The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether knee and hip pain are more prevalent with contralateral foot pain than with ipsilateral foot pain in a population-based sample of men and women.
Members of the Framingham Foot Study received a validated foot examination evaluating specific foot disorders, pain, pain location (including side of pain), and pain severity.
Generalised foot pain was measured using a query about foot pain based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey pain questions.
To assess pain at other sites, participants were given a diagram of the body with ten joint regions highlighted (shoulders, elbows, hips, wrists, knees, ankles, neck, upper back, middle back, and lower back) and were instructed to mark the regions where they experienced pain.
Age, height, and weight were collected at the foot examination.
Descriptive statistics were generated for study variables using means and standard deviations or percentages where appropriate.
The findings of the study proved that foot pain was associated with bilateral and ipsilateral knee pain in men and women.
Foot pain was also associated with ipsilateral hip pain in men, whereas in women bilateral foot pain was associated with ipsilateral, contralateral, and bilateral hip pain.
This study advocates for a change in the paradigm of how patients with lower extremity pain should be evaluated clinically.
Clinicians should inquire about pain and examine patients’ feet.
For clinicians who provide foot-related care, asking patients about hip or knee pain may provide further insights.
Clinicians who provide care for hips and knees may benefit their patients by asking them about their foot pain.
The results of the study remind health care providers that the basic physical examination and patient history remains important in identifying pain and related patterns in patients.
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