Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Foot--Wounds and injuries--Treatment; Chronic pain--Treatment; Foot--Massage;


Chronic Plantar Heel Pain (CPHP), commonly known as “plantar fasciitis,” is a condition that is estimated to affect 10% of the American population. A treatment for CPHP and other soft tissue overuse conditions that is increasing in popularity is the use of metal instruments for deep tissue massage for 10 minutes, twice a week for six weeks, called the Graston Technique.

The purpose of this study is to longitudinally examine the foot pain and function of participants who received Graston Technique treatment approximately two years before this study. A mixed methods design where quantitatively, three self-reported survey instruments were utilized, and qualitatively, an interview regarding foot pain and function, as well as quality of life, was completed.

This study is motivated by three research questions: (1) Will participants treated with Graston Technique for CPHP report a maintenance or decrease in pain levels two years posttreatment? (2) Will participants treated with Graston Technique for CPHP report a maintenance or improvement in functional outcomes two years posttreatment? (3) What are the lived experiences of participants treated with Graston Technique for CPHP?

The findings of this case series design demonstrate that 13 out of 15 participants maintained or improved pain levels and functional outcomes near two years posttreatment. Qualitatively, 10 out of 15 of the participants described having foot pain at the cessation of treatment, with the pain subsiding a few months later. This could occur from the long-term mechanical changes that Graston Technique can impose on degenerated tissue, such as in CPHP. The findings support that Graston Technique may be an effective treatment for CPHP to maintain pain and functional levels two years after the treatment has ended.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Kinesiology, Allied Health and Human Services

First Advisor

Peter J. Neibert, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 113 pages)



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