A recent study found that Aetrex Premium Memory Foam Orthotics, both with and without metatarsal support, are clinically proven to reduce common sources of pain (i.e., back, foot, hip, knee and ankle pain) as well as the fear of falling for seniors. In particular, researchers concluded that the orthotics with a metatarsal pad perform better because the pad’s prominence under the forefoot provides improved awareness of body position to aid balance.
“This study demonstrates that adding orthotics to your shoes is a simple, non-invasive, and cost-effective solution to reduce pain and support healthy aging,” states Dr. George Ampat, an orthopedic surgeon at Aintree University Hospital, clinical teacher at the Liverpool School of Medicine, and medical consultant for Aetrex.
Healthy aging is a growing concern. People are living longer, and foot pain and fear of falling are obstacles to healthy aging. In fact, nearly one in four individuals experience foot pain in midlife, which can reduce physical activity and potentially contribute to poor mental health. Seniors who report a fear of falling more than double their risk of actually falling. In addition to the devastating individual consequences, senior falls also burden healthcare systems. In 2015, researchers estimated that U.S. medical costs for fatal and non-fatal falls totaled $50 billion.
The study shows both the interventional and control groups reported a significant decrease in the fear of falling, with the interventional group who wore the Aetrex Premium Memory Foam Orthotic with a metatarsal pad reporting greater reductions. “Orthotics with anatomically correct arch support enhance sensory feedback, improving proprioception,” Ampat says. “The metatarsal pad enhances one’s perception of balance even further by increasing contact with the greatest nerve concentration area in the foot.”
The clinical study, conducted in Liverpool, England in conjunction with The University of Liverpool, involved a randomized controlled trial with data collected from 206 participants aged 60 years or older with self-identified foot pain. The full study is published in the Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics Journal. To learn more about Aetrex and this study, visit aetrex.com.