In our prior posts on heel pain and plantar fasciitis we described the growing evidence supporting the utilization of treatments by Physical Therapists including manual therapy and exercise. This treatment approach is supported by established clinical practice guidelines and is more effective than modalities including ultrasound and other passive interventions. Interestingly, despite the evidence only a small percentage of the 1 million visits per year for heel pain involve this treatment approach.
A recent article in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy reviewed over 800,000 patient cases of plantar fasciitis (Fraser et al. 2017). Despite the evidence supporting its’ use, only 7% of these patients were referred to Physical Therapy services. Among the percentage of patients referred to Physical Therapy, the vast majority received evidence based treatments including manual therapy and exercise. This form of treatment accelerated patients’ recovery and saved them $340 per episode of care compared to other treatments for plantar fasciitis. Patients are encouraged to seek out their local Physical Therapist for the clinical and cost effective treatment of heel pain.