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Sunday, March 24, 2013
Balance in the Elderly: Article Documenting Improvement with Foot Orthoses
Many of my elderly patients are unsteady. This article documents the possible benefits of foot orthotic devices as an important aspect of a Fall Prevention Program. Functional Foot Orthotic Devices can dramatically improve the surface area of contact of the bottom of the foot (bringing the ground up to meet the foot surface exactly) enhancing proprioception or balance. I have seen this daily in my private practice. But, it must be used with stable shoes, and the patient must look more stable and feel more stable. Sometimes, it appears more stable to me, but the patient senses some instability. Sometimes, the patient feels fine, but the shoe/orthotic combination looks unstable to me. So, functional foot orthotics must be evaluated shoe by shoe in a good Fall Prevention Program, but will be a valuable part of this program.