Biomechanics of the Ageing Foot and Ankle: A Mini-Review

Gerontology. 2015;61(4):381-8. doi: 10.1159/000368357. Epub 2014 Nov 11.


Foot pain is highly prevalent in older people and has a significant detrimental impact on mobility and quality of life. In recent years, there has been increased interest in exploring the biomechanical factors that may contribute to the development of foot disorders and the associated impairment of mobility in this age group. Studies have shown that with advancing age, there is a general tendency for the foot to exhibit increased soft tissue stiffness, a decreased range of motion, decreased strength and a more pronated posture as well as to function in a more pronated position with reduced joint mobility and less efficient propulsion when walking. These changes may contribute to the development of foot pain, impair performance in functional weight-bearing activities and increase the risk of falls. However, plantar pressure analysis technology has considerable potential to assist in optimising the design of interventions to redistribute load away from high-pressure areas, thereby alleviating foot symptoms and improving mobility in older people.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Foot / pathology*
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Foot Joints / pathology*
  • Foot Joints / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Posture / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Walking / physiology
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology