The Use of Acupuncture for Plantar Heel Pain: a systematic review

Clark, Richard and Tighe, Maria (2012) The Use of Acupuncture for Plantar Heel Pain: a systematic review. Acupuncture in medicine, 30 (4). pp. 298-306. ISSN 1759-9873

Clark & Tighe SR - accepted 120501.pdf - Accepted Version

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Introduction: Plantar heel pain (PHP) is a common complaint, yet there are no definitive guidelines for its treatment. Acupuncture is increasingly used by podiatrists, and there is a need for evidence to validate this practice.

Method: A systematic review (PROSPERO no. CRD42012001881) of the use of acupuncture for PHP is presented. Five RCTs and 3 comparative studies were included. Quality of the studies was assessed with reference to CONSORT, STRICTA and Quality Index (QI) criteria. Pooling of data, or even close comparison of studies, was not done due to heterogeneity of the studies.

Findings: High quality studies report significant benefits. In one, acupoint PC7 was shown to be significantly more effective than LI4. In another, acupuncture was associated with significant increase in benefit, when combined with standard treatment (including NSAIDs). Other papers were of lower quality but suggest benefits from other acupuncture approaches.

Discussion: There is a need for more uniformity in carrying out and reporting such work and the use of STRICTA and QI is recommended. Future research should recognise the complexity of PHP, of acupuncture and of the relationship between them, to explore the optimum use and integration of this approach.

Conclusion: There is evidence at levels I-II supporting the use of acupuncture for PHP. This is comparable to the evidence available for conventionally used interventions, such as stretching, night splints or dexamethasone. Therefore acupuncture should be considered in recommendations for the management of patients with PHP.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
1 May 2012Accepted
27 October 2012Published Online
1 December 2012Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acupuncture Therapy Dry needling Laser acupuncture Electroacupuncture Clinical Trials as Topic Fasciitis, Plantar/ therapy Plantar heel pain Heel spur Foot Diseases/ therapy Heel/abnormalities Humans Pain Management 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: 15 Apr 2021 16:00
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 11:36

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