Short-Term Efficacy of Kinesiotaping versus Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Study

Abstract

Background: Plantar fasciitis is a degenerative condition that is one of the most common causes of heel and foot pain. Among noninvasive management of plantar fasciitis, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has been extensively studied and found to be effective, but few studies have assessed the effectiveness of kinesiotaping (KT) method.

Objective: This study aimed to show the effectiveness of KT compared with ESWT in the management of plantar fasciitis.

Methods: A total of 84 patients with plantar fasciitis were enrolled from a single center and randomized into KT and ESWT treatment groups in a 1:1 ratio (i.e., 42 patients in each group); only one foot was considered for each patient. Both KT and ESWT were applied once a week for 6 weeks. Patients’ pain, functional status and quality of life were evaluated with the visual analog scale (VAS), Foot Function Index (FFI) and the Short-Form-36 (SF-36) health survey, respectively. Patients’ fat pat and plantar fascia thickness were measured using ultrasonography. All evaluations were performed before and immediately after the 6-week intervention.

Results: In the KT group, six patients were lost to follow-up; therefore, the final analysis only included 36 patients. After the intervention, there was a statistically significant improvement in the VAS and SF-36 scores of both groups (P = 0.001), but the FFI score improvement was statistically significant only in the KT group (P = 0.001). In both groups, the mean thickness of plantar fascia decreased after treatment and the mean thickness of the fat pat increased; however, the change was not statistically significant (P = 0.935 and P = 0.832, respectively).

Conclusion: Both KT and ESWT treatments improved pain levels and quality of life in patients with plantar fasciitis, but KT also improved functionality. Multicentered studies with larger sample size and longer follow-ups are required to further validate these findings.

Keywords: Extracorporeal shockwave therapy; heel pain; kinesio tape; pain; plantar fasciitis; quality of life.

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