Background The link between foot structure and low back pain (LBP) has been investigated recently because of biomechanical abnormalities are widely believed to be the likely causes of LBP (1, 2). Back and spine impairments were more common in women (3) and women slightly more often reported some kind of consequences due to spinal pain (4). Despite of detected gender differences arising from spinal pain, there has been no study that investigates the effect of foot posture on LBP among men and women separately.
Objectives The aim of this study to investigate the gender differences in foot posture and back pain intensity and to explore relation between foot posture and level of pain in men and women suffering from chronic LBP.
Methods 50 subjects of age 51.02±12.41years who admitted with chronic LBP to Physiotherapy Clinics between December 2014-March 2015 participated in this study. Foot posture of dominant side was determined by using Foot Posture Index (FPI). Higher positive FPI scores indicates a pronated foot posture, negative scores indicates a supinated foot posture (5). Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Oswestry back pain scale was used for pain assessment. Mann Whitney U test was used to compare FPI scores and pain intensity according to VAS and Oswestry back pain scale. Spearman correlation test was used to determine the relationship between foot posture scores and level of LBP for men and women separately.
Results There was no statistically difference between men and women for FPI scores (p=0.552) and LBP pain intensity according to VAS (p=0.579) and Oswestry back pain scale (p=0.890). While there was no statistically correlation between FPI scores and LBP pain intensity among men (p>0.05), a positively moderate correlation was detected between FPI scores and LBP pain intensity according to VAS among women (r=-0.393, p=0.019).
Conclusions In the literature, excessive pronation of foot was detected more frequently in individuals with LBP (6). Similarly in this study, women with pronated foot posture have higher level of LBP, not men. Therefore, clinicians should be interpreted the link between foot posture and LBP by considering gender.
Bird, A. R., & Payne, C. B. (1999). Foot function and low back pain. The Foot,9(4), 175–180.
O'Leary, C. B., Cahill, C. R., Robinson, A. W., Barnes, M. J., & Hong, J. (2012). A systematic review: the effects of podiatrical deviations on nonspecific chronic low back pain. Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, 26(2), 117–123.
Andersson, G. B. (1999). Epidemiological features of chronic low-back pain.The lancet, 354(9178), 581–585.
Leboeuf-Yde C, Fejer R, Nielsen J, Kyvik KO, Hartvigsen J. (2011). Consequences of spinal pain: do age and gender matter? A Danish cross-sectional population-based study of 34,902 individuals 20–71 years of age. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 12(1):39.
Redmond, A. C., Crosbie, J., & Ouvrier, R. A. (2006). Development and validation of a novel rating system for scoring standing foot posture: the Foot Posture Index. Clinical Biomechanics, 21(1), 89–98.
Brantingham JW, Lee Gilbert J, Shaik J, Globe G. (2006). Sagittal plane blockage of the foot, ankle and hallux and foot alignment-prevalence and association with low back pain. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 5(4):123–7.
Disclosure of Interest None declared