Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume
By Mark Greener
Low-energy shock waves seem to alleviate chronic plantar fasciitis and might help patients avoid surgery for recalcitrant heel pain.
Some short-term studies suggest that low-energy extracorporeal shock waves alleviate chronic plantar fasciitis. However, low-energy shock waves' use in musculoskeletal disorders remains controversial. Against this background, researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University School of Medicine, Mainz, Germany, compared three applications of either 1000 or 10 impulses of low-energy shock waves in 112 patients with intractable plantar heel pain.
Patients rated effectiveness after six months and five years as excellent, good, acceptable or poor. They also assessed pain severity on manual pressure, at night and at rest as well as the ability to walk without pain after six months and five years.