Comparison of effects of low-level laser therapy and extracorporeal shock wave therapy in plantar fasciitis treatment: A randomized, prospective, single-blind clinical study

Turk J Phys Med Rehabil. 2018 Oct 27;65(2):184-190. doi: 10.5606/tftrd.2019.3528. eCollection 2019 Jun.


Objectives: The aim of this study is to compare the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in terms of fascia thickness, heel pain, and foot functions in patients with plantar fasciitis (PF).

Patients and methods: Between April 2015 and October 2015, a total of 34 patients (5 males, 29 females; mean age 51.5±10.8 years; range, 18 to 65 years) with PF were randomized into two treatment groups to receive either ESWT or LLLT using closed envelope method. The patients were evaluated before and after treatment and one month after treatment using the visual analog scale (VAS)-pain, Foot Function Index (FFI), and plantar fascia thickness measured by ultrasonography.

Results: A significant improvement in the VAS-pain and FFI scores and plantar fascia thickness was observed in both groups after treatment and one month after treatment, compared to pre-treatment values (p<0.05). Changes over time in these outcome parameters were not different between study groups (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Our study results suggest that both ESWT and LLLT seem to be effective on pain, foot functions, and fascia thickness in the treatment of PF.Presented at the 26th National Congress of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, April 25-29, 2017 Antalya, Turkey.

Keywords: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy; low-level laser therapy; plantar fasciitis; ultrasonography.