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    Plantar heel pain is a common musculoskeletal foot disorder that can have a negative impact on activities of daily living and it is of multifactorial etiology. A variety of mechanical factors, which result in excessive load at the plantar fascia insertion, are thought to contribute to the onset of the condition. This review presents the evidence for associations between commonly assessed mechanical factors and plantar heel pain, which could guide management. Plantar heel pain is associated with a higher BMI in non-athletic groups, reduced dorsiflexion range of motion, as well as reduced strength in specific foot and ankle muscle groups. There is conflicting, or insufficient evidence regarding the importance of foot alignment and first metatarsophalangeal joint range of motion. Plantar heel pain appears to be common in runners, with limited evidence for greater risk being associated with higher mileage or previous injuries. Conflicting evidence exists regarding the relationship between work-related standing and plantar heel pain, however, longer standing duration may be associated with plantar heel pain in specific worker groups. The evidence presented has been generated through studies with cross-sectional designs, therefore it is not known whether any of these associated factors have a causative relationship with plantar heel pain. Longitudinal studies are needed to ascertain whether the strength and flexibility impairments associated with plantar heel pain are a cause or consequence of the condition, as well as to establish activity thresholds that increase risk. Intervention approaches should consider strategies that improve strength and flexibility, as well as those that influence plantar fascia loading such as body weight reduction, orthoses and management of athletic and occupational workload. Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


    Justin Sullivan, Evangelos Pappas, Joshua Burns. Role of mechanical factors in the clinical presentation of plantar heel pain: Implications for management. Foot (Edinburgh, Scotland). 2020 Mar;42:101636

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    PMID: 31731071

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