A critical appraisal of "Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical outcomes of laser therapy, ultrasound therapy, and extracorporeal shock wave therapy for treatment of plantar fasciitis: a randomized controlled trial"




Price, Sierra

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The article provides bias reduced and well-analyzed data over the efficacy for therapy modalities of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), low-level laser therapy (LLLT), and therapeutic ultrasound (US) therapy for participants with plantar fasciitis pathology. Since plantar fasciitis is a common foot pathology in the clinical setting, dependable research of effective treatment possibilities for the condition is valuable for the practicing physical therapist. The authors excelled at reducing bias by structuring their study to be single-blinded, requiring all subjects in the study to undergo baseline comparative diagnostic tests, setting inclusion and exclusion criteria, and treating each group impartially. With their findings being reflective of their conclusions, the authors found all three treatments to be beneficial. Although some supporting literature (referenced in the article) seemed of lower quality, the author's main purpose for conducting the study is for lack of conclusive information about the treatment modalities themselves. Faults of the article include, but are not limited to, the small rate of attrition in the study, shorter follow-up period, limited sample size, and no control group (due to ethical reasons). Even though a placebo group was not tested, the article is classified as a randomized controlled trial due to the structure of the study. Although the study shows faults, the overall significance of this research article is dependable. This study is a reliable reference for health care professionals to use when developing a plan of care for the common foot pathology known as plantar fasciitis