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New study explores two therapies for plantar fasciitis

Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill, is conducting a clinical trial on two physical therapy regimens to treat plantar fasciitis, which causes stabbing heel pain.

March 31, 2015  By Massage Therapy Canada staff

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It involves
a band of tissue – called the plantar fasciitis – that connects the
heel bone to the toes. The tissue becomes irritated and inflamed from
repeated strains. The pain typically is most severe when taking the
first steps in the morning.

In the Loyola study – titled, A
randomized trial comparing traditional soft tissue mobilization and the
instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization for the treatment of
patients with plantar fasciitis – participants will be randomly assigned
to one of two treatment groups. One group will receive therapy
treatments that focus on soft tissue mobilization, with massage and
techniques that release muscle tightness. This is performed with hand
manipulation by a physical therapist.

The other group will
receive an instrument-assisted therapy called the Graston Technique. The
therapist uses stainless steel instruments to comb over and identify
scar tissue. The instruments then are used to break up the scar tissue
so it can be absorbed by the body.

Therapists have taken a
continuing education class that has certified them to perform the Graston Technique in a safe and effective way.


Participants will undergo
two treatments per week for four weeks. Treatments will take 30 to 60
minutes. Both groups will perform stretches and strengthening exercises.

study’s principal investigator is Katherine Dux, DPM. Co-investigators
are Sarah Dickey, DPM, Gabriela Montes, DPM, and Morgan Grubbe, PT, DPT.

For more information on the clinical trial, call 708-216-2612.

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