Effect of Dextrose Prolotherapy on Pain Intensity, Disability, and Plantar Fascia Thickness in Unilateral Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized, Controlled, Double-Blind Study

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2020 Apr;99(4):318-324. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001330.


Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of dextrose prolotherapy in the treatment of chronic resistant plantar fasciitis through comparison with a control group.

Design: In this double-blind, randomized, controlled study, the patients were divided into two groups. The prolotherapy group (n = 30) was administered 5 ml of 30% dextrose, 4 ml of saline, and 1 ml of 2% lidocaine mixture (15% dextrose solution) and the control group was given 9 ml of saline and 1 ml of 2% lidocaine mixture twice at a 3-wk interval. During the 15-wk follow-up period, pain intensity was measured using the visual analog scale during activity and at rest. The foot function index was used to measure pain and disability. The plantar fascia thickness was measured by ultrasonography. The measurements were undertaken before treatment and at posttreatment weeks 7 and 15.

Results: Improvements in visual analog scale during activity, at rest, foot function index (all subgroups), and plantar fascia thickness measured at the 7th and 15th weeks were significantly higher in the prolotherapy group compared with the control group (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Dextrose prolotherapy has efficacy up to 15 wks and can be used as an alternative method in the treatment of chronic resistant plantar fasciitis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / drug therapy*
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / pathology
  • Female
  • Glucose / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Injections
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prolotherapy / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Lidocaine
  • Glucose