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Heel Pain/Plantar Fasciopathy - previously known as plantar fasciitis

 

 

 

Plantar fasciopathy is considered one of the most common foot abnormalities, affecting up to 2 million Americans each year, with the chief complaint being acute heel pain.  Previously known as plantar fasciitis, now referred to as plantar fasciopathy.  The reason being, fasciitis implies inflammation, studies show no signs of inflammation but rather disorganized fibrous tissue.

 

 

 

What is plantar fascia?

Plantar fascia is the fibrous tissue found on the bottom of the foot, supporting the arch.   Symptoms include severe pain in a.m. with initial steps, decreasing with continued walking. Pain returns with prolonged walking and weight bearing.  

 

Who gets plantar fasciopathy?

Plantar fasciopathy can occur in athletic and sedentary populations, typically between 40-60 years old (present in younger populations as well), women slightly more than men.

 

Associate Risk Factors

obesity, high or low arches, limited ankle range of motion, weak muscles, tight hamstrings and calves, hard surfaces, poor footwear.  When plantar fasciopathy is present in both feet, it is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and gout.

 

What is the cause?

Plantar fasciopathy is caused from a mechanical dysfunction.  This simply means how the foot is used during daily life such was walking, standing, or running.  The foot and ankle must be flexible to absorb shock, adaptable to varying terrains, and become a rigid lever to propel the body during movements like walking and running.  When the lower extremity (hip, knee, ankle, & foot) are not functioning properly, the plantar fascia can become irritated and over stressed, resulting in plantar fasciopathy.  

 

 

Differential diagnosis (other causes of heel pain)

Posterior tibial nerve entrapment, diabetes, lumbar dysfunction, S1 entrapment, Baxter's nerve entrapment, medial calcaneal nerve entrapment, fracture, sever's disease, fat pad atrophy, contusion, tendinopathy, bursitis, benign and malignant conditions. 

 

 

Evidence Supported Interventions 

 

- Manual therapy:  improved pain scores and self reported function.  

 

- Night split in combination with foot orthosis:  The combination of the two interventions was superior to the application in foot orthoses alone in relieving foot pain

 

- Custom foot orthoses more effective than sham orthoses in improving function, but not for reducing pain after 3 and 12 months

 

- Trigger point dry needling vs sham dry needling:  Limited evidence for dry needling into muscle trigger points

 

- Modalities (including ultrasound, TENS, Iontophoresis):  no significant improvement and failed to support the use over manual therapy.

 

- Corticosteroid Injections:   benefits do not off set the risks. Potential risk include injection-site pain, infection, subcutaneous fat atrophy, plantar fascia rupture, peripheral nerve injury, and muscle damage.

 

 

Treating Plantar Fasciopathy

 

 

According to the latest evidence (in the last 5 years) manual therapy is the superior treatment of choice.  However, manual therapy alone will not address the root cause of the problem and is not the end all be all.  

 

Remember, the root cause of plantar fasciopathy is a mechanical dysfunction resulting in increased stress on the plantar fascia.   Physical Therapist are movement specialist who will address your body mechanics, returning optimal function, so the plantar fascia is not being over worked and stressed. 

 

Feel free to contact us at 512-298-3903 with any questions that you may have.

 

 

 

Special thanks to contributing authors Vince Lauderdale, PT, DPT & Jansen Yamout, PT, DPT

 

References

 

1.Arthrex. Https://Www.Arthrex.Com/Foot-Ankle/Calcaneal-Fracture. Accessed December 10, 2016.

2.Cleland JA, Abbott JH, Kidd MO, et al. Manual physical therapy and exercise versus electrophysical agents and exercise in the management of plantar heel pain: a multicenter randomized clinical trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2009; 39: 573– 585. http://dx.doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2009.3036

3.Cotchett MP, Munteanu SE, Landorf KB. Effectiveness of trigger point dry needling for plantar heel pain: a randomized controlled trial. Phys Ther. 2014; 94: 1083– 1094. http://dx.doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20130255

4.Crawford F, Snaith M. How effective is therapeutic ultrasound in the treatment of heel pain? Ann Rheum Dis. 1996; 55: 265– 267

5.Graham M, Jawrani N, Goel ijay. Evaluating Plantar Fascia Strain in Hyperpronating Cadaveric Feet Following an Extra-osseous Talotarsal Stabilization Procedure. The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery. 2011;50:682-686.

6.Hawke F, Burns J, Radford JA, du Toit V.  Custom-made foot orthoses for the treatment of foot pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.  2008: CD006801.

7.Hossain M, Makwana N. “Not Plantar Fasciitis”: the differential diagnosis and management of heel pain syndrome. Orthopaedics and Trauma. 2011;25:198-206.

8.Institute for preventative foot health. Http://Www.Ipfh.Org/Foot-Conditions/Foot-Conditions-A-Z/Tarsal-Tunnel-Syndrome. Updated July 6, 2015. Accessed December 10, 2016.

9.Lee WC, Wong WY, Kung E, Leung AK. Effectiveness of adjustable dorsiflexion night splint in combination with accommodative foot orthosis on plantar fasciitis. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012; 49: 1557– 1564.

10.Mendes A. An overview of plantar fasciitis. British Journal Of Community Nursing [serial online]. March 2016;21(3):160. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 2, 2016.

11.Ryan M, Hartwell J, Fraser S, Taunton J, Newsham-West R. Comparison of a Physiotherapy Program Versus Dexamethasone Injections for Plantar Fasciopathy in Prolonged Standing Workers: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 2014;24(3):211-217.

12.Schwartz EN, Su J. Plantar fasciitis: a concise review. Perm J. 2014;18(1):e105-7.

13.Severn Podiatry. Http://www.severnpodiatry.co.uk/conditions/heel-pain. Accessed December 10, 2016.

14.Sheridan L, Lopez A, Perez A, John MM, Willis FB, Shanmugam R. Plantar fasciopathy treated with dynamic splinting: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2010;100(3):161-5.

15.Stratton M, McPoil TG, Cornwall MW, Patrick K. Use of low-frequency electrical stimulation for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2009; 99: 481– 488.

16.Urse GN. Plantar fasciitis: A review. Osteopathic Family Physician. 2012;4(3):68-71. doi:10.1016/j.osfp.2011.10.003.

17.Wang C. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy in musculoskeletal disorders. Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research. 2012;7:11-11.
18. Uden H, Boesch E, Kumar S. Plantar fasciitis — to jab or to support? A systematic review of the current best evidence. J Multidiscip Healthc. 2011; 4: 155– 164