Effects of radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy versus high intensity laser therapy in individuals with plantar fasciitis: A randomised clinical trial

C. Thammajaree, M. Theapthong, P. Palee, P. Pakpakorn, T. Sitti, P. Sakulsriprasert, T. Bunprajun, S. Thong‑On
Lasers in Medical Science, 38(1), 127, 2023

This study aimed to compare the effects of radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy (rESWT) to the effects of high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) in the treatment of individuals with plantar fasciitis. Thirty-two individuals with unilateral plantar fasciitis were randomized into two groups: rESWT and HILT. In each group, the individuals underwent the intervention two sessions per week, for three weeks. Outcome measures included morning pain, resting pain, pain at 80 newtons (N) pressure, skin blood flow and temperature, plantar fascia (PF) and flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) thickness, and Foot Function Index (FFI). There was no significant difference in baseline characteristics of the individuals in both groups. All outcome measures, except skin blood flow and temperature, and FDB thickness, were significantly different (p < 0.05) over time. Skin blood flow was significantly different between groups at the end of the program. Either HILT or rESWT could alleviate pain in individuals with plantar fasciitis significantly. However, HILT was better at reducing FFI (functional limitation domain) rather than rESWT. This study was a randomized clinical trial and was approved by Mahidol University-Central Institutional Review Board (MU-CIRB) following the Declaration of Helsinki, COA no. MU_CIRB 2020/207.0412, the Thai Clinical Trials Registry (TDTR) numbered TCTR2021012500.