I have had plantar fasciitis for over a year now, have tried a variety of treatments (e.g. stretching, golf ball rolling, night splint, physical therapy, etc.), and would like to know the efficacy of shock wave therapy. I am aware of some older studies that indicated it was not more effective than sham therapy, but also that therapy might vary depending upon the machine/technique used.

So, my question is this: is extracorporeal shock wave therapy effective for treating plantar fasciitis or similar ailments?

These earlier studies being:

  1. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy for plantar fasciitis. A double blind randomised controlled trial;
  2. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy for plantar fasciitis: randomised controlled multicentre trial;
  3. Ultrasound-Guided Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis A Randomized Controlled Trial

Based on my own experiences, I can only say that the shock wave therapy did help on the pain in my feet from PF, but not enough to help me start running again. The later took 9 months and a very slow start-up after that. Now - two years later - I run 40+ km/week and participate in all the half-marathons I can find the time for... I still tape my feet (the usual T pattern around the heel) for the longer runs (15+ km), though I'm not sure if it is needed anymore (though I have no intension to test this).

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