Research Review: Trigger point release with stretching improved plantar heel pain better than just stretching alone

By Stefanie DiCarrado DPT, PT, NASM CPT & CES

Edited by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Original Citation: Renan-Ordine, R., Alburquerque-Sedin, F., De Souza, E.P.R., Cleland, J.A., Fernandez-De-La-Penas, C. (2011) Effectiveness of myofascial trigger point manual therapy combined with a self-stretching protocol for the management of plantar heel pain: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine. 41(2) 43-50 - ARTICLE

Lower Extremity TrP's From top to Bottom: <a id=Lateral Gastrocnemius, Solues, Flexor Hallucis Longus"> Lower Extremity TrP's
From top to Bottom: Lateral Gastrocnemius, Solues, Flexor Hallucis Longus

Why is this relevant?: Plantar fasciitis is one of the most commonly reported foot/ankle injuries, resulting in various levels of disability. The authors of this study cite research suggesting that the pain associated with plantar fasciitis may not be due to an inflammatory process, as the name suggests, but instead the result of degenerative changes in the plantar fascia itself. This may imply more research is needed exploring the source of dysfunction; with the intent of preventing further disruption of the plantar fascia tissue (As opposed to, researching interventions aimed at simply reducing or interrupting the inflammatory process). The authors cited various studies noting a reduction in pain post trigger point release, or stretching protocols. At the time of publication, no study looked at trigger point release combined with stretching. This article compares trigger point release & self-stretching (TPR) to