Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Kinesiology (MKin)


Kinesiology and Physical Education


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Stephen D. Perry

Advisor Role



Locomotion and turning are complex movement patterns essential to activities of daily living. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) report difficulties turning, often coupled with impaired balance and increased fear of falling. The purpose of this within-subject study was to determine if orthotics, with and without a textured top cover, can improve gait stability and turning performance within Parkinson’s participants. Seven participants with a diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, aged 55-80 years old, participated in the study. Participants completed three testing sessions; baseline, 4 weeks post-baseline, and 5 weeks post-baseline. The ‘footwear only’ and ‘footwear + non-textured orthotic’ conditions were tested at baseline, ‘footwear + non-textured orthotic’ and ‘footwear + textured orthotic’ conditions were testing at 4-weeks, and the ‘footwear + textured orthotic’ condition was repeated at 5 weeks. Kinematic, kinetic, electromyographical, and video data was collected during a turning task. The turn task consisted of walking towards a pre-determined turn area, and then completing a 180° to static stance. Variables of interest were categorized into three main areas: dynamic stability (COM/BOS ML maximum, minimum, and range), turning performance (turn strategy, step count, step length, step width, and average walking velocity), and average muscle activity of lower limb musculature (tibialis anterior, medial gastrocnemius, and peroneus longus). Results were further subdivided between acute and long-term changes associated with both non-textured and textured orthotics. Long-term orthotic wear and the addition of texture appears to significantly improve dynamic stability, characterized by an increase in the ML maximum and ML range COM/BOS relationship. Significant increases in averaged muscle activity of the ipsilateral tibialis anterior and medial gastrocnemius were noted in the textured orthotic condition, along with significant decreases in ipsilateral peroneus longus. These study results provide two potential treatment options, foot orthotics and textured orthotics, for rehabilitation professionals treating Parkinson’s disease individuals.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season