Reduction in Plantar Heel Pain and a Return to Sport After a Barefoot Running Intervention in a Female Triathlete With Plantar Fasciitis

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Peter Francis Leeds Beckett University

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Cassie Oddy Leeds Beckett University

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Mark I. Johnson Leeds Beckett University

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In a 27-year-old female triathlete, magnetic resonance imaging revealed mild thickening and edema at the calcaneal insertion of the plantar fascia, in keeping with a degree of plantar fasciitis. After 6 weeks of conservative treatment failed to elicit a return to sport, the patient engaged in six sessions of barefoot running (15–30 min) on a soft grass surface, without further conservative treatment. After two sessions of barefoot running, the patient was asymptomatic before, during, and after running. This outcome was maintained at the 6-week follow-up period. This is the first case report to use barefoot running as a treatment strategy for chronic heel pain. Barefoot running has the potential to reduce the load on the plantar fascia and warrants further investigation using a case series.

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