Plantar Fasciosis and Physical Therapy



Foot pain can be extremely uncomfortable. Plantar fasciosis is a common cause.  Weight bearing on the feet can make this uncomfortable and, in some cases, almost impossible to walk or stand. Being flat footed, overweight, having tight calf muscles, and standing for long periods of time are causes of plantar fasciosis. Symptoms can result in discomfort when stretching the foot, when walking or standing after a long period of sitting, or after exercise.

The Indian Journal of Orthopaedics recently published a first-of-its-kind study comparing four proven treatment approaches to plantar fasciosis (previously referred to as plantar fasciitis).[1] They took 140 patients and divided them into four groups. Each group received a different form of treatment: analgesics, hot water fomentation and silicon heel pads, plantar fascia stretching, or calf stretching exercises.

At the one year follow up, each group showed improvements in pain. The most effective strategy proved to be the plantar fascia stretching. Heat & silicone heel pad and calf stretching were also effective, but less so. The least effective strategy was analgesics.

Research also shows that programs supervised by a physical therapist achieve better results than programs that patients conduct independently after initial consultation[2].

Plantar fasciosis affects people of all ages, both athletes and nonathletes. If you experience pain in your heel that suggests plantar fasciosis, don’t just suffer through it.


[1] Gupta R, Malhotra A, Masih GD, Khanna T, Kaur H, Gupta P, Kashyap S. Comparing the role of different treatment modalities for plantar fasciitis: a double blind randomized controlled trial. Indian Journal of Orthopaedics. 2020 Feb;54(1):31-7

[2]Fraser et al, titled “Utilization of Physical Therapy Intervention Among Patients with Plantar Fasciitis in the United States” (Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 2017; 47(2):49–55. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2017.6999)

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