Associations of region-specific foot pain and foot biomechanics: the framingham foot study

Jody L. Riskowski, Thomas J. Hagedorn, Alyssa B. Dufour, Marian T. Hannan

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    10 Citations (Scopus)
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    Background. Specific regions of the foot are responsible for the gait tasks of weight acceptance, single-limb support, and forward propulsion. With region foot pain, gait abnormalities may arise and affect the plantar pressure and force pattern utilized. Therefore, this study’s purpose was to evaluate plantar pressure and force pattern differences between adults with and without region-specific foot pain.

    Methods. Plantar pressure and force data were collected on Framingham Foot Study members while walking barefoot at a self-selected pace. Foot pain was evaluated by self-report and grouped by foot region (toe, forefoot, midfoot, or rearfoot) or regions (two or three or more regions) of pain. Unadjusted and adjusted linear regression with generalized estimating equations was used to determine associations between feet with and without foot pain.

    Results. Individuals with distal foot (forefoot or toes) pain had similar maximum vertical forces under the pain region, while those with proximal foot (rearfoot or midfoot) pain had different maximum vertical forces compared to those without regional foot pain (referent). During walking, there were significant differences in plantar loading and propulsion ranging from 2% to 4% between those with and without regional foot pain. Significant differences in normalized maximum vertical force and plantar pressure ranged from 5.3% to 12.4% and 3.4% to 24.1%, respectively, between those with and without regional foot pain.

    Conclusions. Associations of regional foot pain with plantar pressure and force were different by regions of pain. Region-specific foot pain was not uniformly associated with an increase or decrease in loading and pressure patterns regions of pain.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1281-1288
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournals of Gerontology, Series A
    Issue number10
    Early online date20 May 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


    • plantar heel pain
    • arch pain
    • idiopathic pain
    • older adults
    • gait analysis


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