June 2011

Findings link poor physical function outcome scores to painful or stiff feet

In the moment: Footcare

Treating aching or stiff feet may help patients prevent or cope with declines in physical function, report researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In more than 2500 participants, investigators looked at three measures of physical function: scores from the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ); timed repeated chair stands (completion time <12 seconds, ≥ 12 seconds, and unable); and 8-foot walk time (< 3.35 seconds and ≥ 3.35 seconds) and examined associations between these measures and foot symptoms (pain, aching, or soreness in at least one foot on most days).

After controlling for age, race, sex, BMI, radiographic knee and hip osteoarthritis, and knee, hip, and depressive symptoms, researchers determined that those with foot symptoms (37%) were more likely to have higher HAQ scores. In addition, obese participants with foot symptoms had longer chair-stand and 8-foot walk times than those without symptoms.

Foot symptoms were independently and significantly associated with two of three measures of poorer physical function, according to the findings published in the May issue of Arthritis Care and Research.

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