Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition caused by an inflammation of the plantar fascia, affecting nearly 2 million in the US annually (Martin et al. 2001). While most cases of plantar fasciitis are resolved with conservative treatment within a year, severe cases usually result in a surgical intervention.

A recent case report in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy describes a successful intervention in a 61 year old patient with a 10-year history of chronic plantar fasciitis who used night splints. Plantar fasciitis can increase the risk of falls in older adults, although the condition is not as prevalent as in younger adults.

In the case report, physical therapists Stephanie Peplinski and Kent Irwin described their 4-week intervention. The patient received 8 sessions of individualized physical therapy, twice a week for 4 weeks. She received soft tissue mobilization and iontophoresis with dexamethasone, and performed 4-direction ankle Thera-Band resistance band exercises for 10 repetitions in the clinic and at home. She also used a balance board and foam pad for balance training in the clinic.

At discharge, she reported decreased pain and improved activities of daily living (ADL). This case report demonstrated that an individualized physical therapy program with targeted interventions can improve the symptoms in chronic plantar fasciitis. Combining in-clinic rehab and home exercise with Thera-Band Stability Products and the Thera-Band First Step to Foot Relief can provide effective tools for treating plantar fasciitis.

REFERENCE: Peplinski SL, Irwin KE. The clinical reasoning process for the intervention of chronic plantar fasciitis. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2010 Jul-Sep;33(3):141-51.

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