The Problem With Evidence-Based Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Is There Sufficient Evidence-Based Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

People suffering with plantar heel pain will often carry out online research in order to find evidence-based treatment for plantar fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is an extremely common condition and is thought to affect one in three people throughout their life. It is a condition that can stop you in your tracks and can be debilitating at times. Patients with plantar fasciitis will modify their lifestyle, stop exercising and become idol due to the severe pain. The common symptoms of plantar fasciitis are pain under the base of the heel and sometimes through the arch of the foot. The severity of the pain is often most crippling first thing in the morning when patients arise from bed. Evidence-based treatment for plantar fasciitis has tried to find the most reliable solutions in order to reduce or completely remove some of these symptoms. Many patients suffering with plantar fasciitis will jump on board the medical merry go round and will attempt to treat themselves with a whole variety of solutions. Most patients will visit more than one medical practitioner on their journey to become pain-free. Due to the fact that there is more than one contributing factor, treatment often fails. Many practitioners approach the condition from one angle and will miss important causes that allow the problem to persist. For this reason the condition can become chronic as practitioners have approached the problem from only one angle and failed. This will leave the patient frustrated and those proactive people will carry out extensive research online, searching for evidence-based treatment for plantar fasciitis.

The Short Falls of Evidence-Based Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

The research papers that have attempted to find evidence-based treatment for plantar fasciitis often do not include all of the contributing factors. For example, one research paper studied the effectiveness of prescription orthotics against prefabricated orthotics. This paper was published in an Australian tabloid newspaper and did not address any other contributing factors whatsoever. It did not take into account things such as footwear, calf muscle stretching, body weight, level of activity, number of steps taken each day or other medical conditions affecting the patient. Many podiatrists have agreed that this particular research paper does not constitute evidence-based research for plantar fasciitis.

How to Carry Out Evidence-Based Research for Plantar Fasciitis

In order to effectively carry out evidence-based research for plantar fasciitis it is crucial that all of the contributing factors be considered. Specialist podiatrists who have extensive exposure to patients with plantar fasciitis are fully aware of all of the contributing factors. Therefore, if research were to be carried out these specialist podiatrists should be consulted. As mentioned earlier the contributing factors include but are not limited to ankle joint range of motion due to restriction in calf muscle range, footwear selection, body weight, other medical conditions that affect health and healing, the use of anti-inflammatory medication or ice packs, and shockwave therapy.

Plantar fasciitis patients searching for reliable treatments should be educated and mindful of the above information when selecting treatment.

In summary, there is insufficient evidence based research for plantar fasciitis and more work needs to be done before solid conclusions can be made. Only then can patients find reliable treatments from podiatrist, physios, allied health practitioners and doctors alike. It is understandable how frustrated and disappointed patient’s with heel pain become after entrusting their time and money in a variety of practitioners who struggle to get it right due to lack of evidence or experience. This is not to say that without the evidence based research, some practitioners can not get it right, as the podiatrists at Sydney Heel Pain Clinic have been treating plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel pain for many years.

Find the cause(s) , remove the cause(s), support the fascia > healing takes place.

Written by Karl Lockett