Importance of Manual Therapy in Treatment of Patients with Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

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Manual therapy or the passive movements of joints and tissues has been shown to be effective at reducing short term pain for a number of conditions including heel pain.  Interventions including joint mobilization and manipulation are commonly provided to patients suffering from heel pain or plantar fasciitis (fasciosis) in order to restore normal mobility to the leg, ankle, and foot.  A recent research review was conducted to determine if these manual therapy interventions were more effective than other Physical Therapy interventions.

Fraser and colleagues in the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy reviewed 7 previous randomized controlled trials to determine the effectiveness of manual therapy in patients with plantar fasciitis (2017).  The authors reported manual therapy demonstrated greater improvements in function at both short and long term follow up compared with stretching, strengthening, or modalities.  Authors recommended clinicians consider both manual therapy and joint manual therapy treatments as part of a individualized Physical Therapy treatment plan.