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14th July 2020
Low Level Laser therapy in the management of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis (now more correctly termed plantar fasciopathy or plantar heel pain) is a common cause of heel pain in adults. The plantar fascia becomes weakened and degenerative causing pain where it inserts into the heel bone. This pain often occurs due to an increase in load on the feet, change in training style/volume, over-pronated foot type and restricted ankle joint or tight posterior chain.
Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is the application of red and near infrared light over an injured site to reduce inflammation, accelerate tissue healing and reduce pain.
Low level laser therapy (LLLT) offers a painless, non-invasive, side-effect free alternative to relieve the debilitating pain of Plantar Fasciitis. When applied to an injured site, laser has been shown to stimulate healing and reduce pain by accelerating the speed, quality and strength of tissue repair and the reduction of inflammation.
Laser light penetrates deep into tissues to have an effect at a cellular level – it impacts the complete system of targeted muscles, tendons, ligaments, connective tissue, bone, nerve, and skin.
With regards to treating plantar heel pain, LLLT is particularly helpful in the more acute, flared up stages as it is a completely painless treatment with no side effects. We use laser to calm the heel pain down to a point where we can introduce strengthening exercises etc.
LLLT is also a good treatment option if a tear is present in the plantar fascia. Shockwave therapy (and cortisone injections for that matter) are contra-indicated if an intra-substance tear is present.
Shockwave therapy is gold standard treatment for chronic plantar heel pain – longer that 10 weeks duration – and we use it very regularly in our clinic with wonderful results. It is not useful for acute plantar fasciitis or if a tear is present.
At Foundation Podiatry Townsville we use the industry leading MLS laser. This laser is a class IV laser which means it operates at a wavelength deep enough to treat pain and promote tissue healing, unlike the Class III or below lasers which only affect inflammation. Therefore, it is effective on both chronic and acute injuries.
So the advantages of Low Level Laser therapy are:
- Painless, extremely patient friendly and no nasty side effects!
- Dramatically shortened recovery time and rapid reduction of swelling and inflammation
- Can be used on both acute and chronic injures
- Accelerates body’s own ability to heal
Learn more about Low Level Laser therapy.
Or watch the video below
Related research articles which you may find useful:
Wei Wang 1, Weifeng Jiang 2, Chuanxi Tang 3, Xiao Zhang 1, Jie Xiang
Olga Kiritsi 1, Konstantinos Tsitas, Nikolaos Malliaropoulos, Grogorios Mikroulis