Effects of textured compression socks on postural control in physically active elderly individuals

WOO, M.T., DAVIDS, K, LIUKKONEN, J., JAAKKOLA, T. and CHOW, J.Y. (2014). Effects of textured compression socks on postural control in physically active elderly individuals. Procedia Engineering, 72, 162-167.

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Link to published version:: 10.1016/j.proeng.2014.06.028


The aim of this investigation was to analyze the role of textured compression socks on somatosensory function in a sample of physically active elderly individuals when performing a static balancing task. Both textured insoles and athletic tape are deemed to be beneficial for enhancing proprioception because of the capacity for exploiting availability of “sensorimotor system noise”, which enhances movement control and individuals’ joint position perception. It was hypothesized that the compression feature in knee length socks would provide greater stimulation to lower leg mechanoreceptors, and help participants achieve better balance control. Participants (N=8) performed a 30-s Romberg static balance test protocol under three conditions (barefoot; wearing commercial socks; wearing textured compression socks), in a counterbalanced order, with four levels of performance difficulty: (1) standing on a stable surface with open eyes (SO); (2) a stable surface with closed eyes (SC); (3) a foam surface with open eyes (FO); and (4) a foam surface with closed eyes (FC). Two commonly investigated recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) measures (% Det and entropy) were extracted from the recurrence plot for multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA). There were no significant interactions between the levels of performance difficulty and the sock treatments, p> 0.05 for both % Det and entropy in both Anterior-posterior (AP) and medial-lateral (ML) directions. There was no significant main effect of sock treatments, P> 0.05). However, a main effect for performance difficulty on % Det and entropy was observed in both AP and ML directions. The RQA measures demonstrated that the sensory systems in elderly individuals are able to aid the adaptive re-organization of postural behaviour in response to changing task constraints (performance difficulty levels).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Published in special issue : The Engineering of Sport 10. Edited by David James, Simon Choppin, Tom Allen, Jon Wheat and Paul Fleming.

Paper from The 2014 Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, held at Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, 14-17 July 2014.

Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.proeng.2014.06.028
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2014 10:54
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 11:10
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8192

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