Plantar fasciitis is a generic term to describe mechanically induced heel and arch pain.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when tension within the plantar fascia increases. This tension is commonly caused by dorsiflexion of the first ray or supination of the long axis of the midtarsal joint. Calcaneal eversion or compensation for an everted forefoot position (either forefoot valgus or plantarflexed first ray) will cause the midtarsal joint to supinate, increasing tension on the plantar fascia.
Clinical Goal for Orthotic Treatment
The goal of orthotic therapy for patients with plantar fasciitis due to forefoot valgus is to decrease tension within the plantar fascia by preventing first ray dorsiflexion and allowing first ray plantarflexion. This is accomplished by raising or supporting the lateral forefoot with a valgus wedge.
To prescribe this device check “Plantar Fasciitis due to Forefoot Valgus” under the Pathology Specific Orthoses section (Part A) of the prescription form.
Plantar Fasciitis due to Forefoot Valgus Prescription Recommendations
- Polypropylene shell – semirigid
- Standard Heel Cup
- Wide Width
- A wider width increases surface area under the arch preventing arch collapse while plantarflexing the first ray.
- Minimum Cast Fill
- Minimum cast fill produces an orthosis that conforms closely to the arch of the foot and aid first ray plantarflexion.
- EVA Cover to Toes
- The cover allows the addition of a valgus extension
- Valgus Extension
- A valgus extension supports the lateral forefoot decreasing plantar fascia tension
Based on the best available evidence, plantar fasciitis treatment should reduce tension on the plantar fascia. The orthoses for treating plantar fasciitis due to forefoot valgus should plantarflex the first ray which brings the first metatarsal head closer to the calcaneus reducing plantar fascia tension. It should also support the valgus position of the forefoot.
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