July 2017

Limited ankle dorsiflexion contributes to odds of plantar fasciitis in runners

In the moment: Sports medicine

By Jordana Bieze Foster

College-aged runners with plantar fasciitis are significantly more likely to have limited ankle dorsiflexion than their uninjured counterparts, according to research from Texas State University in San Marcos.

Investigators assessed 71 runners, 23 of whom had plantar fasciitis, for factors that have been associated with the condition in previous studies of sedentary populations. Use of foot orthoses was not documented.

Active and passive ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) were significantly greater in the healthy runners than in those with plantar fasciitis. Navicular drop, longitudinal arch angle, and scores on the Foot Function Index-Revised questionnaire did not differ significantly between the groups.

A logistic regression analysis of 63 participants (with a 2:1 ratio of healthy to injured) also identified active dorsiflexion ROM as a significant risk factor for plantar fasciitis, along with longitudinal arch angle and body mass index. For every degree of decreased dorsiflexion ROM, the risk of plantar fasciitis increased by 14.6%.

The findings were presented in late June at the annual meeting of the National Athletic Trainers Association in Houston, TX.


McNamee MJ, Harter RA, Pickerill ML, Housman JM. Analysis of plantar fasciitis risk factors among intercollegiate and recreational runners. J Athl Train 2017;52(6 Suppl):S110.

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