Acute Orthotic Intervention Does Not Affect Muscular Response Times and Activation Patterns at the Knee

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David H. Perrin, Former Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor (Creator)
Sandra J. Shultz, Professor and Chair (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Objective: To evaluate the short-term effect of a semirigid foot orthotic device on response times and activation patterns of knee musculature in individuals with hyperpronation after a lower extremity perturbation in a single-leg, weight-bearing stance.Design and Setting: We used a lower extremity perturbation device designed to produce a forward and either internal or external rotation of the trunk and femur on the weight-bearing tibia to evoke a reflex response. Subjects were tested both with and without orthotic devices.Subjects: Seventeen (13 male, 4 female) volunteers (age, 20.6 ± 1.8 years; height, 181.0 ± 8.1 cm; weight, 87.4 ± 19.5 kg; navicular drop, 12.1 ± 1.8 mm) with a navicular drop greater than 10 mm volunteered for this study.Measurements: Long latency reflex times were recorded via surface electromyography for the medial and lateral hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and quadriceps muscles.Results: A dependent-sample t test revealed a significant decrease in navicular drop with orthotic intervention (P < .0001). With that confirmed, separate repeated-measures analyses of variance with 2 within factors (orthotic condition and muscle) revealed no significant difference in muscle response time between orthotic and nonorthotic conditions for either internal or external rotation perturbation. Although we found a main effect for muscle for both internal (P < .0001) and external (P < .0001) rotation, indicating a preferred muscle activation order, this activation order did not differ between orthotic and nonorthotic conditions (internal rotation P=.674, external rotation P=.829).Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a short-term application of a semirigid orthotic device does not alter muscle response times or activation patterns of the muscles that stabilize the knee. Further research is needed to determine whether changes in activation patterns may occur over time since mechanical adaptations occur with long-term wear.

Additional Information

Journal of Athletic Training. 2002. 37(2), 133–140.
Language: English
Date: 2002
hyperpronation, subtalar pronation, electromyography, long latency reflex

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