“Surgery, which involves severing the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel or removing the heel spur, should be considered only when all else fails. Even then, many foot specialists are reluctant to perform it, concerned that it will cause more problems than it will fix.”

Marlene Cimons

"Plantar Fasciitis", Runner's World, July 24, 2007

What is plantar fasciitis?

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis, or “jogger’s heel”, is a painful condition that affects about 10 percent of the population. It occurs when the plantar fascia—a thick band of tissue that connects the toes to the bottom of your heel—are overstretched. While often associated with runners, plantar fasciitis affects people whose work requires them to stand on their feet all day without proper arch support.

Symptoms include pain, tenderness, and a burning sensation on the bottom of the heel. It tends to be especially painful when you wake up because the plantar fascia contracts while the foot is in a relaxed position. Because people who suffer from plantar fasciitis tend to modify the way they stand and walk, they are also at risk for other kinds of injuries, such as ankle sprains, hip problems, and lower back pain. [1]

Sometimes, a bony protrusion known as a “heel spur” forms on the bottom of the heel in response to plantar fasciitis. Heels spurs can add to the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis, and often require separate treatment.

[1] Zügel, M. Maganaris, C., et al. “Fascial tissue research in sports medicine: from molecules to tissue adaptation, injury and diagnostics: consensus statement.” British Journal of Sports Medicine. November 16, 2018.

Traditional approaches to treating plantar fasciitis

Traditional treatment of plantar fasciitis

A wide variety of treatment options exist for those suffering from plantar fasciitis, ranging from better footwear all the way up to corrective surgery.

Better footwear

Shoes that provide strong arch support can provide relief from the pain of plantar fasciitis. Insoles and orthotics can also help give your existing shoes better arch support.

Stretching

Podiatrists often advise patients to do morning stretching exercises to reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis. Stretching the achilles tendon, and strengthening the muscles on the bottom of the foot can help relieve and prevent heel pain.

Compression socks and taping

Compression socks and the use of athletic tape can reduce the inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis while providing more arch support.

Cortisone shots

While steroids can provide temporary relief, cortisone injections can cause new problems by weakening the healthy muscles of your foot— increasing your odds of future injury. And a 2003 study showed that plantar fasciitis is not actually an inflammatory condition at all, calling into question the use of cortisone injections altogether. [2]

Shock wave therapy

As it stretches, the plantar fascia can become scarred, making it resistant to healing. high frequency shock waves can help break up this scarring to accelerate the body’s healing process.

Surgery

If all else fails, your physician may recommend surgery to treat your plantar fasciitis. While it can be an effective route, it presents other risks. About 25 percent of patients continue to have heel pain after surgery, and you must avoid putting pressure on your foot during the recovery phase. [3]

[2] Lemont, H., Ammirati, K., and Usen, N. “Plantar Fasciitis: A Degenerative Process (Fasciosis) Without Inflammation.” Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. May 2003.

[3] Michigan Medicine. “Plantar Fasciitis: Should I Have Surgery for Heel Pain?” September 20, 2018.

“PRP was more effective and durable than cortisone injection for the treatment of chronic recalcitrant cases of plantar fasciitis.”

Nantucket Cottage Hospital Partners Healthcare System

"Platelet-rich plasma efficacy versus corticosteroid injection treatment for chronic severe plantar fasciitis.", Foot & Ankle International. January 14, 2004.

How PRP is different

How PRP is different

Professional athletes have known about PRP therapy for years. Instead of only treating the inflammation, we focus on repairing your foot’s underlying tissue damage. We take platelets from a sample of your blood, concentrate them into a super-potent serum, and then inject them back into the foot to stimulate your body’s own healing process. When injected, PRP acts as a stem cell magnet, releasing growth factors that attract stem cells to aid in tissue repair and regeneration of the plantar fascia.

A 2014 study published in Foot & Ankle International found PRP therapy much more effective than cortisone injections for the most severe cases of plantar fasciitis. [4] Countless professional athletes have used PRP to treat plantar fasciitis with minimal downtime, and doctors are recognizing PRP as an effective treatment which helps avoid unnecessary surgery.

[4] Shen, L., Yuan, T., Chen, S., Xie, X., and Zhang, C. “The temporal effect of platelet-rich plasma on pain and physical function in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research. January 2017.

[5] Nantucket Cottage Hospital Partners Healthcare System.”Platelet-rich plasma efficacy versus corticosteroid injection treatment for chronic severe plantar fasciitis.” Foot & Ankle International. January 14, 2014.

“I went for a consultation and Dr. Jethani explained everything to me. Since having my PRP shot one month ago, I haven’t had to take a single pain pill. If you don’t have to have surgery, and you can get off of pain pills with PRP, you’d be crazy not to. I have been telling everybody about this.”

Elizabeth S.

Patient

Plantar Fasciitis Stops Here

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