Loyola University Medical Center is conducting a clinical trial on two physical therapy approaches to treat plantar fasciitis, which causes stabbing heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It involves a band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, connecting the heel bone to the toes. Irritatation and inflammation from repeated stress and strain results in pain, typically most severe when taking the first steps in the day.
Study 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. Participants will undergo two physical therapy treatments of 30 to 60 minutes duration per week for four weeks. A news story about the trial, with contact for further information, may be read here.