Identification of clusters of foot pain location in a community sample Academic Article uri icon


  • To identify foot pain clusters according to pain location in a community-based sample of the general population.This study analyzed data from the North West Adelaide Health Study. Data were obtained between 2004 and 2006, using computer-assisted telephone interviewing, clinical assessment, and self-completed questionnaire. The location of foot pain was assessed using a diagram during the clinical assessment. Hierarchical cluster analysis was undertaken to identify foot pain location clusters, which were then compared in relation to demographics, comorbidities, and podiatry services utilization.There were 558 participants with foot pain (mean age 54.4 years, 57.5% female). Five clusters were identified: 1 with predominantly arch and ball pain (26.8%), 1 with rearfoot pain (20.9%), 1 with heel pain (13.3%), and 2 with predominantly forefoot, toe, and nail pain (28.3% and 10.7%). Each cluster was distinct in age, sex, and comorbidity profile. Of the two clusters with predominantly forefoot, toe, and nail pain, one of them had a higher proportion of men and those classified as obese, had diabetes mellitus, and used podiatry services (30%), while the other was comprised of a higher proportion of women who were overweight and reported less use of podiatry services (17.5%).Five clusters of foot pain according to pain location were identified, all with distinct age, sex, and comorbidity profiles. These findings may assist in the identification of individuals at risk for developing foot pain and in the development of targeted preventive strategies and treatments.

publication date

  • 2017