Background Plantar heel pain in adulthood is a common, disabling and chronic foot problem. Most cases have a biomechanical etiology however various systemic arthritis also causes heel pain. Plantar fasciitis which is caused by secondary degenerative changes in the plantar fascia, is the most common cause of plantar heel pain. Despite the common use of low intensity laser therapy (LILT) and extracorporeal shock wave therapy(ESWT)inmusculoskeletal problems such as plantar fasciitis there is no randomized controlled study comparing the efficacy of these treatment modalities.
Objectives To compare the efficacy of LILT and ESWT in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Methods Fifty-five patients with plantar fasciitis were randomly allocated into the laser group(29 patients) who received Gallium-Aluminum-Arsenide laser therapy with 850nm wavelength for 10 sessions 3 times a week and ESWTgroup (26 patients) who received 2000 shock waves with 0.02 mJ/mm2 for three sessions once a week. Foot Function Index,12 minutes walk test and VAS were used for evaluation.
Results In the laser group pre-post treatment values showed a significant difference in favor of post treatment values in all measured parameters whereas in the ESWT group no difference was found in gait velocity or pain. Intergroup comparisons showed that LILT was more effective in reducing pain, increasing the speed of walking and in increasing perceived quality of life.
Conclusions The results of this study suggest that LILT is more effective than ESWT in the treatment of heel pain.
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Disclosure of Interest None Declared