Insoles claim to fight Parkinson’s symptoms by stimulating nerves in your feet

naboso insoles parkinsons stimulating feet insole pic marketing

From shoes with in-built laser-pointing tech to ones that incorporate robotic components, there are no shortage of high-tech attempts to rethink footwear to help battle the effects of Parkinson’s disease. A startup  called Naboso Technology has come up with an approach that’s less hardware intensive. According to its podiatrist creator, it works by hacking the human body by stimulating the nervous system via the bottom of the foot. Doing this can reportedly help improve balance and stability for people with Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis. and assorted other neurological disorders. And all it reportedly requires is a textured insole.

“The Naboso Technology insoles and mats uniquely stimulate the skin on the bottom of the feet to improve balance, posture and function,” Dr. Emily Splichal, founder of Naboso, told Digital Trends. “The skin on the bottom of the feet is sensitive to what’s called two-point discrimination, which is perceived as texture. Our insoles and mats have a two-point discrimination texture with a very specific height, shape and distance between each stimulus. Much like how our finger reads braille, our feet recognize that same pattern, which has an effect on connecting to your foundation, consciously feeling your feet again, and feeling more stable.”

It might sound like new-age hooey, but Splichal says that there is a wealth of scientific literature based on textured insoles. These studies have shown that different types of gait asymmetry can be corrected or improved in this way. This is noticeable in everyone from people who have suffered strokes to athletes, who can gain more even weight distribution and force output in their feet. However, Naboso claims that it is the first company to draw on this research for a commercially available product.

“Many of these patients haven’t felt their feet in years or have been struggling each day just to walk across the room,” Splichal said. “Once they put the Naboso insoles into their shoes, they immediately reconnect to their feet. Many begin walking faster and with longer strides. Some patients even feel so good they start running. We have also had athletes who use the Naboso insoles to accelerate their recovery after joint surgery or a bout of plantar fasciitis.”

But not every study has reached the same conclusions. A 2017 meta-analysis of some of the research in this area concluded that textured and stimulating insoles had “no effect” on Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis patients. Now that Naboso’s products are on the market, we’ll be interested to see if in-depth studies of their proprietary insoles yield different results.

Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

You can play these classic Xbox 360 games on your Xbox One

The Xbox One supports backward compatibility with a growing library of Xbox 360 games. These are the best Xbox 360 games that are backward compatible with Xbox One, including action games, shooters, and more.
Home Theater

Apple's new AirPods could arrive within months, pack health sensor tech

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.
Emerging Tech

Photosynthesizing artificial leaf may be the air-cleaning tool we’ve dreamed of

Engineers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have invented an artificial leaf which could both clean up our air and provide a cost-effective type of fuel. Here's how it works.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Emerging Tech

Global Good wants to rid the world of deadly diseases with lasers and A.I.

Global Good, a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates, aims to eradicate diseases that kill children in developing nations. It tackles difficult problems with high-tech prototypes.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.
Emerging Tech

China’s mind-controlled cyborg rats are proof we live in a cyberpunk dystopia

Neuroscience researchers from Zhejiang University, China, have created a method that allows humans to control the movements of rats using a technology called a brain-brain interface.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s MAVEN orbiter has a new job as a communication relay for Mars 2020

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter has been collecting atmospheric readings but now is taking on a new job as a data relay satellite for the Mars 2020 mission that launches next year.
Emerging Tech

Underground volcanoes could explain possible liquid water on Mars

Last year scientists discovered there could be liquid water on Mars. Now a research team argues that for there to be liquid water, there must be an underground source of heat -- and they believe underground volcanoes could be responsible.
Emerging Tech

The 10 most expensive drones that you (a civilian) can buy

OK, these drones may be a bit beyond your budget: Check out the most expensive drones in the world, from industrial giants to highest-end filming tools.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.