Physical and psychological predictors on pain intensity in conscripts with plantar fasciitis

Braz J Phys Ther. May-Jun 2020;24(3):249-255. doi: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2019.02.014. Epub 2019 Mar 11.


Background: Plantar fasciitis is commonly found among the physically active population, including conscripts. Some studies have reported that being overweight and having psychological symptoms contribute to pain from plantar fasciitis. However, there is a lack of information regarding the physical predictors, and more research is needed to determine the relationship between such predictors and pain intensity from plantar fasciitis in conscripts.

Objective: To determine which physical and psychological variables act as predictors of pain intensity among Thai novice conscripts with plantar fasciitis.

Methods: Two hundred and seventy Thai novice conscripts without musculoskeletal pain completed the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale short version and then received baseline assessment of ankle dorsiflexion angle, ankle plantarflexor strength, and quality of lower extremity movement from a physical therapist. After 10 weeks of military training, 71 of these Thai conscripts developed pain from plantar fasciitis. Multiple linear regression analysis with the forward stepwise method was used to explore the predictors of pain intensity due to plantar fasciitis.

Results: Using a forward regression analysis, anxiety (B=0.13; 95% CI, 0.06-0.20; p<0.01) and quality of movement score (B=0.87; 95% CI, 0.28-1.47; p=0.01) were significant predictors of pain intensity. The regression model with these predictors explained 25% of the variability in pain intensity from plantar fasciitis.

Conclusion: Higher scores of anxiety and movement quality on the lateral step-down task were associated with pain intensity from plantar fasciitis after the completion of a 10-week military program. However, lower ankle dorsiflexion angle and ankle plantarflexor strength did not predict pain intensity.

Keywords: Anxiety; Heel pain; Lower extremity injury; Military training; Predictor.

MeSH terms

  • Ankle
  • Ankle Joint / physiology*
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / physiopathology*
  • Heel / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / complications*
  • Physical Examination