Publication Date

Spring 2015

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Russell E. Carter, PT, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

David Diers, Ed.D., MHS, PT, ATC

Third Advisor

Roberta O'Shea, PT, DPT, Ph.D.


Background and Purpose: The multimodal approach reflects the type of individualized treatment commonly used in the clinical setting, in which many different interventions are available to the physical therapist. The purpose of this case report is to describe the physical therapy management process for a patient with chronic retrocalcaneal pain using a multimodal intervention approach.

Case Description: The patient was a 24 year-old male with chronic left retrocalcaneal pain. The patient’s impairments included decreased left ankle dorsiflexion, decreased left talocrural joint mobility, left ankle swelling, and gait deviations. The patient’s functional limitations included decreased ability to stand and walk for prolonged periods of time secondary to pain.

Outcomes: Left ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion increased from 0-10⁰ to 0-14⁰. Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) scores decreased from 8/10 to 3/10. Gait deviations were normalized. The patient reported improved functional mobility in school and work activities.

Discussion: Even though the specific etiology of retrocalcaneal pain could not be determined in clinic, positive outcomes were seen through a selection of interventions that addressed the patient’s impairments and functional limitations.