The aims of this study were to: (i) examine if a change in bodyweight is associated with a change in plantar pressures, and to (ii) examine whether a change in bodyweight and plantar pressures are associated with a change in foot pain intensity or foot-related functional limitation over a two-year period.
Participants from a previous study that investigated obesity, foot posture, range of motion and plantar pressure characteristics were invited to participate in this two-year longitudinal cohort study.
Foot pain and disability were measured with the Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Index (MFPDI), a valid and reliable measure of foot pain and disability.
The MFPDI consists of 19 items designed to assess four domains: functional limitation, pain intensity, personal appearance and difficulties with work or leisure activities.
Dynamic plantar pressure data were collected with the MatScan® (Tekscan, USA) platform system.
Correlations between change in bodyweight, change in regional peak pressure, change in foot pain intensity and functional limitation were assessed using multivariable linear regression.
There were significant associations between change in bodyweight, change in midfoot plantar pressure and change in functional limitation.
Change in heel plantar pressure was significantly associated with a change in functional limitation, but not a change in bodyweight.
Change in body mass was not significantly associated with change in foot pain intensity, but there were significant, positive correlations between change in foot pain intensity and change in both heel and midfoot peak pressure.
These findings suggest that as bodyweight and plantar pressure increase, foot pain increases, and that the midfoot may be the most vulnerable site for pressure-related pain.
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