Electroacupuncture with Standard Western Treatment Found More Effective for Chronic Plantar Fasciitis than Standard Care Alone
By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Acupuncture and Research
Plantar fasciitis is a commonly treated condition within Chinese Medicine clinics around the world. This condition can plague runners, nurses, hair stylists and anyone else who is on their feet all day. Traditional treatments involve pain management with medication, stretching exercises and possibly orthotics. Even with standard treatments, however, the condition often comes and goes or doesn't resolve at all. Acupuncture is shown time and time again to be a useful modality to both treat and more importantly resolve the underlying conditions leading to plantar fasciitis.
In a recent study, researchers from the Phramongkutklao College of Medicine in Bangkok compared these standard treatments with electro acupuncture. They randomly divided 30 patients with chronic refractory plantar fasciitis into a control group and an electro acupuncture group. The control received five weeks of stretching, shoe modification and pain management medicine. The electro acupuncture group received all of the control techniques plus electro acupuncture twice weekly.
Researchers used the visual analog scale (VAS) and the foot function index (FFI) to evaluate the changes in each patient. At the conclusion of the study pain both groups received improvement in pain but only the acupuncture group received improvement in the foot function index. Researchers concluded that the acupuncture group had a higher overall success rate (80%) vs. the control group (13.3%).
Further studies would have to be done to see if the standard care was even necessary and how long the effects last overall between the two groups.