PainSci summary of Mahowald 2011?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
In 39 feet, both increasing and decreasing pain correlated well with changes in plantar fascia thickness, assessed with ultrasonography. The authors conclude that their study “provides evidence that changing thickness of the plantar fascia is a valid objective.”
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine whether changes in plantar fascia thickness are a reliable gauge of efficacy of treatment protocols for plantar fasciitis.
METHODS: Thirty-nine feet (30 patients) with plantar fasciitis received an ultrasound examination to measure the thickness of the medial band of the plantar fascia. Each patient assessed his or her pain using the visual analogue scale. Following various treatments, a second ultrasound examination was performed and the thickness of the plantar fascia was again measured and subjective pain level assessed.
RESULTS: Twenty-nine feet (74.4%) showed a decrease in plantar fascia thickness and a decrease in pain. One foot (2.6%) experienced an increase in fascia thickness and reported an increase in pain. Four feet (10.3%) had an increase in thickness of the plantar fascia and reported no change in pain level. Three feet had minor increases in fascia thickness but reported a decrease in pain (7.7%). One foot (2.6%) had no change in fascia thickness but a decrease in pain and one foot (2.6%) had a decrease in the plantar fascia but no change in pain level. The average reduction in fascia thickness was 0.82 mm ± 1.04 mm, correlating with an average improvement in pain of 3.64 ± 2.7 (P < 0.005).
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence that changing thickness of the plantar fascia is a valid objective measurement to assess effectiveness of new or existing treatment protocols.
- “Application of ultrasound in the assessment of plantar fascia in patients with plantar fasciitis: a systematic review,” Mohammad Ali Mohseni-Bandpei, Masoomeh Nakhaee, Mohammad Ebrahim Mousavi, Ali Shakourirad, Mohammad Reza Safari, and Reza Vahab Kashani, Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 2014.
- “Reproducibility of sonographic measurement of thickness and echogenicity of the plantar fascia,” Ju-Wen Cheng, Wen-Chung Tsai, Tung-Yang Yu, and Kuo-Yao Huang, Journal of Clinical Ultrasound, 2012.
- “Ultrasonographic evaluation in plantar fasciitis,” Nuri Karabay, Tulgar Toros, and Can Hurel, Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery, 2007.
- “The relationship between the flexible flatfoot and plantar fasciitis: ultrasonographic evaluation,” YC Huang, LY Wang, HC Wang, KL Chang, and CP Leong, Chang Gung J Med, 2004.
Specifically regarding Mahowald 2011:
- PS Plantar Fasciitis Patients Have Thick Soles — There’s a connection between plantar fasciitis and a surprisingly thick tissue in the arch of the foot
These two articles on PainScience.com cite Mahowald 2011 as a source:
- PS Save Yourself from Plantar Fasciitis! — Plantar fasciitis explained in great detail, including every possible treatment option, and all supported by recent scientific research
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.