A Novel Approach to Treating Plantar Fasciitis – Effects of Primal Reflex Release Technique: A Case Series

Authors:  Hansberger BL, Baker RT, May J, Nasypany A

Plantar fasciitis (PF), a common condition affecting physically active individuals, is typically treated with orthotics, two to four months of stretching programs, and/or surgery.  Primal Reflex Release Technique (PRRT) is thought to reduce over-arousal of the nervous system through down-regulation of the primal reflexes.  The technique has been suggested as a novel treatment method for patients suffering from PF.  The purpose of this case series was to examine the effects of PRRT on patients with PF.  The PRRT technique was applied in eight consecutive cases of PF in physically active subjects.  The Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS), the Disability in the Physically Active (DPA) Scale, and the Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS) were administered to identify patient-reported pain and dysfunction.  PRRT was an effective treatment for subjects with either acute or chronic PF. The use of the PRRT treatment resulted in an average reduction in plantar fascial pain across all subjects that was both statistically significant and clinically following a single treatment.  Statistically and clinically significant improvements on averaged measures of function, such as the DPA Scale and PSFS, were also found over the course of treatment.  In this case series, the use of PRRT produced positive changes in terms of improvements in reported pain and dysfunction and a shorter time to resolution, when compared to traditional treatment methods for PF reported in the literature.  Subjects who undergo PRRT treatment for both acute and chronic PF may experience reduction in pain and improvement of function that exceeds what is experienced in traditional conservative therapy programs found in the available literature. Clinicians should consider the regional interdependence model in order to identify underlying related factors when evaluating and treating plantar fasciitis.  The autonomic nervous system may play a role in the perception of pain and should be addressed during treatment.

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