The plantar fascia is a dense connective tissue located on the sole of our foot, just deep to the skin. It spans from the calcaneus to our toes. It functions to provide stability and arch support to our foot. Furthermore, the inflammation of the plantar fascia is known as plantar fasciitis.
Epidemiologically, plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot and ankle conditions, and approximately 10% of the United States population will develop plantar fasciitis in their lifetime.
Clinicians believe that plantar fasciitis is caused by repetitive microtrauma to the plantar fascia, that the damage is occurring at a rate that exceeds the body’s capacity to heal. Clinicians also have summarized several factors that might contribute to plantar fasciitis, such as: high body mass index (BMI), high level of activity, high level of inactivity, tight Achilles tendon, improper footwear, training errors, increased standing time, and increased walking time.
A typical symptom of patients with plantar fasciitis is pain on the sole of their foot, usually on the first few steps in the morning or after a period of inactivity. Patients often report that the pain goes away after some ambulation, then experience an increase in pain at the end of the day. Sometimes, pain at rest can also happen due to prolonged tissue stress and inflammation.
In 2015, Park et al. published a study showing the application of Low-Dye taping combined with a conservative treatment had a better effect in decreasing pain level than conservative treatment alone in patients with plantar fasciitis. The patients were divided into either the Low-Dye taping group (LTG) or the conservative treatment group (CTG). LTG received 15 minutes of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and five minutes of infra-red treatment in addition to Low-Dye taping, while CTG received TENS for 15 minutes and infra-red treatment for five minutes. Both treatment groups underwent three treatment sessions per week for six weeks.
Researchers measured the patients’ pain level using the visual analog scale (VAS). After six weeks, the results showed that the pain level of the LTG decreased from 9.3 to 3.8, while the pain level of the CTG decreased from 9.2 to 7.3. Although both treatment groups displayed a significant decreased in pain level post-intervention, researchers concluded that adding Low-Dye taping to the conservative treatment might lead to a better treatment outcome.
Message to clinicians:
We hoped that this post not only helped you refresh your knowledge on plantar fasciitis, but also provided you with some evidence-based resource to support your treatment regimen.
Message to the public:
We hoped you learned more about plantar fasciitis today. And be aware that C.E.S. utilizes evidence-based practices and consistently striving to stay up to date on recent research study. If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis, C.E.S. now provides taping service for that.
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Park, C., Lee, S., Lim, D. Y., Yi, C. W., Kim, J. H., & Jeon, C. (2015). Effects of the application of Low-Dye taping on the pain and stability of patients with plantar fasciitis. Journal of physical therapy science, 27(8), 2491-2493.
Schneider, H. P., Baca, J. M., Carpenter, B. B., Dayton, P. D., Fleischer, A. E., & Sachs, B. D. (2018). American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons clinical consensus statement: diagnosis and treatment of adult acquired infracalcaneal heel pain. The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, 57(2), 370-381.