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The effect of high-intensity versus low-level laser therapy in the management of plantar fasciitis: randomized participant blind controlled trial [with consumer summary]
Naruseviciute D, Kubilius R
Clinical Rehabilitation 2020 Aug;34(8):1072-1082
clinical trial
8/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: Yes; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate and compare the efficacy of high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for plantar fasciitis. DESIGN: A participant blind randomized controlled trial with parallel group design and an active comparator with follow-up at four weeks. SETTINGS: Outpatient, University hospital. SUBJECTS: Unilateral plantar fasciitis participants (n = 102) were randomly assigned into two groups. Recruitment period was from January 2017 to April 2019. INTERVENTIONS: Interventions included eight sessions of laser therapy over three weeks and single session of patient education. The HILT group (n = 51) received HILT and the LLLT group (n = 51) received LLLT. MAIN MEASURES: Primary outcomes: visual analogue scale; secondary outcomes: pressure algometry, sonography of plantar fascia thickness (time frame: baseline to three-week and four-week follow-up) and numeric rating scale (0% to 100%) for opinion of participants on effect of treatment (time frame: three weeks). Data presented: mean (SD) or n (%). RESULTS: There was no statistically significant difference between the groups according to visual analogue scale (pain in general reduction in three weeks: 2.57 (3.45) versus 2.88 (3.28) cm), pressure algometry (pain threshold difference between healthy and affected heel reduction in three weeks: 1.80 (6.39) versus 1.77 (2.85) kg) and sonography measurements (plantar fascia thickness difference between healthy and affected heel reduction in three weeks: 0.19 (0.56) versus 0.30 (0.57) mm). There was a statistically significant difference between the groups in participants' opinion in favor to HILT group (efficacy of treatment better than 50% 26 (51%) versus 37 (73%)). CONCLUSION: No statistically significant difference between groups was observed.

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