Effect of different orthotic concepts as first line treatment of plantar fasciitis

Foot Ankle Surg. 2013 Jun;19(2):103-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fas.2012.12.008. Epub 2013 Feb 19.


Background: Evaluation of the effectiveness of three different types of prefabricated foot orthotics in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.

Methods: Prospective, randomized head-to-head trial in 30 adults (21 women, 9 men) with plantar fasciitis without any anatomic alterations. Three different prefabricated orthotics were tested (thin, non supportive orthotic (NO); soft supportive foam orthotic (FO); foam covered rigid self-supporting plastic orthotic (PO)). The follow up was 3 weeks. Main outcome measures were maximum and average pain (VAS), duration of pain per day, walking distance and subjective comfort.

Results: There was no significant effect of NO on maximal pain and average pain. FO and PO had a significant effect on pain levels (p<0.05) whereas PO was superior concerning pain reduction and the time until the onset of effect (p<0.05).

Conclusions: PO are superior regarding pain reduction and pain free time when compared to FO. NO did not demonstrate a significant effect in the test setup used.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Prospective Studies