Extracorporeal shock wave therapy versus other therapeutic methods for chronic plantar fasciitis

Foot Ankle Surg. 2020 Jan;26(1):33-38. doi: 10.1016/j.fas.2018.11.002. Epub 2018 Nov 13.


Background: To conduct a meta-analysis comparing the efficacy of general ESWT with that of other therapies and to assess its effectiveness in chronic plantar fasciitis.

Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library for information from the earliest date of data collection to March 2018. Studies comparing the benefits and risks of extracorporeal shock wave therapy with those of other therapies for chronic plantar fasciitis were included. Statistical heterogeneity was quantitatively evaluated by a X2 test with the significance set as P<0.10 or I2>50%.

Results: Thirteen trials consisting of 1,185 patients were included (637 patients were treated with ESWT; 548 patients, with OT). The results showed that patients treated with ESWT had increased success or improvement rates, an increased modified Roles & Maudsley (RM) score, a reduction of pain scales, reduced return to work time, and fewer complications than patients treated with other therapy methods (P<0.1).

Conclusions: Compared with patients who received other therapies for chronic plantar fasciitis, patients treated with ESWT responded better, had less complications and showed a clear difference in efficacy between ESWT and other therapy in chronic plantar fasciitis.

Level of evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study.

Keywords: Chronic plantar fasciitis; Complications; Effectiveness; Extracorporeal shock wave therapy; Other therapeutic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy / methods*
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / physiopathology
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Treatment Outcome