Don?t Forget Trigger Point Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis: 2011 RCT!

Reference:Renan-Ordine R et al Effectiveness of myofascial trigger point manual therapy combined with a self-stretching protocol for the management of plantar heel pain: a randomized controlled trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2011 Feb;41(2):43-50. Epub 2011 Jan 31

This recent RCT investigated the effects of trigger point (TrP) therapy combined with a self-stretching program for patients with heel pain.

Sixty patients, with plantar fasciitis were randomly divided into 2 Physiotherapy intervention groups for four-weeks.

Group #1: Received only self-stretching and were instructed to perform 7 repetitions of calf and plantar fascia stretches held for 20 seconds and repeated 2x / day

Group #2: The same self-stretching protocol but they also received soft tissue trigger point (TrP) therapy / deep tissue massage / release applied primarily to the to the medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle

Result:After one month, the patients receiving a combination of calf muscle and plantar fascia stretching and TrP releases had significantly greater improvements in their calcaneal pressure pain thresholds, functional and pain scores, as compared to those receiving only the self-stretching program.

Clinical Relevance: For your next patient presenting with plantar heel pain / plantar fasciitis, ensure that you assess the gastrocs and soleus muscles for tight bands, knots, and trigger points and treat using various deep tissue release techniques. This RCT certainly supports the efficacy of trigger point release of the gastrocs.

Posted on: May 09, 2011

Categories: Foot & Ankle

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