Evidence Based Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis: Considerations and Shortfalls

Why patients are seeking evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis

Many people that are suffering with plantar fasciitis often become so debilitated and frustrated by their pain that they begin to do their own research in seek of evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis. The condition is incredibly common amongst people of all ages and levels of physical activity. It is characterized by sharp, stabbing or burning heel pain (and sometimes also arch pain), and is almost always at its worst in the mornings as the person steps out of bed. Unfortunately, most patients will find themselves trying home remedies and eventually visiting more than one healthcare practitioner in the pursuit of evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis. Because plantar fasciitis is a condition that involves many different causative factors contributing to its development, treatment must also be aimed at resolving or removing those causes. Many healthcare practitioners have limited understanding of plantar fasciitis and evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis,  and hence tend to approach the problem from one aspect only. Logically, this way the condition does not resolve as the remaining causative factors remain. In some instances, the patient continues to suffer with plantar fasciitis for many months or even beyond a year, and the condition becomes chronic. This often leads to the patient experiencing a great deal of frustration and prompts them to carry out their own investigations for evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis.

The challenges of evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis

A particular challenge in the treatment of plantar fasciitis is that there are very few high-quality, credible studies that exist that can provide sound options for evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis. The studies that have been conducted provide indicative results, however these cannot be taken as certainly credible, since on many occasions the studies fail to take into account all the factors that contribute to the cause and also to the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Such factors include the types of footwear the patients wear, they bodyweight of the patients, their activity level, any stretching that they may perform, the number of steps they walk each day, and any relevant medical conditions that the patient may have. Many sports podiatrist will agree that for this reason, the results that these studies produce cannot be considered as evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis.

 

Evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis

Sports podiatrists can provide researchers with an insight into evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis

When considering carrying out research in order to determine evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis, it would be beneficial for researchers to consult a panel of qualified, practicing and experienced sports podiatrists. These podiatrists will have had extensive experience in treating patients suffering with plantar fasciitis, and as such will be aware of all the different contributing causative and risk factors. Specialist sports podiatrists can also offer their experiences with various treatment methods for plantar fasciitis and their respective efficacy. Some common treatments for plantar fasciitis may include stretching of the calf muscles, shockwave therapy, modification or footwear, and the provision of custom-made orthotic inserts.

For patients that are conducting their own investigations and searching for evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis, this is also important for them to keep in mind when collecting information from various sources. The best source of credible information on treatment for plantar fasciitis is always your specialist sports podiatrist.

Evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis in summary

As it currently stands, there is a lack of credible research into evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis. Whilst many treatment options are available for patients, solid conclusions regarding their efficacy cannot be made yet, as the research is lacking. Sound scientific methods need to be carefully thought out so that studies that produce credible results can be conducted. The determination of evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis and the communication of that information to doctors and allied health professionals will ensure that patients receive reliable treatments for their plantar fasciitis.

Despite this lack of scientific evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis, the specialist sports podiatrists at The Heel Clinic have been successfully treating patients with plantar fasciitis and other heel pain conditions for many, many years. Our podiatrists are experts in their field with a wealth of knowledge and expertise when it comes to ridding patients of their heel pain. During your consultation, we will work together to determine the cause of the problem, remove the cause of the problem, and therefore allow the healing to take place naturally.

Please note that the information detailed above, regarding evidence based treatment for plantar fasciitis is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as general medical advice. If you would like to discuss treatment options for plantar fasciitis, you should consult with a qualified sports podiatrist who can assess your individual condition and provide a personalised treatment plan. Appointments can be made by emailing receptionist@heelclinic.com.au or by calling 02 91998754.

Karl Lockett– sports podiatrist.