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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of cold applied the night before or in the morning on pain and symptoms of plantar fasciitis.


Experimental study.


Thirty subjects with plantar fasciitis were recruited for this study. Subjects with plantar fasciitis either had no intervention, cold applied (20 minutes) at night before bed, or 20 minutes in the morning upon wakening. Plantar fascia tenderness and pain were evaluated. There were ten subjects in each group. Measures included visual analog scale, plantar facial thickness via high resolution ultrasound, algometer measure, and range of motion of the ankle and foot. There were 3 groups of 10 subjects, control (no intervention), cold the night before bed, and cold in the morning before rising.


The greatest relief of symptoms was cold used at bedtime the night before the measurements. Cold used in the morning was not as effective as cold used in the evening before bed. Cold use reduced the thickness of the plantar fascia and irritation. There was a 13% reduction in plantar fascia thickness with cold the night before (p<0.05), a 44% reduction in pain and an 86 % increase in the force that could be applied to the bottom of the foot without pain (p<0.05).


Cold applied for 20 minutes prior bedtime is effective for reduced symptomology caused by plantar fascia inflammation.

Publisher's Statement

Originally published in Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Science 2(2), 75-80. The original material can be found here.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License



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