Rationales and treatment approaches underpinning the use of acupuncture and related techniques for plantar heel pain: a critical interpretive synthesis

Clark, Maria T and Clark, Richard and Toohey, Shane and Bradbury-Jones, Caroline (2017) Rationales and treatment approaches underpinning the use of acupuncture and related techniques for plantar heel pain: a critical interpretive synthesis. Acupuncture in medicine, 35 (1). pp. 9-16. ISSN 1759-9873

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Background: Acupuncture shows promise as a treatment for plantar heel pain (PHP) or plantar fasciitis (PF) but data heterogeneity has undermined demonstration of efficacy. Recognising that acupuncture is a diverse field of practice, the aim of this study was to gain a broader, global perspective on the different approaches and rationales used in application of acupuncture in PHP.
Methods: We built upon an earlier systematic review (which was limited by necessity of a methodological focus on efficacy) using the critical interpretive synthesis (CIS) method to draw upon a wider international sample of (25) clinical sources, including case reports and case series. Multiple tracks of analysis led to an emergent synthesis.
Results: Findings are presented at three levels: primary (summarised data); secondary (patterns observed); and tertiary (emergent synthesis). Multiple treatments and rationales were documented but no single approach dominated. Notable contradictions emerged such as the application of moxibustion by some authors and ice by others. Synthesis of findings revealed a ‘patchwork’ of factors influencing the approaches taken.
Conclusions: The complexity of the field of acupuncture was illustrated through the ‘lens’ of PHP. The ‘patchwork’ metaphor provides a unifying framework for a previously divergent community of practice and research. Several directions for future research were identified, such as: importance of prior duration; existence of diagnostic subgroups; how practitioners make clinical decisions and report their findings. CIS was found to provide visibility for multiple viewpoints in developing theory and modelling the processes of ‘real world’ practice of acupuncturists addressing the problem of PHP.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1136/acupmed-2015-011042
11 June 2016Accepted
1 February 2017Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acupuncture Therapy/ methods Dry needling Plantar heel pain Fasciitis, Plantar/ therapy Heel spur Heel Humans Musculoskeletal Pain/ therapy Treatment Outcome
Subjects: CAH02 - subjects allied to medicine > CAH02-06 - allied health > CAH02-06-06 - complementary and alternative medicine
CAH01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01-01 - medical sciences (non-specific)
CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-02 - sport and exercise sciences > CAH03-02-01 - sport and exercise sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Nursing and Midwifery
Depositing User: Maria Clark
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2021 09:15
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 11:36
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9877

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