Foot Pain and Mobility Limitations in Older Adults: The Framingham Foot Study Academic Article uri icon


  • Foot pain is very common in the general population and has been shown to have a detrimental impact on health-related quality of life. This is of particular concern in older people as it may affect activities of daily living and exacerbate problems with balance and gait. The objective of this study is to evaluate the independent relationships between foot pain and mobility limitation in a population of community-dwelling older adults.Population-based cross-sectional study. Participants (n = 1,544) from the Framingham Foot Study (2002-2008) were assessed for physical performance. Foot pain was documented using the question "On most days, do you have pain, aching, or stiffness in either foot?" Mobility limitation was assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery, dichotomized using 1-9 as an indicator of mobility limitation and 10-12 as no mobility limitation.Foot pain was reported by 19% of men and 25% of women. After adjusting for age, obesity, smoking status, and depression, foot pain was significantly associated with mobility limitation in both men (odds ratio = 2.00, 95% confidence interval 1.14 - 3.50; p = .016) and women (odds ratio = 1.59, 95% confidence interval 1.03 - 2.46; p = .037).In our study of older adults from the Framingham Foot Study, foot pain was associated with an increased odds of having mobility limitation in both men and women. Clinicians should consider assessment of foot pain in general examinations of older adults who are at risk of mobility limitation.


  • Menz, HB
  • Dufour, AB
  • Casey, VA
  • Riskowski, JL
  • McLean, RR
  • Katz, P
  • Hannan, MT

publication date

  • October 1, 2013