Share this article on:

Neuromuscular Activity of the Peroneal Muscle after Foot Orthoses Therapy in Runners


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: August 2011 - Volume 43 - Issue 8 - p 1500-1506
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31820c64ae
Applied Sciences

Purpose: Foot orthoses are a standard option to treat overuse injury. Biomechanical data providing mechanisms of foot orthoses' effectiveness are sparse. Stability of the ankle joint complex might be a key factor. The purpose was therefore to analyze neuromuscular activity of the musculus peroneus longus in runners with overuse injury symptoms treated with foot orthoses.

Methods: A total of 99 male and female runners with overuse injury symptoms randomized in a control group (CO) and an orthoses group (OR) were analyzed on a treadmill at 3.3 m·s−1 before and after an 8-wk foot orthoses intervention. Muscular activity of the musculus peroneus longus was measured and quantified in the time domain (initial onset of activation (T ini), time of maximal activity (T max), total time of activation (T tot)) and amplitude domain (amplitude in preactivation (A pre), weight acceptance (A wa), push-off (A po)).

Results: Peroneal activity in the time domain did not differ initially between CO and OR, and no effect was observed after therapy (T ini: CO = −0.88 ± 0.09, OR = −0.88 ± 0.08 / T max: CO = 0.14 ± 0.06, OR = 0.15 ± 0.06 / T tot: CO = 0.40 ± 0.09, OR = 0.41 ± 0.09; P > 0.05). In preactivation (A pre), muscle activity was higher in OR after intervention (CO = 0.97 ± 0.32, 95% confidence interval = 0.90-1.05; OR = 1.18 ± 0.43, 95% confidence interval = 1.08-1.28; P = 0.003). There was no group or intervention effect during stance (A wa: CO = 2.33 ± 0.66, OR = 2.33 ± 0.74 / A po: CO = 0.80 ± 0.41, OR = 0.88 ± 0.40; P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Enhanced muscle activation of the musculus peroneus longus in preactivation suggests an altered preprogrammed activity, which might lead to better ankle stability providing a possible mode of action for foot orthoses therapy.

1University Outpatient Clinic, Sports Medicine and Sports Orthopaedics, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, GERMANY; and 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, University Hospital Freiburg, Freiburg, GERMANY

Address for correspondence: Heiner Baur, Ph.D., University Outpatient Clinic, Sports Medicine and Sports Orthopaedics, Am Neuen Palais 10 - Haus 12, 14469 Potsdam, Germany; E-mail:

Submitted for publication August 2010.

Accepted for publication December 2010.

©2011The American College of Sports Medicine