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Functional foot symmetry and its relation to lower extremity physical performance in older adults

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Old 9th May 2012, 11:42 AM
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Default Functional foot symmetry and its relation to lower extremity physical performance in older adults

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Functional foot symmetry and its relation to lower extremity physical performance in older adults: The Framingham Foot Study.
Riskowski JL, Hagedorn TJ, Dufour AB, Hannan MT.
J Biomech. 2012 May 3
Quote:
BACKGROUND:
While many studies use gait symmetry as a marker of healthy gait, the evidence that gait symmetry exists is limited. Because gait symmetry is thought to arise through laterality (i.e., limb preference) and affects gait retraining efforts, it is important to understand if symmetry exists during gait in older adults. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate foot and gait symmetry in the population-based Framingham Foot Study as well as to determine the effects of vertical force symmetry on physical performance measures.

METHODS:
Members of the Framingham Foot Study were included in this analysis (N=1333). Foot function and force data were collected using the Tekscan Matscan during self-selected gait, with symmetry evaluated using the symmetry index. The short physical performance battery (SPPB) measures of balance, chair stands and gait speed assessed lower extremity physical function. Participants were evaluated using quartiles of gait speed and foot symmetry to determine the effects of symmetry on lower extremity physical function.

RESULTS:
Individuals with faster gait speed displayed greater foot function asymmetry; individuals with -3.0% to -9.5% asymmetry in foot function performed better on the short physical performance battery (SPPB). Further, with aging, the degree of asymmetry was reduced.

CONCLUSIONS:
While this research suggests that a moderate degree of foot asymmetry is associated with better lower extremity function, the causes of vertical force asymmetry are unknown. Future studies should evaluate the causes of foot asymmetry and should track the changes in symmetry that occur with aging.
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Old 16th May 2012, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: Functional foot symmetry and its relation to lower extremity physical performance in older adults

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Functional foot symmetry and its relation to lower extremity physical performance in older adults: The Framingham Foot Study.
Riskowski JL, Hagedorn TJ, Dufour AB, Hannan MT.
J Biomech. 2012 May 3
I think that this study updates the finding of Drillis and Walker who studied walking longitudinally and found that as we age we walk slower and take smaller steps.

I think the reasons are variable including TIP but when we walk slower and take smaller steps, we improve balance and reduce the need (as proven here) to compensate for many underlying biomechanical factors.

Dennis
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