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Severe Chronic Heel Pain in a Diabetic Patient with Plantar Fasciitis Successfully Treated Through Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation

Al Sawah Mohomad New York College of Podiatric Medicine, New York, NY.

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Rimawi Mohammad New York College of Podiatric Medicine, New York, NY.

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Eileen Chusid New York College of Podiatric Medicine, New York, NY.

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Michael Trepal New York College of Podiatric Medicine, New York, NY.

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Fortunato Battaglia New York College of Podiatric Medicine, New York, NY.
Graduate Program in Health and Medical Sciences, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ.

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 MD, PhD

Background

Recently, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a noninvasive brain stimulation technique, was proposed as a suitable method for the treatment of several chronic pain syndromes. We describe a case of severe heel pain in a diabetic patient with plantar fasciitis successfully treated with tDCS.

Methods

The present study investigated whether tDCS treatment could reduce pain and pain-related anxiety in a 65-year-old diabetic man affected by treatment-resistant right heel pain due to plantar fasciitis. The patient underwent five tDCS treatment sessions on 5 consecutive days. Each session consisted of 20-min anodal tDCS over the left primary motor cortex leg area.

Results

The neurostimulation protocol induced a decrease in pain intensity and pain-related anxiety that outlasted the stimulation (1 week). Furthermore, the patient stopped the intake of opioid medication.

Conclusions

Therapeutic neuromodulation with tDCS may represent an alternative option for treating severe lower-extremity pain.

Corresponding author: Fortunato Battaglia, MD, PhD, Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ 07079. (E-mail: fortunato.battaglia@shu.edu)