In a nutshell: There’s no much evidence orthoses are any better for heel pain than anything else

Plantar heel pain is a common problem. The ‘plantar’ bit just means you feel it on the underside of your heel. How best to manage it?

This paper doesn’t tell you that but it does sweep all of plantar heel pain into a single catch-all and examines the evidence for orthoses to help. Other treatment options include taping, stretching exercises, and anti-inflammatory medications.

The results of this systematic review couldn’t come up with evidence to suggest orthoses are any better than sham treatment or any of those other more conservative options. They could end up costing you a fair bit if you get them custom made – this study doesn’t suggest they are ineffective. Just no better than anything else and, as is often the case, good evidence is hard to get here.

Rasenberg NRiel HRathleff MS, et al. Efficacy of foot orthoses for the treatment of plantar heel pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 

https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/52/16/1040

 

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