One-year treatment follow-up of plantar fasciitis: radial shockwaves vs. conventional physiotherapy

Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2013;68(8):1089-95. doi: 10.6061/clinics/2013(08)05.


Objective: To compare radial shockwave treatment with conventional physiotherapy for plantar fasciitis after 12 months of follow-up.

Method: This was a randomized, prospective, comparative clinical study. Forty patients with a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis were divided randomly into two treatment groups: group 1, with 20 patients who underwent ten physiotherapy sessions comprising ultrasound, kinesiotherapy and guidance for home-based stretching; and group 2, with 20 patients who underwent three applications of radial shockwaves, once a week, and guidance for home-based stretching. All patients were assessed regarding pain and functional abilities before treatment, immediately after and 12 months after treatment. The mean age was 49.6 ±11.8 years (range: 25-68 years), 85% were female, 88% were overweight, 63% were affected bilaterally, and 83% used analgesics regularly.

Results: At the 12-month follow-up, both treatments were effective for improving pain and functional ability among the patients with plantar fasciitis. The improvement with shockwaves was faster.

Conclusion: Shockwave treatment was not more effective than conventional physiotherapy treatment 12 months after the end of the treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • High-Energy Shock Waves / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises / methods*
  • Pain Management
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / methods*
  • Visual Analog Scale