Lower limb injury prevention with foot orthoses
Lower limb overuse injuries are common with long-distance runners and physically active defense personnel.
Consequently, there have been many studies seeking to find an intervention that would ultimately reduce one's chance of developing such injury.
This study looked at the effectiveness of foot orthoses in the prevention of lower limb injuries in Australian Naval Recruits.
306 naval recruits undergoing an 11-week initial training program were randomly placed into either the intervention group or the control group.
The intervention consisted of having a prefabricated foot orthoses fitted into their athletic and defense-issued boots, while the control group received a 3 mm flat insole.
The primary objective of the study was to compare the incidence of these 4 specific diagnoses with a pain score of at least 30 mm on a 100 mm VAS scale: Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, Patellofemoral pain, Achilles tendinopathy and plantar heel pain.
The authors describe a 34% 'relative reduction of risk' for the intervention group compared with the control group with a Number Needed to Treat (NNT) of 12. Based on this, they conclude that prefabricated foot orthoses provide clinically relevant reduction in the combined incidence of the 4 lower limb injuries as listed above.
***NOTE: Upon reading the results, and based on statistics, the p-value of the intervention is 0.095 - which indicates weak evidence. However, the authors use a relative percentage to derive their conclusion. This may be a reminder for us as consumers of research to be aware of utilizing conclusions provided in the abstract that may not reflect the whole truth of the study.
> From: Bonanno et al., Br J Sports Med 52 (2018-03-05 21:04:09) 298-302. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the online summary.