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CURRENT ISSUEEUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE

A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES  


European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2014 February;50(1):39-47

language: English

Cryoultrasound therapy in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis with heel spurs. A randomized controlled clinical study

Costantino C. 1, Vulpiani M. C. 2, Romiti D. 1, Vetrano M. 2, Saraceni V. M. 2

1 Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Parma University Hospital, Parma, Italy;
2 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit, La Sapienza University of Rome, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy


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Background: Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of pain in the inferior heel and is very frequent in some running sports. It affects up to 10% of general population and accounts for 11% to 15% of all foot pain symptomatology. Several treatments have been suggested, but there is no evidence supporting a specific conservative management strategy.
Aim: Evaluation of the efficacy of combined cryoultrasound therapy on chronic plantar fasciitis with heel spurs resistant to pharmacological and instrumental therapies.
Design: Single-blind randomized clinical trial.
Population: 102 consecutive patients affected by chronic plantar fasciitis with painful symptomatology for at least 6 months, intensity of pain higher than 5 on the VAS score, presence of heel spurs, use of plantar orthoses and ineffectiveness of previous therapies.
Methods: The patients were randomized into two groups: Group A treated with cryoultrasound therapy and Group B with cryotherapy. Our protocol was based on 10 daily treatments, lasting 20 minutes. Each participant was evaluated using VAS score before (T0) the treatment and 3 months (T1), 12 months (T2) and 18 months (T3) after. Effectiveness index was calculated from T1 to T3.
Results: Both treatments have been found effective. The difference in pain intensity on the VAS scale between the two groups at T2 was 4.35 points in favor of Group A (IC 95% 3.75; 4.95; P<0.001), reaching the primary end point. The difference in pain intensity on the VAS scale between the two groups at T1, T2 and T3 was 3.00, 4.35 and 4.81 respectively, showing a statistically significant difference between VAS average scores at all follow-ups in favor of Group A. Scores of at least 66% at the effectiveness index were only achieved in Group A (P values <0.001).
Conclusion: Cryoultrasound therapy could be an efficient treatment option for chronic plantar fasciitis.
Clinical Rehabilitation Impact: Cryoultrasound therapy promises an effective and long-lasting clinical improvement in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis, granted its high therapeutic efficiency, patients’ satisfaction, its limited cost and its short and repeatable protocol of use.

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