Plantar fasciitis is a common condition involving foot pain and tightness, and many plantar fasciitis sufferers seek massage therapy for relief. New research shows using a medial arch support helps manage pain and pain-related disability associated with plantar fasciitis.

The study compared effects of the arch support with supporting the heel and foot using a taping method. (Low-Dye tape.)

Thirty patients with unilateral plantar fasciitis (23 men and seven women) were randomly assigned to the arch-support or tape groups, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov. Both groups were assessed before and after the study for pain and foot function.

Both groups received nine sessions over three weeks consisting of ultrasound and calf-muscles stretching, the abstract noted. They were instructed to maintain supportive intervention (arch support or tape) throughout this period.

Pre-post comparison showed reduced pain and improved function in both groups; however, there was “significant” improvement seen in the arch-support group.

“Results indicate that [a medial arch support] is more convenient for short-term management of pain and disability in patients with plantar fasciitis than [taping],” the researchers noted.

“Low-Dye Taping Versus Medial Arch Support in Managing Pain and Pain-Related Disability in Patients With Plantar Fasciitis” was published in Foot & Ankle Specialist. (2010 Dec 1.)

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