Main Article Content
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a simple customized shoe-insert in decreasing abnormal plantar pressure and in changing the pain score in patients with chronic plantar foot pain.
Methods: Ten patients with chronic plantar foot pain were initially recruited from the outpatient unit of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Siriraj Hospital. The simple customized shoe-inserts were fabricated from 2 layers of EVA foam. Some pieces of foam were attached to the specific locations between the two layers by using the subjectsâ€™ foot pressure graph as blueprint. The plantar pressures were measured during walking by digital foot scanning (FootscanTM insole system), with and without the customized shoe-inserts in. The average pain scores were altogether reported by the patients in terms of a visual analog scale. The same measurements were repeated again with the shoe-inserts in after 2 weeks of use.
Results: Nine participants (3 males, 6 females) were evaluated completely. The diagnoses were plantar fasciitis (all 9 subjects) and matatarsalgia (3 of the 9 subjects). Immediately after applying the shoe-inserts, foot pressures were significantly decreased (p = 0.011) when walking. However after 2 weeks, the pressures were no longer significantly reduced (p = 0.859, p = 0.173) compared to the baseline before fitting. Also, for the pain score change, most subjects initially reported pain relieved (7 in 9 subjects), but the second visit showed no significant difference (p = 0.081) compared to the first day before using.
Conclusion: The simple customized shoe-inserts could potentially decrease average plantar pressure as well as the average pain score in most cases. However the pain score reductions were not significantly different after 2 weeks of the device applications. Future investigations with an appropriate sample size are required to precisely conclude the efficacy of the shoe-inserts.
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