Foot posture is thought to influence predisposition to overuse injuries of the lower limb. Although the mechanisms underlying this proposed relationship are unclear, it is thought that altered foot kinematics may play a role. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate differences in foot motion between people with normal- and flat-arched feet using the Oxford Foot Model (OFM). Foot posture in 19 participants was documented as normal-arched (n=10) or flat-arched (n=9) using a foot screening protocol incorporating measurements from weightbearing antero-posterior and lateral foot radiographs. Differences between the groups in triplanar motion of the tibia, rearfoot and forefoot during walking were evaluated using a three-dimensional motion analysis system incorporating a multi-segment foot model (OFM). Participants with flat-arched feet demonstrated greater peak forefoot plantar-flexion (-13.7° ± 5.6° vs -6.5° ± 3.7°; p=0.004), forefoot abduction (-12.9° ± 6.9° vs -1.8° ± 6.3°; p=0.002), and rearfoot internal rotation (10.6° ± 7.5° vs -0.2°± 9.9°; p=0.018) compared to those with normal-arched feet. Additionally, participants with flat-arched feet demonstrated decreased peak forefoot adduction (-7.0° ± 9.2° vs 5.6° ± 7.3°; p=0.004) and a trend towards increased rearfoot eversion (-5.8° ± 4.4° vs -2.5° ± 2.6°; p=0.06). These findings support the notion that flat-arched feet have altered motion associated with greater pronation during gait; factors that may increase the risk of overuse injury.
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