Background: Plantar fasciitis (PF) is one of the most common causes of plantar heel pain.
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of three different treatment approaches in the management of PF.
Methods: Sixty-three patients (44 female, 19 men; 48.4 ± 9.8 years) were randomly assigned into a manual therapy (MT), customised foot orthosis (FO) and a combined therapy (combined) group. The primary outcomes of pain and function were evaluated using the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society-Ankle Hindfoot Scale (AOFAS-AHS) and the patient reported outcome measure (PROM) Foot Pain and Function Scale (FPFS). Data were evaluated at baseline (T0) and at follow-up sessions after 1 month, 2 months and 3 months (T1-T3).
Results: All three treatments showed statistically significant (p < 0.01) improvements in both scales from T0 to T1. However, the MT group showed greater improvements than both other groups (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: Manual therapy, customised foot orthoses and combined treatments of PF all reduced pain and function, with the greatest benefits shown by isolated manual therapy.
Keywords: back pain; customised orthoses; heel pain; insoles; joint mobilization; manual therapy; plantar fasciitis.