|Comparative Study of the Foot Arch Index Among Pregnant and Non-pregnant Women in a South Eastern Nigeria Community: A Cross-Sectional Analysis|
|Chidiebele Petronilla Ojukwu1, Tochukwu Hilary Onwumere1, Emelie Moris Anekwu2, Caesar Sylvester Chukwu1|
|1Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Enugu State Nigeria
2Physiotherapy Department, Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
CJMB 2016; 3: 081-085
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Keywords : Pregnancy, Arch index, Body mass index, Gestational trimesters, Nigeria
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Objective: Physical and hormonal changes during pregnancy result in biomechanical alterations which result in re-adjustments in the musculoskeletal system. Influence of these changes on the foot during gestation has been understudied. The aim of this study was to compare the arch indexes of pregnant and non-pregnant women and then determine the relationship between arch index and each of gestational age and body mass index (BMI) of pregnant women.
Materials and Methods: In this study, 328 (215 pregnant women in different trimesters and 113 nulliparous women) participants were selected from Enugu in South-Eastern Nigeria. Their arch indexes were obtained from their foot prints. Data was summarized using frequency counts, mean, standard deviation and percentages. Inferential statistics of independent t test and Pearson correlation test were used to determine the differences and relationships among variables with alpha level set at P < 0.05.
Results: Results showed that a greater percentage of the pregnant women (57.2% on the right foot and 59.1% on the left foot) had low arches, indicating pes planus as compared to their age-matched nulliparous counterparts (19.5% on the right and 23.3% on the left). Statistical analysis further showed significant differences between the arch indexes of women in both groups. No significant relationship was found among gestational trimesters, BMI and arch index of pregnant women.
Conclusion: Pregnant women have lower arch indexes, indicating pes planus, than nulliparous women. Gestational trimesters and BMI had no associations with the arch index during pregnancy.
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