Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Advance toward treatment for painful flat feet

Date:
January 16, 2012
Source:
University of East Anglia
Summary:
Scientists have made an advance in understanding the causes of adult-acquired flat feet -- a painful condition particularly affecting middle-aged women.

A team led by the University of East Anglia has made an advance in understanding the causes of adult-acquired flat feet -- a painful condition particularly affecting middle-aged women.

Published recently in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, the findings could eventually lead to new drug therapy for this and other common conditions affecting the tendons, such as Achilles tendonitis.

Adult-acquired flat foot is most common in women over 40 and often goes undiagnosed. The condition results from the gradual 'stretching out' over time of a tendon near the ankle bone -- the tibialis posterior tendon -- which is the main stabiliser of the foot arch.

The causes of this stretching are not fully understood though some believe wearing high heels and standing or walking for long periods may play a role. Known risk factors for the condition include obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

Working with surgeons and scientists at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge and the University of Bristol, the team showed that the structure and composition of tendon specimens had changed and found evidence of increased activity of some proteolytic enzymes. These enzymes can break down the constituents of the tibialis posterior tendon and weaken it -- causing the foot arch to fall.

"Our study may have important therapeutic implications since the altered enzyme activity could be a target for new drug therapies in the future," said lead author Arthritis Research UK senior research fellow Dr Graham Riley, of UEA's School of Biological Sciences.

"We have shown that similar changes also take place in other painful tendon conditions such as Achilles tendonitis, so this advance may ultimately result in an effective alternative to surgery for many patients."

Dr Riley stressed that new treatments could be 10-15 years away. Further research was now needed into which specific proteolytic enzymes should be targeted and whether people could be genetically predisposed to tendon injuries of this type.

The research was funded by Arthritis Research UK, Cambridge Arthritis Research Endeavour, The Rosetrees Trust, The HB Allen Trust, and the Sybil Eastwood Trust.

Prof Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, said: "Foot problems are an important and not sufficiently recognised cause of pain and disability in the elderly. Aging changes to the supporting tendons contribute to these problems and this research represents a first step to successfully unraveling some of the complex biochemistry that regulates tendon disorders -- knowledge that could have a major impact on developing simple but effective therapeutic choices in the not so distant future."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of East Anglia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A Corps et al. Changes in matrix protein biochemistry and the expression of mRNA encoding matrix proteins and metalloproteinases in posterior tibialis tendinopathy. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Jan 12, 2012

Cite This Page:

University of East Anglia. "Advance toward treatment for painful flat feet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111223740.htm>.
University of East Anglia. (2012, January 16). Advance toward treatment for painful flat feet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111223740.htm
University of East Anglia. "Advance toward treatment for painful flat feet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120111223740.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins