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Chulalongkorn Medical Journal

Abstract

Background : Previous studies have shown that stretching of the Achilles tendon iseffective for treating patients with plantar heel pain.Objective : To evaluate the effectiveness of the continuous passive stretching (CPS)instrument in patients with plantar heel pain.Methods : Fifteen subjects aged 40 - 60 years with a history of plantar heel painlonger than 1 month were recruited. They were instructed to use CPSinstrument for 5 days per week for 4 consecutive weeks. Six variableswhich included plantar heel pain at first step in the morning, average painover the past 24 hours, pressure pain threshold, foot and ankle disability,passive ankle range of motion, and global perceived effect were takenbefore and after 4 weeks of treatment.Results : After 4 weeks of stretching, the subjects showed significant decreasesin pain intensity (P < 0.001) as well as foot and ankle disability (P < 0.001)whereas there were significant increases in pressure pain threshold(P < 0.001) and ankle passive dorsiflexion range of motion (P < 0.001).Conclusion : Passive stretching of the Achilles tendon with the CPS instrument iseffective in alleviating symptoms in patients with plantar heel pain.

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