Pain under the heel, known as plantar heel pain is a relatively common condition with up to 1 in 10 adults affected at some point in their lives. This study will investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of individualised exercise or adjustable shoe insoles delivered by physiotherapists and podiatrists compared with self-management advice for patients with plantar heel pain. Participants will be randomly allocated to one of four groups. Those in the self-management group receive an advice booklet about heel pain, which includes information about stretching exercise, pain relief, suitable footwear, and weight loss to help lower pain levels. Those in the exercise and self-management group also receive the advice booklet as well as up to six appointments over 12 weeks with a physiotherapist or podiatrist (person qualified to treat disorders of the foot, ankle or lower leg) to learn individualised exercises to help lower pain. Those in the orthoses and self-management group receive the advice booklet as well as up to six appointments over 12 weeks with a physiotherapist or podiatrist who will prescribe them special insoles to wear in their shoes to help reduce pain. Those in the exercise, orthotics and self-management advice group receive the advice booklet, exercise sessions and insoles.

Staff: Prof Hylton B Menz

Study protocol: http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN12160508

The TREADON trial is led by Dr Edward Roddy at Keele University and is funded by Arthritis Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research (UK).