Reliability of different clinical techniques for assessing foot posture.

Review written by Ian Griffiths info

Key Points

  1. Navicular drop appears to be the most reliable way to assess foot posture of all the methods used in this study.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Foot posture has long been clinically examined and measured with the historic belief that it may predict how the foot will function dynamically and also correlate predictably with lower-extremity injury (1,2). This is contentious when the totality of the literature on human foot structure and function is considered, but it is worth considering that the ability to simplify a complex structure such as the foot and then ‘categorise’ it, may have some benefit to those designing and implementing research experiments.

The objective of this recent study was to determine the reliability of five common methods of assessing foot posture:

  1. Navicular drop (NDP) (3)
  2. Navicular drift (NDT) (4)
  3. Foot posture index (FPI-6) (5)
  4. Static and dynamic arch indices (SAI & DAI) (6,7)

With the exception of the DAI, all of these methods are ways to quantify static foot posture and are thought to be among the most commonly used clinically.

Foot posture has been measured with the historic belief that it may predict how the foot will function dynamically and also correlate predictably with lower-extremity injury.
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This study suggests that experienced clinicians can be confident that the navicular drop is a reliable method of quantifying foot posture.

METHODS

A total of 60 participants (36 female, 24 male) took part in the study, with a mean age of 24 (+/- 3.52) years and a mean BMI of 22.63 (+/- 2.49) kg/m². The key exclusion criteria were a lack of

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