Plantar fasciitis: A novel crowdsourcing approach to data collection and analysis

Ron Held, Alexander Blankstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is a disorder of connective tissue that supports the longitudinal arch of the foot. The fascia runs along the sole with insertion to the heads of the metatarsal bones and origin in the calcaneus. It is one of the most frequent diagnoses for patients in general and foot clinics, and one of the common causes for heel pain which may develop into chronic heel pain, change the way we walk and lead to foot, knee, hip or back problems. PF is the most common type of plantar fascia injury. The purpose of this study is to describe the natural history of PF, including the ethnicity, early and main symptoms, aggravating factors, comorbidities and treatments for PF, based on the patient-reported data from active PF community in an online crowdsourcing platform, StuffThatWorks. Analyses were made in order to discover characteristics which have a clinical importance. Totally 3835 patients were included in this retrospective observational study. The results show that crowdsourcing is a valid approach for data collection, as expected results with regard to clinical aspects such as age-of-onset, early and main symptoms were witnessed. Furthermore, the patient-reported data show three characteristics which have a very high clinical relevance: high level of physical activity, being overweight and age. In addition, leads for future studies were established.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2150023
JournalJournal of Musculoskeletal Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Orthopedics
  • Patient-reported outcome measures
  • StuffThatWorks


Dive into the research topics of 'Plantar fasciitis: A novel crowdsourcing approach to data collection and analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this