JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Immediate and short-term radiological changes after combining static stretching and transcutaneous electrical stimulation in adults with cavus foot: A randomized controlled trial.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2019 November
BACKGROUND: Cavus foot is a deformity represented by an increased and rigid medial longitudinal arch, and it is often associated with persistent pain and gait disturbances. None of the conservative conventional treatments for cavus foot have shown conclusive evidence of effectiveness, and so further is research needed to understand how to manage this condition better. This study aimed to assess the immediate and short-term radiological changes after combining static stretching and transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the plantar fascia in adults with idiopathic cavus foot.

METHODS: A randomized, single-blinded clinical trial was conducted. Sixty-eight participants with idiopathic cavus foot, as determined by an internal Moreau-Costa-Bertani angle (MCBA) less than 125° in a lateral weight-bearing foot radiograph, were equally distributed into a neuromuscular stretching group (NSG) or a control group (no intervention). The NSG underwent a single session, combining transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation with static stretching of the plantar fascia. Primary measurements of 3 angles were taken using a lateral weight-bearing foot radiograph: the internal MCBA; the calcaneal pitch angle (CPA); and the first metatarsal declination angle (FMDA). Outcomes were collected at baseline, immediately postintervention, and 1 week after intervention.

RESULTS: Analysis of variance revealed a significant group effect for all angles (all, P < .05). NSG participants showed a significant increase in the internal MCBA (P = .03), and a significant decrease in the CPA (P = .01) and FMDA (P = .04) from baseline to immediately postintervention. These changes remained statistically significant 1 week after the intervention (all, P < .05).

CONCLUSION: The combination of static stretching and transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the plantar fascia, compared with no treatment, achieved immediate and short-term changes in the internal MCBA, the CPA, and the FMDA, which resulted in flattening the medial longitudinal plantar arch in adults with idiopathic cavus foot.

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