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Does Limb-Length Discrepancy Cause Plantar Fasciitis?

by MASS4D® Prescription Orthotics November 03, 2016


Plantar Fasciitis is characterised by pain in the foot due to inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament.

A lowered medial longitudinal arch creates excessive tensile strain in the fascia causing this inflammation.

In the event of lower-limb-length inequality, compensatory movements to lengthen the short leg and shorten the long leg occur.

Mahmood et al. sought to understand the effect of such a discrepancy on the frequency and severity of unilateral plantar fasciitis.

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26 patients with plantar fasciitis in the form of either unilateral or bilateral heel pain, were enrolled for the study.

Body mass index for all participants was calculated.

Measurement of the lower limbs was undertaken from the anterior superior iliac spine to the medial malleolus and from the umbilicus to the medial malleolus.

The block test was performed.

Of the normal-weight patients, 33.3% were found to have pain in the left limb. While 35.7% of the obese patients and 55.6% of the overweight patients had pain in the left limb.

Hence not enough evidence was found to suggest that body mass index was related to pain location (Fisher test P = .7411).

Seven patients (87.5%) had pain in the left limb, with the left side being their longer extremity.

Fourteen patients (93.3%) had right-sided plantar fasciitis pain on the longer right extremity.

The study thus ascertained the fact that the pain location was associated with the longer limb (Fisher test P < .0001), indicating a strong correlation between the longer limb and plantar fasciitis pain.

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  1. Sadia Mahmood, Lanie K. Huffman and John G. Harris (2010) Limb-Length Discrepancy as a Cause of Plantar Fasciitis. Journal of the American Podiatric Medial Association: November/December 2010, Vol. 100, No. 6, pp. 452-455

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