Clinical measures of foot posture and ankle joint dorsiflexion do not differ in adults with and without plantar heel pain

Review written by Ian Griffiths info

Key Points

  1. This study showed that foot posture and ankle joint dorsiflexion measurements do not differ in adults with versus without plantar heel pain (PHP).
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Plantar heel pain (PHP), commonly referred to as plantar fasciitis by many, is an incredibly common complaint within both general and athletic populations, and is accepted as being the most common overuse issue affecting the foot (1). Identifying associated risk factors is important as it may influence interventions used to prevent and/or treat the condition, and both foot posture (2) and limited ankle joint dorsiflexion (3) have been previously proposed in this regard.

The objective of this cross-sectional observational study was to determine if clinical measures of foot posture and ankle joint dorsiflexion differed in adults with and without PHP, and also to be one of the first studies to control for a key confounder – body mass index (which has also been shown to be associated with PHP (4)).

Plantar heel pain is the most common overuse issue affecting the foot.
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Clinicians should be mindful of the limitations of giving foot posture and ankle dorsiflexion measures too much credit.

METHODS

A total of 75 participants took part in the study, with a mean age of 49 years (range: 23-75 years) and a mean BMI of 30.6kg/m² (range: 20.1-47.7kg/m²). Of these participants, 50 had PHP and 25 did not, and these

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