The Short-Term Effect of Extracorporeal Shock Wave in Treating Plantar Fasciitis: RCT

Ziad Hawamdeh, Alia Ali Alghwiri, Aseel Nassar


Background: Plantar fasciitis (PF) is one of the common musculoskeletal problems worldwide that has been treated using the extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). The purpose of this study was to investigate the short-term effectiveness of ESWT in reducing pain and improving function in people with PF.

Materials and Methods: A sample of 34 subjects with PF (21 female) was randomly assigned to either the ESWT treatment group (n=15) or the placebo control group (n=19). Each subject received 3 sessions of ESWT 1 week apart with a clasp on the heel for the placebo control group. Pain and functional level were examined using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and the Roles and Maudsley Score (RM) respectively at baseline, end of treatment and 3 weeks after the last intervention session.

Results: Participants in the ESWT treatment group had significant improvement in both VAS and RM at the end of the treatment and follow up. Whereas participants in the placebo group did not improve significantly at the end of the treatment neither in VAS nor in RM scores while reported significant improvement at the follow up in both outcome measures. When comparing results between groups, pain scores were higher in the placebo group at the end of treatment and follow up. However, no significant differences were observed between groups in outcome measures.

Conclusions: The use of ESWT demonstrated successful reduction in pain and improvement in functional level with individuals suffering from PF after a short-term follow up.


Plantar fasciitis, Extracorporeal shock wave therapy, Pain, Function .

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