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Vibration Therapy - research

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy in symptomatic heel spurs

Extracorporeal shock wave application (ESWA) has been successfully used for years in routine clinical management of plantar fasciitis. So far no clinical trails have shown the efficiency in placebo-controlled protocols. This paper presents an overview of conservative and operative treatment modalities with respect to their efficacy. Results of a prospective randomized placebo-controlled double-blind multicenter trial to show efficiency and safety of ESWT are presented. In patients treated conservatively without success, a single shock wave application can improve the condition significantly compared with placebo treatment (p = 0.0149). The Roles and Maudsley score also showed a significant improvement between the groups, with 61.6% good or excellent results in the verum group and 39.7% in the placebo group (p = 0.0128). Therapy-related side effects (local swelling, petechia) are rare. The data presented in this study led to FDA approval in January 2002 of the shock wave device used.