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The pathomechanics of plantar fasciitis

Wearing, Scott C., Smeathers, James E., Urry, Stephen R., Hennig, Ewald M., & Hills, Andrew P. (2006) The pathomechanics of plantar fasciitis. Sports Medicine, 36(7), pp. 585-611.

Abstract

Plantar fasciitis is a musculoskeletal disorder primarily affecting the fascial enthesis. Although poorly understood, the development of plantar fasciitis is thought to have a mechanical origin. In particular, pes planus foot types and lower-limb biomechanics that result in a lowered medial longitudinal arch are thought to create excessive tensile strain within the fascia, producing microscopic tears and chronic inflammation. However, contrary to clinical doctrine, histological evidence does not support this concept, with inflammation rarely observed in chronic plantar fasciitis. Similarly, scientific support for the role of arch mechanics in the development of plantar fasciitis is equivocal, despite an abundance of anecdotal evidence indicating a causal link between arch function and heel pain. This may, in part, reflect the difficulty in measuring arch mechanics in vivo. However, it may also indicate that tensile failure is not a predominant feature in the pathomechanics of plantar fasciitis. Alternative mechanisms including ‘stress-shielding’, vascular and metabolic disturbances, the formation of free radicals, hyperthermia and genetic factors have also been linked to degenerative change in connective tissues. Further research is needed to ascertain the importance of such factors in the development of plantar fasciitis.

Impact and interest:

66 citations in Scopus
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50 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 8159
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author. Author contact details: j.smeathers@qut.edu.au
Additional URLs:
Keywords: FOOT, Diseases, MUSCLES, MUSCULOSKELETAL system, Diseases, SPORTS, Physiological aspects, SPORTS participation PLANTAR fasciitis
ISSN: 0112-1642, 0012-1642
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Biomechanics (110601)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Sports Medicine (110604)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Podiatry (110318)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Adis Data International
Deposited On: 17 Jul 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:27

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