Photobiomodulation Therapy Plus Usual Care Is Better than Usual Care Alone for Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

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Photobiomodulation Therapy Plus Usual Care Is Better than Usual Care Alone for Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Ketz AK, Anders J, Orina J, et al.

 

ABSTRACT

Background: Plantar fasciitis (PF) results in pain-related disability and excessive healthcare costs. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) has shown promise for decreasing both pain and disability related to PF.

Purpose: The purpose was to assess the clinical impact of PBMT on pain and function in people with PF.

Study Design: Prospective, randomized controlled clinical trial

Methods: A convenience sample of adults with PF were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) usual care, (2) usual care plus nine doses of PBMT with 25W output power over three weeks, or (3) usual care plus nine doses of PBMT with 10W output power over three weeks. Both 10W and 25W PBMT participants received the same total dose (10J/cm2) by utilizing a simple area equation. Pain (with Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale) and function (by Foot and Ankle Ability Measure) were measured at baseline, weeks 3, and 6 for all groups, and at 13 and 26 weeks for PBMT groups.

Results: PBMT groups experienced a reduction in pain over the first three weeks (from an average of 4.5 to 2.8) after which their pain levels remained mostly constant, while the UC group experienced a smaller reduction in pain (from an average of 4 to 3.8). The effects on pain were not different between PBMT groups. PBMT in both treatment groups also improved function more than the UC group, again with the improvement occurring within the first three weeks.

Conclusions: Pain and function improved during the three weeks of PBMT plus UC and remained stable over the following three weeks. Improvements sustained through six months in the PBMT plus UC groups.

Level of Evidence: Level II- RCT or Prospective Comparative Study

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