This study aimed to verify the potential for functional abnormality of the foot and plantar fasciitis among people with flat feet.
This was done by comparing the foot function and thickness of the plantar fascia between young adults who have normal feet and those who have flat feet.
A total of 52 young men and women were selected as the subjects in this study.
The subjects were evenly divided into a normal foot group and a flat foot group based on navicular drop test (NDT) results.
The authors used ultrasonography (Prosound 2, Hitachi Aloka Medical, Tokyo, Japan) to measure the thickness of the plantar fascia.
The Foot function index was used to analyse pain, restricted movement, and functional abnormality of the foot during daily activities.
To measure the ankle joint in dorsiflexion and plantar flexion, the subjects took a neutral position of the ankle in a supine position.
Ankle strength (dorsiflexion, plantar flexion, inversion, and eversion) was measured using a handheld dynamometer.
The authors conducted an independent sample t-test to compare the NDT outcome, thickness of the plantar fascia, range of motion (ROM) of the ankle joint, and ankle muscle strength between the normal foot group and the flatfoot group.
The average fascia thickness in the flatfoot group was found to be 4.7 mm, which is similar to or slightly thinner than the measures of previous studies.
Significant differences in muscle strength and of ROM in dorsiflexion were observed between the two groups.
The muscle strength of the ankle in dorsiflexion and eversion in the flatfoot group was 2.39 N/ kg and 2.14 N/kg, respectively, which was significantly lower than that of the normal foot group.
The flatfoot group showed predictors that can cause plantar fasciitis, including foot pain, reduced ROM of the ankle joint, and hypertrophy of the plantar fascia.
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