Adherence to partial weight bearing (PWB) plays a crucial role in early rehabilitation and motor control. Dynamic biofeedback insole systems provide a supportive function on immediate PWB adherence, while important long-term retention effects and potential advantages to a conventional static training remain unknown.
Is acoustic insole feedback training effective for the retention of prescribed PWB adherence and is there any advantage relative to static training using a conventional bathroom scale? Methods Twenty-four volunteers were randomized into two groups receiving biofeedback training (N = 12) via a mobile insole system (Loadsol®) or conventional training using a bathroom scale (N = 12). After initial PWB training (20 kg) of one randomized leg, the immediate and one-week retention effects were analysed using mean and maximum load (N) and overload rate (%). Statistical analysis was performed using a two-way repeated measures ANOVA with post-hoc pairwise comparisons (p < 0.05).
A significantly (p < 0.001) improved immediate and long-term PWB adherence was found for the insole feedback group during walking. A significant (p < 0.001) reduction of the overload rate by 86% was found for the insole feedback group when compared to the conventional training group after one week. Significant (p < 0.01) reductions by 51% and 46% was also found for the mean and maximum load in the insole feedback group when compared to the conventional training group.
The use of insole feedback systems can serve as a viable tool to become familiar with PWB and to provide optimal retention of specified loads. Therefore, such systems serve as an advantageous training intervention to maintain a prescribed PWB during locomotion.
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