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Table 4 Types of interventions, treatment regime and outcome measures

From: Effectiveness of dry needling and injections of myofascial trigger points associated with plantar heel pain: a systematic review

Trial Intervention Trigger points and Acupuncture
points selected for treatment
Outcome measure Number of treatment sessions
per week
Tillu and
25 mm acupuncture needle (diameter
unknown) inserted for 15 minutes and
stimulated every 5 minutes for 5 sec.
Needle was manipulated to produce
de qi. No control group.
(i) Acupuncture points KI.3;
BL.60 and SP.6
(ii) Gastrocnemius MTrP and heel
MTrP. Specific location of MTrP in
the heel and calf not identified.
(i) Visual analogue scale
(ii) Verbal pain score
Outcome measures recorded
at 4 and 6 weeks post
4 sessions of acupuncture/1 per
week. If symptoms were not
resolved after this period,
2 sessions (1 per week) of
acupuncture and dry
needling were implemented.
Imamura et al.
22-25 gauge needle repetitively inserted
and withdrawn with injection of 1%
lidocaine into the MTrP; plus *standard
therapy. Control group received
conventional conservative therapy but
not outlined in the methods.
Medial head of Gastrocnemius;
Soleus; Tibialis posterior;
Popliteus; Abductor hallucis;
Peroneus Longus and Flexor
digitorum brevis
(i) Duration of treatment
(ii) Visual analogue scale
(iii) Pressure pain threshold
Outcome measures recorded
at discharge, 6 and 24 months
The number of sessions and
times per week varied
between the groups
and Foster
10-120 mm acupuncture needle
(0.20-0.25 mm diameter); plus
electrostimulator (2-4 Hz)
for 20-30 minutes. No control
(i) Acupuncture points KI.1, 3, 6;
BL.60, 67; GB 44
(ii) MTrPs points in the heel and arch
(i) Visual analogue scale
(ii) **Foot function index
Outcome measures recorded
at 6 weeks post baseline
6 sessions/1 per week
  1. Key:
  2. MTrP = myofascial trigger point.
  3. *Standard therapy = implemented once per day for three days following the injection: included: (i) heat (20min) and faradic stimulation over affected area for 20 min, (ii) stretching for three days, 3 times per day for 15 seconds after hot pack application, (iii) participants advised to avoid walking and standing for two days post injection.
  4. ** Foot function index questionnaire used in this trial was not validated.