A critical appraisal of "Effects of strengthening and stretching exercises on the temporospatial gait parameters in patients with plantar fasciitis: a randomized controlled trial"




Emmons, Aurora

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Plantar fasciitis is a prevalent source of foot and heel pain and has detrimental effects on walking, one of the most basic and necessary activities of daily living. Various exercise interventions and modalities have been researched as treatments for plantar fasciitis. In the vast majority of the relevant studies exploring a strengthening treatment, this intervention is combined with stretching exercises as well. Few studies have compared strengthening to stretching as separate interventions. In the study titled "Effects of Strengthening and Stretching Exercises on the Temporospatial Gait Parameters in Patients with Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial,"� the researchers sought to compare the effects of a strengthening versus a stretching program on the pain scores and gait parameters of 84 subjects with plantar fasciitis. In this critical appraisal, the quality of this research study is explored with the intent to learn to what extent the findings of this study can be utilized. Overall, this study had interesting results but is not a solid foundation on which to base treatment plans. The article seems to show a well-organized study that found legitimate scientific results. However, the presentation was compromised by an inadequate consultation of the relevant literature in both the introduction and discussion and by missing key details in the conduction of the study. Their results indicated that both the strengthening and stretching interventions resulted in statistically significant differences in the pain and gait outcome measures over time, and there were no statistically significant differences between the two intervention groups in any of the outcome measures. While these results can spark further investigation into strengthening and stretching as treatments for plantar fasciitis, this study should not serve as the basis on which to base the creation of treatment plans due to flaws in the conduction of this study and the lack of clinical significance in their results.