The evaluation of ultrasonographic findings in the management of plantar fasciitis in runners and the association with clinical findings
Dunn, Shoshanna Lee
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Plantar Fasciitis (PF), also called ‘the painful heel syndrome’, is a common cause of heel pain (Barrett and O’Malley, 1999:2200), accounting for between 7% and 10% of all running injuries (Batt and Tanji, 1995:77; Chandler and Kibler, 1993:345). Primarily an overuse injury, resulting from tensile overload, it involves inflammation and micro-tears of the plantar fascia at its insertion on the calcaneus (Lillegard and Rucker, 1993:168; Barrett and O’Malley, 1999:2200). The body’s attempt to heal these micro-tears leads to chronic inflammation and the formation of adhesions (Ambrosius and Kondracki, 1992:30). Transverse friction massage has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of PF (Hyde and Gengenbach, 1997:478,481; Hertling and Kessler, 1996:137). Cyriax (1984) and Prentice (1994) state the effect of frictions to include the breakdown of adhesions (scar tissue), as well as preventing the formation of further adhesions. Graston Technique Instrument-assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation (GISTM), based on the principles of frictions, aims to break down adhesions, realign collagen fibres and aid in the completion of the inflammatory process (Carey-Loghmani, 2003:31, 51-62; Hammer, 2001). Enabling us to see changes on ultrasonography, which has been found to be an objective, non-invasive way of evaluating PF (Wall and Harkness, 1993:468; Tsai et al, 2000:259; Cardinal et al, 1996:258). These changes include decreased thickness of the fascia. The aim of the study was to see the effect of GISTM on PF in runners, in terms of ultrasonography, and identify any correlation between these findings and other objective and subjective findings.