Online Course
The Theory and Practice of Massage and Exercise for Plantar Heel Pain
Get better results for your patients with heel pain using deep friction massage and exercises

1-1.5 hours





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Bernice Saban
Course instructor

An experienced physiotherapist working with musculoskeletal problems, specialising in heel pain syndrome and trigger finger

Course image - The Theory and Practice of Massage and Exercise for Plantar Heel Pain
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Manual therapy is commonly used by physiotherapists to improve mobility and reduce pain. Myofascial restrictions of the posterior calf muscles have been implicated in the development of plantar heel pain (PHP) as they interfere with both the extensibility and the contractibility of the muscles and fascia, thus impeding optimal functioning. This course investigates manual therapy - the practical component of the treatment of plantar heel pain syndrome (PHPS) - as described in the “new protocol” for the management of PHPS. Manual therapy in the “new protocol” refers to deep friction massage therapy techniques, which are based on the teachings of Dr James Cyriax. After applying these manual techniques, exercises are prescribed to restore the optimal functioning of the muscle. This course follows the lecture on the “Anatomy and Relevant Structures in PHP”. The next course in this series is the “Application of the New Protocol for PHP”.


The purpose of this course is to describe the theory and practice of manual therapy for PHPS as it pertains to the “new protocol”, with specific emphasis on deep friction massage therapy and exercise.


This course is made up of videos, reading, forum posts and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Videos
  2. Reading activity
  3. Quiz

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.


Availability - this course is online and can be completed on your own schedule.

Hours of Learning - No deadlines are applied to this course and it can be started and completed in your own time according to your personal schedule. We expect the required elements to take around 1-1.5 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.

Types of Activities - Watching videos, reading, a final quiz and participating in an international discussion forum.

Certificates - At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 1.1 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate plus CEUs/CCUs/CPD points you will need to:

  1. Respect the Plus Community Culture.
  2. Log all the required learning activities as complete (represented by the orange icons!).
  3. Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
  4. Pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more.
  5. Complete a course evaluation form.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • explain the principles and effects of deep friction massage therapy
  • discuss the basic principles of the application of deep friction massage according to Cyriax
  • list the posterior calf muscles targeted in the "new protocol" for plantar heel pain syndrome
  • discuss the use of exercises for plantar heel pain syndrome

Instructor financial and non-financial disclosures

No relevant relationships disclosed by instructor.


For special needs or accommodations please contact us with details of how we can meet your needs.

Featured reviews
This course has completely changed how I address plantar heel pain. I am more confident than ever that I can improve patients' symptoms. I wish I had learned these techniques and been familiar with the research to support it years ago.
Chelsea Lorenson
Physical Therapist
United States