Introduction: Calcaneal spur is a pathology of the fibrocartilage enthesis of the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia or a pathology of the mixed enthesis of the flexor digitorum brevis muscle. Ultrasound therapy is commonly applied in the conservative treatment of a calcaneal spur. Foot muscle strengthening exercises, stretching exercises and soft tissue therapy are indicated as effective methods of conservative treatment. The aim of the study was to compare and assess the effects of ultrasound therapy and selected techniques of manual therapy on pain level and functional state in patients with calcaneal spur.
Material and methods: Twenty-two patients (14 females and 8 males) with calcaneal spur were included in the study. They were randomly assigned to two groups (A and B) with different therapies administered. Group A was treated with ultrasound therapy combined with soft tissue therapy, while group B was subjected to manual therapy only.
Results: Significant pain reduction and an increase in functional capacity were noted in all patients from both groups. No statistically significant differences between the groups were found in pain intensity following the therapies.
Conclusions: Our findings confirm the relevance of using ultrasound and soft tissue therapies in the conservative treatment of calcaneal spur and prove the need to carry out further research on a larger sample size. These therapies brought about significant pain reduction retained over a period of 3 weeks. A series of 10 therapy sessions is enough to improve pain and functional capacity outcomes; however, it will never result in complete pain relief. A greater number of interventions might contribute to an increase in therapy effectiveness.