Overall Clinical Bottom Line: It is difficult to determine the effectiveness of stretching, orthoses, or night splinting in the treatment of plantar fasciitis, but none of these treatments appear to make plantar fasciitis symptoms worse. We still consider the use of these treatments because plantar fasciitis has been determined to be self limiting with conservative treatment. Since there is little evidence supporting one treatment over the other, we would first consider use of stretching and orthoses and later consider night splinting and custom orthoses due to their differing costs. There is a need for more quality and standardized research on conservative treatments of plantar fasciitis.
Clinical Scenario: A middle aged, female patient was seeking help for plantar fasciitis during one of our clinical internships. Her occupation as a florist required her to be on her feet all day, and the pain was beginning to make her job difficult. The patient also stated that she had been experiencing a weight gain because the plantar fasciitis was making it too painful to exercise. The patient wanted to know how she could walk without being in pain. We wanted to know which treatment options would provide our patient the quickest pain relief and return to function.
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