The relative effectiveness of pulsed ultrasound as an adjunct to foot manipulation in the treatment of plantar fasciitis
Du Plessis, Juan
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Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a syndrome that causes pain at the insertion of the plantar fascia to the medial calcaneal tubercle of the calcaneaus. This syndrome has been described as an overuse injury with subsequent inflammation at the insertion of the plantar fascia to the bone. The literature describes inflammatory changes that occur within the body and attachment of the plantar fascia, together with biomechanical aberrances that may be the result of the PF. The purpose of this study was to determine the relative effectiveness of pulsed ultrasound as an adjunct to foot manipulation in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. The foot manipulations are used to correct the biomechanical abnormalities, while the pulsed ultrasound is used for its anti-inflammatory properties. The combination of pulsed ultrasound and foot manipulation was compared to foot manipulation alone to determine if this ultrasound manipulation combination had any beneficial effect over and above foot manipulation alone. Thus determining whether it is of importance to o approach and treat both aspects of the syndrome described. This was a prospective, randomised, comparative controlled trial. Forty subjects were diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and chosen to participate in the study. They were subsequently divided into two groups (Group A and Group B) of twenty. Group A was the experimental group receiving foot manipulation and ultrasound as treatment, and Group B, the control group received foot manipulation alone as treatment. Each subject received six treatments within a period of three weeks, with a seventh follow-up within one week of the sixth treatment. There was no treatment at the seventh consultation; this was used for obtaining subjective and objective readings. Subjective assessment was by means of the Foot Function Index, and objective was by means of the manual algometer. Both the subjective. and objective readings were taken prior to the first, sixth and at the seventh (final) consultations.