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The Success of Dry needling for Plantar Fasciitis

What is dry needling?

The practice of Dry Needling has been around for decades and continues to improve Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal function. The primary goal of Dry Needling is to desensitize supersensitive structures, to restore motion and function and to induce a healing response to the tissue.

Dry Needling is a technique to treat the neuromusculoskeletal systems based on pain patterns, muscular dysfunction, and other orthopedic signs and symptoms which depends upon physical examination and assessment to guide the treatment.

World class athletes from around the globe are being treated for pain and dysfunction using this technique due to treatment effectiveness.  A Dry Needling Therapist can “feel” with the needle and utilize it as a diagnostic instrument. Dry Needling is often extremely helpful in response to prolonged hypertonic spasticity in a muscle area that are invisible to X-rays, MRI, CT’s. Trigger points deep in the muscles can be felt with the needle via feedback on the quality of the tissues that that the needle is penetrating.


What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).

Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning (#notsofun).

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel and/or foot pain. Because of the positive results in the research, dry needling is the current new treatment protocol to alleviate this type of pain.

What the research is saying

In a recent study, 66 patients were recruited to this single-blind clinical trial study. Participants were randomly allocated to receive steroid injections or dry needling. They were followed up for 12 months and monitored for total perception of pain using the visual analogue scale (VAS), with the data obtained in the baseline and then at three weeks, six weeks, three months, six months and one year check-ins after treatment.

The Results

Steroid injection reduced VAS scores until three weeks after treatment compared with dry needling which lead to longer lasting results.  Patients who were treated with dry needling reported lower VAS scores at the end of follow-up compared with the steroid group. The conclusion of the study was that dry needling provided more satisfactory results for patients with plantar fasciitis in the long term.  While the injections gave short term relief, the best long-term results came from the dry needling treatment.



  1. Baback, et al. “Comparison of dry needling and steroid injection in the treatment of plantar fasciitis: a single-blind randomized clinical trial.” Journal of International Orthopedics. (2017) pages 1-8.

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