Non-Surgical Solutions for Plantar Fasciitis Pain

Non-Surgical Solutions for Plantar Fasciitis Pain


The pain of plantar fasciitis can bring everyday activity to a halt. From the stabbing surges when you first get up to the sensations that ebb and flow through your day, the heel pain created by inflammation of the plantar fascia along the bottom of your foot can be difficult to get past, since, for many people, being on their feet is an essential part of their day.

The risks of surgery

Since complete rest to ease the inflammation that creates the pain is difficult for most to fit into their daily lives, treatments address both symptoms and the condition itself. In extreme cases, usually those lasting 12 months or more, surgery may be necessary.

While procedures for heel pain are generally successful, every surgical procedure carries risk, and plantar fasciotomy may cause flattening of the foot’s arch or damage to the nerves of the feet. Fortunately, there are a number of non-surgical alternatives including some new therapies that may mean you can head off plantar fasciitis before the last resort of surgery.

Drug therapies for plantar fasciitis

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can be helpful at overtaking the tissue irritation that creates heel pain. Your One Oak Medical physician may prescribe specific doses over a short period of time that exceed normal amounts of over-the-counter drugs, or they may recommend prescription-strength alternatives.

If your foot doesn’t respond to oral medication, corticosteroid injections typically provide temporary relief from pain while suppressing inflammation, giving your body a chance to repair the damaged tissue. Prolonged use of corticosteroids, however, may have a weakening effect on the connective tissue of the plantar fascia.

Physical therapy

When home care or drug therapy isn’t enough, physical therapy is typically the next step. You’ll learn stretching and strengthening exercises that, over time, will build up the muscles that work in concert with the plantar fascia, and irritation leading to inflammation may not occur as often. This stage of treatment may also include massage and ultrasound therapy.

Regenerative therapy for heel pain

There are some exciting new techniques that show promise to quickly relieve the pain and damaged tissue left by plantar fasciitis without resorting to a full surgical procedure. Platelet-rich plasma therapy uses a small amount of your own blood, which is then centrifuged to concentrate platelets.

These contain both growth factors and other bioactive proteins that assist your body’s own repair mechanisms, providing more of the raw materials necessary to keep repairs ahead of new damage.

The Tenex procedure uses a handheld ultrasound wand inserted through a small incision under local anesthetic. The ultrasound energy breaks up damaged tissue, providing your body’s healing system with a jump start. This, too, helps your natural regenerative systems overtake new damage.

Similar procedures use radiofrequency energy to break up scar tissue and stimulate blood flow at the points where inflammation peaks. These procedures may not provide instant relief, but you’ll likely feel improvements between two to twelve weeks after the procedure.

Living with plantar fasciitis isn’t easy. Contact one of the six locations of One Oak Medical across New York and New Jersey today, by phone or online, to set up an appointment with one of our specialists.

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