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Evidence Practice Guidelines: Managing plantar heal pain


SKU: EPG-01-1 Category:


To develop a best practice guide for managing people with plantar heel pain (PHP).

Data sources

Medline, Embase, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus,
Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, trial
registries, reference lists and citation tracking. Semistructured interviews with world experts and a patient


Fifty-one eligible trials enrolled 4351 participants, with 9 RCTs suitable to determine proof of efficacy for 10 interventions. Forty people with PHP completed the online survey and 14 experts were interviewed resulting in 7 themes and 38 subthemes. There was good agreement between the systematic review findings and interview data about taping (SMD: 0.47, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.88) and plantar fascia stretching (SMD: 1.21, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.63) for first step pain in the short term.
Clinical reasoning advocated combining these interventions with education and footwear advice as the core self-management approach. There was good expert agreement with systematic review findings recommending stepped care management……….

Conclusion Best practice from a mixed-methods study synthesising systematic review with expert opinion and patient feedback suggests core treatment for people with PHP should include taping, stretching and individualised education. Patients who do not optimally improve may be offered shockwave therapy, followed by custom orthoses.