: There is moderate evidence to support the use of foot orthotics in the treatment of CAI to help improve postural control.

Strength of recommendation: There is grade B evidence that foot orthotics help improve postural control in people with CAI. The Centre of Evidence Based Medicine recommends a grade of B for level 2 evidence with consistent findings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Ankle Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Joint Instability / rehabilitation*
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Sprains and Strains / physiopathology
  • Sprains and Strains / prevention & control