The initial treatment of plantar fasciitis should be conservative, with most cases responding to standard physiotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), heel pads, and stretching. In cases of chronic refractory symptoms, more invasive treatment could be necessary. Noninvasive interactive neurostimulation (NIN) is a form of electric therapy that works by locating areas of lower skin impedance. The objective of the present prospective randomized controlled study was to evaluate whether the use of NIN for chronic plantar fasciitis could result in greater improvement in a foot functional score, lower levels of reported pain, reduced patient consumption of NSAIDs, and greater patient satisfaction compared with electric shockwave therapy in patients without a response to standard conservative treatment. The patients were randomized using random blocks to the NIN program (group 1) or electric shockwave therapy (group 2). The outcome measurements were the pain subscale of the validated Foot Function Index (PS-FFI), patient-reported subjective assessment of the level of pain using a standard visual analog scale, and daily intake of NSAID tablets (etoricoxib 60 mg). The study group was evaluated at baseline (time 0), week 4 (time 1), and week 12 (final follow-up point). Group 1 (55 patients) experienced significantly better results compared with group 2 (49 patients) in term of the PS-FFI score, visual analog scale score, and daily intake of etoricoxib 60 mg. NIN was an effective treatment of chronic resistant plantar fasciitis, with full patient satisfaction in >90% of cases. The present prospective randomized controlled study showed superior results for noninvasive neurostimulation compared with electric shockwave therapy, in terms of the functional score, pain improvement, and use of NSAIDs.
Level of Clinical Evidence
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