Foot disorders and their related symptoms are associated with poor health outcomes, such as falls and functional limitations.
Few studies have systematically explored the anatomical or biomechanical factors associated with specific foot disorders.
The purpose of this study was to assess the relation between foot disorders, and foot posture and function in a population-based sample of adults.
Data were obtained from the Framingham Foot Study, a population-based assessment of foot health in older adults residing in the area of Framingham, Massachusetts, USA.
The sample was comprised of three groups: the Framingham Original Cohort, the Framingham Offspring Cohort, and Framingham community members recruited through census based random-digit dialing of residents over 50 years of age.
Participants with foot posture, foot function, foot examination and covariate data were included.
A trained examiner performed a standardised physical examination of participants’ feet to determine the presence of specific foot disorders in a manner comparable to a clinical assessment.
The different foot conditions that the participants were examined for included plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, hallux rigidus, hammer, claw and overlapping toes.
Plantar pressure data were collected using a Tekscan Matscan at 406 Hz.
Foot posture and function were assessed using participants’ plantar pressure scans. Foot posture was characterised using the modified arch index (MAI), measured from participants’ standing scan.
A per-foot analysis was used to analyse the relation of foot posture and function to the foot disorders included in this study.
Both planus foot posture and pronated foot function were associated with significantly higher odds of several foot disorders.
These results underscore the utility of clinical input in understanding the relations between foot posture, function, and foot disorders.
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