Electro-acupuncture (EA) coupled with conventional treatment is more effective than conventional treatment for plantar fasciitis, according to a pilot study carried out in Thailand.  Thirty patients with chronic refractory plantar fasciitis were randomly assigned to two groups.  Subjects in the control group received five weeks of conventional treatment, including stretching exercises, shoe modification and analgesics.  Subjects in the acupuncture group received the same treatment plus ten –twice-weekly sessions of electro-acupuncture.  At the end of treatment, visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores were found to have decreased significantly in both the acupuncture and control groups.  However, Foot Function Index (a measure of the impact of foot pathology on foot function in terms of pain, disability and activity-restriction) decreased  significantly in the acupuncture group only. With successful treatment defined as a minimum 50% decrease in VAS, subjects in the acupuncture group experienced significantly higher success rates than those in control group (80% versus 13.3%, respectively), which were maintained at six-week follow-up. (Efficacy of electro­acupuncture in chronic plantar fasciitis: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Chin Med 2012;40(6):1167-76).

Acupuncture should be considered as a major therapeutic instrument for the decrease of heel pain in plantar fasciitis (PF), according to a Greek study. Thirty-eight patients with PF were randomly allocated to receive treatment with ice, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and a stretching and strengthening programme, or another group who received the same therapeutic procedures plus acupuncture. Scores for pain and mobility/function were significantly smaller in acupuncture group after at two months. (Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis in Recreational Athletes: Two Different Therapeutic Protocols. Foot Ankle Spec. 2011 Aug;4(4):226-234).