Manual Therapy and Plantar Fasciitis
Manual therapy (MT) as part of the overall treatment of Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is on the rise, due to an increasing number of reliable studies showing its treatment efficacy.
In this systematic review, RCTs were included if they used a form of MT in the experimental group, and MT was the focal independent variable of the study design.
7 good quality (6-9/10 PEDro score) RCTs were used to compare MT treatment to comparative treatments. The review sought to derive data related to:
- Patient-reported pain;
- Algometry (via pressure-pain thresholds);
- Patient-reported function.
MT techniques included both ankle-foot joint mobilizations and soft tissue techniques to the foot and lower leg muscles, applied for 1.5 to 10 minutes over 6-16 treatment sessions.
An example: a study included in the review looked at the difference between MT (soft tissue mobilization of triceps surae and plantar fascia, Grade 2 & 4 rearfoot mobilizations x 5 minutes), strengthening, stretching and ultrasound compared with strengthening, stretching and ultrasound without the MT.
The review concluded that pain and function improve better in treatment plans that include MT rather than in the control interventions.
> From: Fraser et al., J Man Manip Ther 26 (2018) 55-65. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the online summary.