IMU-Based Effects Assessment of the Use of Foot Orthoses in the Stance Phase during Running and Asymmetry between Extremities

Sensors (Basel). 2021 May 10;21(9):3277. doi: 10.3390/s21093277.


The objectives of this study were to determine the amplitude of movement differences and asymmetries between feet during the stance phase and to evaluate the effects of foot orthoses (FOs) on foot kinematics in the stance phase during running. In total, 40 males were recruited (age: 43.0 ± 13.8 years, weight: 72.0 ± 5.5 kg, height: 175.5 ± 7.0 cm). Participants ran on a running treadmill at 2.5 m/s using their own footwear, with and without the FOs. Two inertial sensors fixed on the instep of each of the participant's footwear were used. Amplitude of movement along each axis, contact time and number of steps were considered in the analysis. The results indicate that the movement in the sagittal plane is symmetric, but that it is not in the frontal and transverse planes. The right foot displayed more degrees of movement amplitude than the left foot although these differences are only significant in the abduction case. When FOs are used, a decrease in amplitude of movement in the three axes is observed, except for the dorsi-plantar flexion in the left foot and both feet combined. The contact time and the total step time show a significant increase when FOs are used, but the number of steps is not altered, suggesting that FOs do not interfere in running technique. The reduction in the amplitude of movement would indicate that FOs could be used as a preventive tool. The FOs do not influence the asymmetry of the amplitude of movement observed between feet, and this risk factor is maintained. IMU devices are useful tools to detect risk factors related to running injuries. With its use, even more personalized FOs could be manufactured.

Keywords: asymmetry; foot orthoses; inertial measurement unit (IMU); kinematics; running.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Foot
  • Foot Orthoses*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement
  • Running*