Its a Saturday night, and I'm away at the in-laws holiday house for the weekend - studying!!
I've just submitted an assessment for my Bachelor degree - a summary on a randomised controlled trial on the effectiveness of Myofascial Release for Chronic Plantar Fasciitis.
This study was published earlier this year (January 2017), and I'm really happy to say that it backs up the way I've been approaching Plantar Fasciitis for years!
The study took 30 patients with chronic Plantar Fasciitis and split them into two groups - Group A received 10 Myofascial Release treatments plus a self-stretching program to do at home, and Group B received only the self-stretching program.
The group who were receiving the Myofascial Release had work done to the under side (the "plantar" side) of their foot, releasing the fibers of the plantar fascia from the heel towards the toes in long, slow, stretching movements.
The self-stretching program for both groups included stretching both major lower leg muscles - the Gastrocnemius (the bulky calf muscle) and the Soleus (which lays underneath the Gastrocnemius)
The study found that both groups showed improvement, however the individuals in Group A who received the hands on Myofascial Release treatment and the self-stretching program showed a significant difference in results than Group B who only received the self-stretching program.
When I treat a patient for Plantar Fasciitis, I also include Myofascial Release for the muscles of the legs particular the Gastrocnemius and Soleus, and I also highly recommend a spiky massage ball for home use in addition to the self-stretching routine.
Cheryl, one of my patients with Plantar Fasciitis, has this to say about her treatment with me:
"I can certainly attest to the treatment's success as you know Mel. Having walked the Camino in Spain in 2014 where I developed plantar fasciitis, I came to you for treatment before going back to do it again in 2016. The thought of walking another 900 kms with PF wasn't appealing but after your treatments and regular daily stretching, I walked successfully without any PF the second time. My hero Mel.
p.s. I'm going to Portugal next year to walk the Camino from Lisbon to Santiago. Only 630 kms this time. Hahaha"
If you have Plantar Fasciitis, I would love to see you at my new Ferntree Gully clinic to begin a treatment plan that includes Myofascial Release and a stretching program - you can book your first appointment online!
Kumar, R., Sarkar, B., Saha, S., & Equebal, A. (2017). Efficacy of Myofascial Release Technique in Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Indian Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, January-March 2017, Vol. 11, No. 1
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully. She has a special interest in chronic pain conditions, like fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, and more.