Excerpts From Research Studies...
When the results from the two measurement sources (CCPM and Genovation Corp.) are examined, several patterns emerge.
The principle improvement was in the reduction of pressure or forces to the forefoot. All measurements taken show a significant reduction of the total forces in this area. This appears to have been accomplished without creating unwanted instability.
The high mid-foot topographic contours are almost certainly responsible for this and actually seem to have the benefit of providing generalized stability to the foot. In terms of integrated usefulness, this appears to have been accomplished while providing unusually effective plantar support. The static and dynamic data support this as well as the graphics exhibiting shortening of the foot, etc. Observable in the dynamic graphics are positive changes in the medial column, changes in the pressure patterns showing enhanced support, etc.
Since the device is a “neutral” [support] without posting varus/valgus, etc., and the remainder of the device seems well designed but possibly not responsible for these changes, it seems that the high midfoot topographic contours may be a functional approach in some [support] designs. Given that most conventional designs yield a slightly plantarflexed (after posting, etc.) foot, here we have a device apparently showing functional promise after repositioning of the foot in a dorsiflexed position. Also noted were the unusual changes in the center of pressure.
Sagittal plane stability has been noted throughout the study by center mass “tracking” through the longitudinally averaged axis and with other dynamic data and graphic result.
The Alznner® [support] appears to be an unusual design providing both support and stability with little unwanted secondary effect.
This study was conducted in two phases. The first phase involved three subjects who had never worn Alznner® [supports]. Kinetic (force), kinematic (motion) and dynamic electromyography (EMG) data was collected on these subjects during walking. Each subject was tested twice.
The second phase of the study utilized three subjects who had worn Alznner® [supports] continuously for over one year. Kinetic data only were collected on two of the three subjects during walking with the [supports]. Kinetic and kinematic data were collected on the third subject while walking with and without [supports]. In addition, a balance evaluation was performed on all three subjects during standing in various positions.
Purpose of the Study: Biomechanical evaluations performed previously at Michigan State University have shown that shoe [supports] can bring about a change in body movement and muscle and joint function in only two ways:
It can change the motion of the foot therefore altering ankle, knee and hip joint motion and upper body movement and/or
It can change the forces and torques placed on the body by altering their distribution on the plantar surface of the foot resulting in a change in the Center of Gravity (CG) of the body. This is referred to as altering the path of the Center of Pressure (COP) on the bottom of the foot.
The present work evaluated sagittal plane standing balance and stability in three foot conditions. The foot conditions were barefoot, Alznner® [supports] and custom [supports]. Balance was assessed during normal standing while a 200 Newton load was applied to the subjects, and while standing with the load. The load was directed downward and anterior to the ankle joint. It therefore created a <<<dosiflexor>>> torque which was resisted by the calf muscles. Center of pressure under the right foot and EMG from the Gastrocnemius and Anterior Tibialis muscles were evaluated.
The principle result was the improvement in balance and stability during the dynamic load application phase with the Alznner® [supports]. The load was applied over a period of nearly three seconds and the load caused the subjects to lean forward and the Gastrocnemius muscle EMG increased during this time. While using the Alznner® [supports] the forward movement of the center of pressure and the magnitude of the EMG were less compared to the other conditions. These results indicate the subjects were better balanced and more stable with Alznner® [supports] during dynamic, anterior loading. These results also suggest that the Alznner® [supports] may improve balance and stability during other dynamic tasks.
The smaller increase in Gastocnemius EMG with the Alznner® [supports] compared to the other conditions indicates that less muscular effort was needed to maintain balance in this condition. The reduced muscular effort may provide greater endurance for people while performing dynamic activities.
The EMG comparisons while the subjects were standing and holding the load were not statistically significant. However, the peak and mean Gastrocnemius EMG sample means for the Alznner® [support] were lower than those for other conditions. The non-significant result may be a Type II statistical error due to low power. These results may change when the total sample (10 or more subjects) is analyzed.
Results should not be construed as a product endorsement by the institutions or individuals conducting or assisting in these studies.