JOURNAL ARTICLE
META-ANALYSIS
REVIEW
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
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Foot orthoses for plantar heel pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effectiveness of foot orthoses for pain and function in adults with plantar heel pain.

DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The primary outcome was pain or function categorised by duration of follow-up as short (0 to 6 weeks), medium (7 to 12 weeks) or longer term (13 to 52 weeks).

DATA SOURCES: Medline, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, Embase and the Cochrane Library from inception to June 2017.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Studies must have used a randomised parallel-group design and evaluated foot orthoses for plantar heel pain. At least one outcome measure for pain or function must have been reported.

RESULTS: A total of 19 trials (1660 participants) were included. In the short term , there was very low-quality evidence that foot orthoses do not reduce pain or improve function. In the medium term , there was moderate-quality evidence that foot orthoses were more effective than sham foot orthoses at reducing pain (standardised mean difference -0.27 (-0.48 to -0.06)). There was no improvement in function in the medium term. In the longer term , there was very low-quality evidence that foot orthoses do not reduce pain or improve function. A comparison of customised and prefabricated foot orthoses showed no difference at any time point.

CONCLUSION: There is moderate-quality evidence that foot orthoses are effective at reducing pain in the medium term, however it is uncertain whether this is a clinically important change.

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