Two articles on PainSci cite Mahowald 2011: 1. Complete Guide to Plantar Fasciitis
PainSci commentary on 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 wherever possible.
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.”
~ Paul Ingraham
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,” Mohseni-Bandpei et al, Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology, 2014.
- “Reproducibility of sonographic measurement of thickness and echogenicity of the plantar fascia,” Cheng et al, Journal of Clinical Ultrasound, 2012.
- “Ultrasonographic evaluation in plantar fasciitis,” Karabay et al, Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery, 2007.
- “The relationship between the flexible flatfoot and plantar fasciitis: ultrasonographic evaluation,” Huang et al, Chang Gung J Med, 2004.
Specifically regarding Mahowald 2011:
- Plantar Fasciitis Patients Have Thick Soles — There’s a connection between plantar fasciitis and a surprisingly thick tissue in the arch of the foot
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:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) products for pain: ineffective, expensive, and with potential harms. Moore 2023 J Pain.
- Inciting events associated with lumbar disc herniation. Suri 2010 Spine J.
- Prediction of an extruded fragment in lumbar disc patients from clinical presentations. Pople 1994 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
- Characteristics of patients with low back and leg pain seeking treatment in primary care: baseline results from the ATLAS cohort study. Konstantinou 2015 BMC Musculoskelet Disord.
- Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of universal school-based mindfulness training compared with normal school provision in reducing risk of mental health problems and promoting well-being in adolescence: the MYRIAD cluster randomised controlled trial. Kuyken 2022 Evid Based Ment Health.