Background: Body awareness is an expression of the extent of sensitivity and attentiveness to internal bodily signals and sensations. The foot has a critical function in providing interoceptive and exteroceptive information. The purposes of this study were to 1) compare body awareness in individuals with and without hallux valgus (HV) deformity, and 2) investigate the relationship between body awareness and HV-related parameters.
Methods: A total of 129 participants completed the assessments. The severity of the HV was evaluated using the Manchester Scale; pain severity was evaluated using the numeric pain rating scale; and the functional status was evaluated using the Manchester-Oxford Foot Questionnaire. The patients were divided into 2 groups according to the Manchester Scale scores as the presence or absence of HV. The body awareness of the individuals with HV was assessed using the Body Awareness Questionnaire.
Results: Included in this study were 69 participants with HV and 60 healthy participants. There was no difference between groups in terms of demographic properties. Two groups were found different only in pain severity (P < 0.01). The correlation analysis showed that there was a low correlation between the body awareness score and pain severity in both feet (right foot r: 0.306, P = 0.011; left foot r: 0.320, P = 0.007) in individuals with HV.
Conclusions: Participants with HV had higher pain severity and the pain severity was associated with the body awareness. The level of body awareness should be assessed and taken into consideration in the management of pain in patients with HV.