Internet orthosis (A)
soft foam foot orthosis (B)
professional heel (C)
nd week 3rd week
With the professional
heel, there was a signifi-
cant reduction in maxi-
mum pain. Pain relief was
achieved much earlier
than with the other foot
Maximum pain [VAS] (0 = no pain, 100 = maximum pain)
Prof. Walther presented the study in a lecture at the
ORTHOPÄDIE + REHA-TECHNIK 2012 world congress and trade
show in Leipzig.
Franconia took part in the study. The pa
tients’ average age was slightly over 50. All
patients had a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis
with no other form of foot disease. In addi
tion, the probands had not yet undergone
any treatment. During the 3-week period
of observation, use of a foot orthosis was
the only treatment method used. The foot
orthoses were allocated at random.
What was the main focus of the study?
The pain parameter, because
this determines the affected patients’ qual
ity of life.
The study documented the development
of maximum pain, the average pain level
during the treatment period, the daily pain
duration and the length of time that the
foot orthoses were worn. The daily walking
activity and the subjective wearing comfort
were also recorded. The patients used the
visual analog scale (VAS) for all subjective
What were the most important results?
During the observation peri
od, maximum pain was significantly reduced
in Group B (patients wearing the soft foam
foot orthosis) and in Group C (professional
heel). This reduction in pain was detectable
for Group B after two weeks, but after only
one week for Group C. We had not expected
such a clear difference.
How do you explain the professional heel’s
rapid pain relief?
The firm core means that
patients can hold their hindfoot in a better
posture. This reduces the peak loads on the
attachment site between the fascia and the
The average pain level was also significantly
reduced in Group B and Group C. As expect
ed, the difference between foot orthoses B
and C was not as marked here, because it
is the cushioning that plays an important
role here, and this was equally good in both
The two branded products were also rated
much higher than the (Internet) foot ortho
sis A in the subjective assessment of wear
ing comfort. The professional heel was rated
slightly higher than foot orthosis B.
Overall, the Internet foot orthosis did not
show any statistically significant effect
on pain intensity and duration of pain in
the wearing test, and for some patients it
was also extremely tattered after the three
One more thing is important to me: use of
a foot orthosis, even when it is as good as
this one, should never be the only element
of treatment. It is also important to work on
the elasticity of the fascia with stretching
exercises as well.
The orthotic core of the professional heel
is specially designed to leave MTP joints I
and V free, thus keeping pressure on these
joints to a minimum. Further pressure
relief for the foot is achieved by lowering
the base of the fifth metatarsal bone. The
special shape of the hole notches and the
Relieves pressure with every step
intelligent fan design of the syn-
thetic orthotic core ensure that
the professional heel does not
form any uncomfortable edges.
In addition, pressure relief
is achieved for a larger
synthetic core supports
the arch of the foot and relieves
pressure on the heel area.