Contributions of foot muscles and plantar fascia morphology to foot posture Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND:The plantar foot muscles and plantar fascia differ between different foot postures. However, how each individual plantar structure contribute to foot posture has not been explored. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between static foot posture and morphology of plantar foot muscles and plantar fascia and thus the contributions of these structures to static foot posture. METHODS:A total of 111 participants were recruited, 43 were classified as having pes planus and 68 as having normal foot posture using Foot Posture Index assessment tool. Images from the flexor digitorum longus (FDL), flexor hallucis longus (FHL), peroneus longus and brevis (PER), flexor hallucis brevis (FHB), flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) and abductor hallucis (AbH) muscles, and the calcaneal (PF1), middle (PF2) and metatarsal (PF3) regions of the plantar fascia were obtained using a Venue 40 ultrasound system with a 5-13 MHz transducer. RESULTS:In order of decreasing contribution, PF3 > FHB > FHL > PER > FDB were all associated with FPI and able to explain 69% of the change in FPI scores. PF3 was the highest contributor explaining 52% of increases in FPI score. Decreased thickness was associated with increased FPI score. Smaller cross sectional area (CSA) in FHB and PER muscles explained 20% and 8% of increase in FPI score. Larger CSA of FDB and FHL muscles explained 4% and 14% increase in FPI score respectively. CONCLUSION:The medial plantar structures and the plantar fascia appear to be the major contributors to static foot posture. Elucidating the individual contribution of multiple muscles of the foot could provide insight about their role in the foot posture.

publication date

  • 2018