The role of plantar cutaneous mechanoreceptors on static stance and gait balance
The role of plantar cutaneous mechanoreceptors (PCMR) and associated afferent input on static stance and steady-state gait in healthy adults and the elderly was evaluated. PCMR affect balance and motor task performance through activation of spinal reflexes and input to higher cortical centers to influence movement and motor planning. In older adults, PCMR insensitivity has a negative effect on balance and performance, whereas tactile and vibration stimuli improve balance and performance. PCMR play an important role in static stance and gait balance maintenance. This information can be utilized effectively in the screening of fall-risk patients. It also supports the use of textured insoles and plantar subthreshold vibration for improving balance and performance in static stance and gait in older adults.