Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic complaints. It is typical for a person to attempt to treat plantar fasciitis on his or her own at home without visiting a foot and ankle specialist. The patients that I typically treat are people who have already been doing physical therapy or a home exercise program without relief of symptoms.
Any time a patient presents with ongoing pain, an x-ray is warranted to assess the possibility of a stress fracture or other bony pathology. Provided the diagnosis is indeed plantar fasciitis, there are a few advanced treatment modalities that may be considered. The focus in our practice is to keep our patients active and to focus on regeneration and repair of the injured area versus simply pain relief. Most people also want to limit any downtime.
One treatment that may be indicated is extracorporeal shockwave therapy. Shockwave therapy increases the rate of healing by using sound waves. The sound waves penetrate the damaged tissue and recruit the body’s own healing factors to the site of pain. Shockwave can be administered in our office and is a ten minute treatment. Patients can continue to run and train while undergoing treatment.
Another treatment that may be indicated is an amniotic membrane injection. Amniotic membrane injections contain biochemical properties that reduce soft tissue inflammation and enhance healing. Repair is mediated through the growth factors contained in the tissue. Amniotic membrane is a one-time injection administered in the office. Studies have shown that amniotic membrane injections are effective in healing damaged tissue.
These two treatments are safe and effective in helping to heal plantar fasciitis. If you’ve been struggling with ongoing heel or arch pain, it may be worth visiting a podiatrist for diagnosis and to discuss the best possible treatment option for you.