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Research

24/11/2009 - Acupuncture Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial with Six Months Follow-up.

Country: Hong Kong

Institute: School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, PRC. spzhang@hkbu.edu.hk.

Author(s): Zhang SP, Yip TP, Li QS.

Journal: J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Nov;15(11):1171-86.

Abstract:

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. It has been suggested that some acupoints have a specific effect on heel pain. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and specificity of acupuncture treatment for plantar fasciitis.

Subjects were randomly assigned to the treatment group (n = 28) or control group (n = 25). The treatment group received needling at the acupoint PC 7, which is purported to have a specific effect for heel pain. The control group received needling at the acupoint Hegu (LI 4), which has analgesic properties. Treatment was administered five times a week for 2 weeks, with an identical method of manual needling applied to the two acupoints.

The primary outcome measure was morning pain on a 100-point visual analog scale (VAS) at one month post-treatment. Secondary outcome measures included a VAS for activity pain, overall pain rating as well as pressure pain threshold using algometry.

Significant differences in reduction in pain scores, favoring the treatment group, were seen at one month for morning pain (22.6 +/- 4.0 versus 12.0 +/- 3.0, mean +/- SEM), overall pain (20.3 +/- 3.7 versus 9.5 +/- 3.6) and pressure pain threshold (145.5 +/- 32.9 versus -15.5 +/- 39.4). No serious adverse event was observed in either group.

The results indicate that acupuncture can provide pain relief to patient with plantar fasciitis, and that PC 7 is a relatively specific acupoint for heel pain.

Pubmed ID: 19933769