Extracorporeal shock wave therapy on pain and foot functions in subjects with chronic plantar fasciitis: systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Disabil Rehabil. 2022 Sep;44(18):5007-5014. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2021.1928775. Epub 2021 May 26.


Purpose: The aim of this review was to synthesize current evidence on the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy on pain, and foot function in subjects with plantar fasciitis.

Materials and methods: A comprehensive search of PubMed/Medline, CINAHL, AMED, PEDro, Cochrane Library, and Scopus were done to identify randomized controlled trials of extracorporeal shock wave therapy in subjects with plantar fasciitis. PEDro scale was used to evaluate the methodological quality of included trials. Visual Analogue Scale and Foot Function Index were the primary outcome measures of this review. Due to varying of entailed trials, meta-analysis was not carried out.

Results: Eleven randomized controlled trials with 658 patients were included. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy exhibited a moderate confirmation to better pain, and foot function of individuals with chronic plantar fasciitis.

Conclusion: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy could be a promising rehabilitation intervention and might support to improve pain, and foot function of subjects with chronic plantar fasciitis.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONExtracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) exerted beneficial effects on pain and functional outcomes for chronic plantar fasciitis.ESWT could be effectively performed with no side effects.ESWT could be an alternative to the conventional management of chronic plantar fasciitis.

Keywords: Heel pain syndrome; extracorporeal shock wave therapy; plantar fasciitis; rehabilitation; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy*
  • Fasciitis, Plantar* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Pain
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome