- •Customized 3D printed foot orthoses did not change lower limb muscle activity.
- •Plantar pressures were modulated by the foot orthoses and the addition of posting.
- •Increasing foot orthoses stiffness altered plantar pressure distribution.
- •Foot orthoses had little effect on center of pression displacements during walking.
The 3D printing technology allows to produce custom shapes and add functionalities to foot orthoses which offers better options for the treatment of flatfeet. This study aimed to assess the effect of 3D printed foot orthoses stiffness and/or a newly design posting on muscle activity, plantar pressures, and center of pressure displacement in individuals with flatfeet.
Nineteen individuals with flatfeet took part in this study. Two pairs of foot orthoses with different stiffness were designed for each participant and 3D printed. In addition, the flexible foot orthoses could feature an innovative rearfoot posting. Muscle activity, plantar pressures, and center of pressure displacement were recorded during walking.
Walking with foot orthoses did not alter muscle activity time histories. Regarding plantar pressures, the most notable changes were observed in the midfoot area, where peak pressures, mean pressures and contact area increased significantly during walking with foot orthoses. The latter was reinforced by increasing the stiffness. Concerning the center of pressure displacement, foot orthoses shifted the center of pressure forward and medially at early stance. At the end of the stance phase, a transition of the center of pressure in posterior direction was observed during the posting condition. No effect of stiffness was observed on center of pressure displacement.
The foot orthoses stiffness and the addition of posting influenced plantar pressures during walking. The foot orthoses stiffness mainly altered the plantar pressures under the midfoot area. However, posting mainly acted on peak and mean pressures under the rearfoot area.
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Published online: December 28, 2021
Accepted: December 20, 2021
Received: September 20, 2021
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