Objective: Plantar fasciitis is a prevalent problem, with limited consensus among clinicians regarding the most effective treatment. The purpose of this literature review is to provide a systematic approach to the treatment of plantar fasciitis based on the windlass mechanism model.
Data sources: We searched MEDLINE, SPORT Discus, and CINAHL from 1966 to 2003 using the key words plantar fasciitis, windlass mechanism, pronation, heel pain, and heel spur.
Data synthesis: We offer a biomechanical application for the evaluation and treatment of plantar fasciitis based on a review of the literature for the windlass mechanism model. This model provides a means for describing plantar fasciitis conditions such that clinicians can formulate a potential causal relationship between the conditions and their treatments.
Conclusions/recommendations: Clinicians' understanding of the biomechanical causes of plantar fasciitis should guide the decision-making process concerning the evaluation and treatment of heel pain. Use of this approach may improve clinical outcomes because intervention does not merely treat physical symptoms but actively addresses the influences that resulted in the condition. Principles from this approach might also provide a basis for future research investigating the efficacy of plantar fascia treatment.