Factory Workers and Employers Reap Benefits from Inexpensive Biofeedback Insole

Scholl Plc (UK) and Scholl Japan Wear Test of the Dynapro Insole*


Factory employees were asked to use a biofeedback insole during their time at work and record their experience with the device with respect to pain and discomfort localized to the area of the foot and back.


a. Objective: This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of a biofeedback insole system on pain and discomfort.


b. Design: A prospective cohort study in which a control group and a test group recorded experiences relating to pain and discomfort.


c. Participants: 87 volunteers wore the insoles for 12 weeks. The volunteers (Control Goup = 22, test Group = 65) were tested for their pain and discomfort levels prior to using the insole devices and at set periods during the test phase.


d. Methods: The volunteers were tested for their initial pain or discomfort level, and periodically throughout the test period. The wear test data was compared to a control group who did not wear any special insole product other than that coming as original equipment in their safety footwear.


e. Outcome measures: Pain logs were used to record self]reported pain with respect to intensity, frequency and duration for the foot and back on a 10 point pain scale modified to address issues related to the foot and back.


f. Results: We performed two factor repeated measures ANOVAs (ANalysis Of VAriance)(= 0.05) to test the effects of time (number of weeks in study), and the insole (presence or absence)(independent variables), on six F.I.T. variables describing the test subjectfs back and foot pain experience quantified using the Pain Scale(dependent variables).


g. Conclusions: After a 12 week period the wear test data, for the three]foot and three back pain variables, was analysed and tested for statistically significance. In all six cases the insole system reduced the frequency, duration and intensity of pain. It was noted the observed measurables for the Control Group increased. This may possibly indicate that to some extent low level daily pain and discomfort experiences become an accepted facet of daily life and thus go unnoticed until prompted to observe them.


A significant difference was observed in:


1) A reduction in frequency of foot pain
2) A reduction in intensity of foot pain
3) A reduction in duration of foot pain
4) A reduction in frequency of back pain
5) A reduction in intensity of back pain

6) A reduction in duration of back pain


These results are as expected in that the muscle activation, muscle firing and resultant exercise and strengthening produce a more stable foot structure. The presence of stronger more efficient foot muscles allows for increase management of energy within the foot and a reduction in the need for energy dissipation through harmful modes such as soft tissue destruction.


The reductions in pain are attributed to better localised energy management and reduction of energy dissipation through soft tissue destruction as well as improved pressure distribution over articulating surfaces resulting from improved musculoskeletal alignment. As a result of the observed benefits it is anticipated that the impact on worker productivity, lost man hours and health insurance claims would all be affected in a manner as to benefit both the employer and the worker.


*The Dynapro Insole was manufactured to the specification outlined in US Patent 5,404,659.



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