When does mechanical plantar stimulation promote sensory re-weighing: Standing on a firm or compliant surface?

Andrea Preszner-Domjan, Edit Nagy, Edit Sziver, Anna Feher-Kiss, Gyongyi Horvath, Janos Kranicz

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of different types of mechanical stimulation of the sole on standing postural stability in healthy, young adults. Fifty subjects (34 women, 16 men; mean age 23 ± 2 (mean ± SE)) stood barefoot on fixed force plates both with open and closed eyes on firm surface and then on compliant surface (foam). A modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction on Balance protocol was employed to assess the center of gravity (COG) excursions along anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) axes on each surface and visual condition. After the baseline measurement, a stimulation was applied with an elastic spiked layer topped to the firm and then foam surface, and the COG excursions were measured during the stimulation, and then at least 30 min after the stimulation of the spiked layer, we used 10 min of manual static and glide pressure applied to the plantar surface of both feet. Immediately after manual stimulation, static balance parameters were measured again. Results showed that after manual stimulation, the sway path with closed eyes decreased significantly on the AP and ML directions on firm surface conditions. The spiked layer caused significantly decreased sway path on firm platform in both directions, but it was ineffective on compliant surface. Our results established that the activation of plantar mechanoreceptors by 10-min manual stimulation can partially compensate subjects for the absence of visual input and the lack of accurate pressure information from the supporting surface, too.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2979-2987
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2012



  • Compliant surface
  • Manual stimulation
  • Postural sway
  • Sole
  • Spiked layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)

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