A randomized-controlled trial of prolotherapy injections in the treatment of plantar fasciitis

Turk J Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Aug 12;64(1):59-65. doi: 10.5606/tftrd.2018.944. eCollection 2018 Mar.


Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of prolotherapy injections for the treatment of plantar fasciitis.

Material and methods: Between October 2014 and October 2015, 60 patients with symptomatic chronic plantar fasciitis were randomly divided into two groups, as control (n=31) and prolotherapy (n=29) groups. In the prolotherapy group, ultrasound-guided prolotherapy injections into the plantar fascia up to five different points were performed three times every 21 days. In the control group, the patients received instructions for plantar fascia and Achilles tendon stretching exercises three times a week for three months. Additionally, all patients were given heel lifts and instructed to refrain from heavy loading activity. The patients were evaluated via the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Food and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS), and Foot Function Index (FFI) at baseline and at 21, 42, 90, and 360 days during follow-up.

Results: A total of 50 patients completed follow-up (26 patients in the prolotherapy group and 24 patients in the control group). The VAS, FAOS, and FFI scores were significantly improved in both groups (p<0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in the pain and functional scores at 21 days of treatment between the groups. The VAS and FAOS scores were higher in the prolotherapy group than the control group at 42, 90, and 360 days of treatment. The FFI scores were also higher in the prolotherapy group than the controls at 42 and 90 days of treatment; however, both groups had similar scores at 360 days.

Conclusion: Our study results suggest that prolotherapy is an effective auxiliary method for treating chronic plantar fasciitis.

Keywords: Plantar fascia-specific stretching exercises; plantar fasciitis; prolotherapy injections.