Objective: The purpose of this preliminary study was to compare the application of the light emitting diode (LED) to sham LED in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Methods: Eighteen subjects met the inclusion criteria and were randomly assigned into 2 groups: light emitting diode or sham LED. The subjects received either the LED at 12 J/cm2 or sham LED along 2 points of the plantar fascia. Subjects in both groups received a 10 minute transverse friction massage and participated in 4 plantar fascia stretching exercises. All subjects received a total of 6 treatments over 3 weeks. Progress was assessed using the lower extremity functional and analog pain scale.
Results: No significant difference was found between treatment groups (P = .845). There was a significant difference in pain and outcome scores over time within both groups (P < .35).
Conclusion: Among patients with plantar fasciitis, the use of LED did not result in greater improvement in function or pain compared with sham treatment. The findings suggest that manual intervention and passive stretching activities may have provided significant pain relief and improvement in functional outcome scores.
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