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OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and severity of foot pain and deformity and the associated risk of leg and low back pain.
METHOD: A cross-sectional postal survey was conducted among a randomly selected sample of 2100 adult Danish inhabitants (18-80 years of age). Participants reported 1-month period prevalences of foot, lower leg, knee, hip and back pain.
RESULTS: Responder rate was 79.6%. Prevalence of foot pain was 30.4% with a total of 55.9% reporting pain in the foot, leg or back lasting more than 1 day within the previous month. Foot pain lasting more than 1 month was experienced by 16.2% and 11.9% had pain lasting more than 1 year. The prevalence of self-reported pes planus or pes cavus was 17.9%. There was a significant association between foot pain and pain elsewhere in the leg and low back. Self-reported foot deformity was significantly associated with foot pain. Women had a significantly higher prevalence of foot pain and Body Mass Index was associated with foot pain in women but not in men.
CONCLUSIONS: Foot pain is highly prevalent and associated with foot deformity and leg and low back pain. More attention should be focused on foot pain and foot deformity. It is suggested that clinical examination of leg and low back pain should include foot examination.