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The Effect of Age and Body Mass Index on Plantar Cutaneous Sensation in Healthy Women

by MASS4D® Prescription Orthotics October 31, 2017


The aims of this study were twofold: to demonstrate how plantar sense is influenced in women with different body mass indices and the change in plantar sensation in healthy women according to age.

Healthy female volunteers who accompanied patients to family clinics in the country of Mudurnu (province of Bolu) formed the population of the study.

The criteria for being included in the study were – being over the age of 20, female, having no communication problems, and volunteering to participate in the study.

The demographic characteristics of the patients (age, height, weight, gender, body mass index (BMI)) were recorded for the study.

Foot pain was examined in the subjects with a visual analog scale (VAS); VAS is a pain severity measurement scale with demonstrated reliability.

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In order to assess plantar cutaneous sensation (tactile sensitivity), nylon Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments were used.

Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments apply bending stress to the skin and create a sense of pressure, and the amount of pressure applied is indicated by numbers ranging from 1.65 to 6.65.

The results of the study showed that plantar sensation decreased in healthy women as age and BMI values increased.

Similarly, it was also determined that the frequency and severity of pain in the feet increased with age, and that the severity of pain (VAS) was higher in individuals who were obese when compared with normal weight individuals.

Differences have been observed in tactile sensitivity and proprioceptive sensation with increasing age.

The decrease in tactile sensitivity, together with the decreasing stimuli coming from the foot and ankle area, may lead to serious postural stability problems and falling.

This makes the provision of plantar sensation training important for individuals to maintain patient quality of life and decrease the risk of injuries.

Copyright 2017 MASS4D® All rights reserved. 

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  1. Yümin, E. T., Şimşek, T. T., Sertel, M., Ankarali, H. (2016) The Effect of Age and Body Mass Index on Plantar Cutaneous Sensation in Healthy Women. The Journal of  Physical Therapy Science: 2016, Vol. 28, No. 9, pp. 2587-2595.

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