The Journal of Pain Summary
Highlight from The Journal of Pain (Volume 19, No. 8, August 2018 Issue)
Prevalence and Pharmaceutical treatment of Plantar Fasciitis in United States
Richard L. Nahin
Studies seeking to identify the prevalence of plantar fasciitis have reported widely variable results. A study authored by Richard Nahin from the National Institutes of Health in The Journal of Pain sought to address gaps in the epidemiology of plantar fasciitis. He identified four research goals:
- Describe the prevalence of in U.S. adults overall and by demographic variables.
- Describe types of prescription and over-the-counter medications use to manage pain.
- Explore associations between participant characteristics and use of prescription drugs.
- Assess whether prescription drug use for plantar fasciitis varies by prescriber.
Data for the study were sourced from the 2013 National Health and Wellness Survey, a self-administered Internet-based questionnaire completed by 7,500 respondents. Nahin identified 650 individuals with plantar fasciitis.
Results of the study showed that 41 percent of study subjects with plantar fasciitis used prescription drugs to manage their pain, but only six percent used the medications strictly for plantar fasciitis. Those diagnosed by a specialist had twice the odds of using prescription pain medications. The high level of comorbid pain reported by study subjects (84 percent) may impact the prevalence of drug use for plantar fasciitis.
Other observations from the research include the following:
- Greater age is associated with an increased likelihood of having plantar fasciitis.
- Women are more likely to have the condition than men.
- Higher body mass index is associated with higher rates of plantar fasciitis.
- The condition is associated with reduced health-related quality of life.
- Plantar fasciitis is linked with limitations in physical activities.
- The condition is diagnosed most often by primary care providers.