About 2-3 million people suffer from a painful condition that affects the heel called Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia stretches along the bottom of the foot and is responsible for maintaining the arch of the foot. Although pain may occur along the entire course of the plantar fascia, it is usually described as pain in the heel that occurs when taking the first few steps in the morning, with the symptoms lessening as walking continues. When the plantar fascia becomes weakened it starts stretching away from the heel and a heel spur forms.
Plantar Fasciitis is common among runners, walkers, and other endurance athletes. Overweight people and those whose jobs require a lot of standing and walking are also at risk. Other factors include flat or high-arched feet, worn out shoes and increasing age.
The typical person with plantar fasciitis will experience heel pain in the morning upon rising and it can progress to heel pain with activity and even with just walking. Sometimes the whole arch and bottom of the foot will hurt. The pain is localized to the medial calcaneal tubercle near the inside of the foot where the heel and arch meet. This bony prominence serves as the point of origin of the anatomic central band of the plantar fascia and three muscles between the heel and forefoot. The pain is located here since the weakest point of the plantar fascia is at its origin on this tubercle.
With Prolotherapy, there is at least an 80% chance of success. Typically we treat the heels with multiple Prolotherapy injections and need multiple sessions of treatment to get the desired result. Prolotherapy is by far the best and most cost effective therapy for the condition.
Plantar fasciitis occurs in both men and women, but is more common in women .Women have a significantly higher incidence of heel spurs due to certain types of footwear that are worn on a regular basis.
Excessive stretching of the plantar fascia that leads to inflammation and discomfort can be caused by the following:
- Flat Feet (Over-pronation) which results in the arch collapsing upon weight bearing
- A foot with an unusually high arch
- A sudden increase in physical activity
- Excessive weight on the foot, usually attributed to obesity or pregnancy
- Improperly-fitting footwear.
Heel spurs develop as an abnormal growth in the heel bone due to calcium deposits that form when the plantar fascia pulls away from the heel. Plantar fasciitis is often referred to as “heel spur syndrome” in the literature and the medical community, but the label is a misnomer. This vague and nonspecific term incorrectly suggests that bony “spurs” are the cause of pain rather than an incidental X-ray finding. There is usually no correlation between pain and the presence or absence of bony growths and excision of a spur is not part of the usual surgery for plantar fasciitis.
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis with Prolotherapy
Every time your foot strikes the ground, the plantar fascia is stretched. You can reduce the strain and stress on the plantar fascia by following these simple instructions: Avoid running on hard or uneven ground, lose any excess weight, and wear shoes and orthotics that support your arch to prevent over-stretching of the plantar fascia
The key for the proper treatment of plantar fasciitis is determining what is causing the excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. Common treatments include stretching exercises, plantar fasciitis night splints, wearing shoes that have a cushioned heel to absorb shock, and elevating the heel with the use of a heel cradle or heel cup. Heel cradles and heel cups provide extra comfort, cushion the heel, and reduce the amount of shock and shear forces placed during everyday activities.
Cortisone (Steroid) injections should be avoided in the treatment of plantar fasciitis; Cortisone injections provide only temporary relief and can cause a loss of the plantar fat pad if used excessively. Prolotherapy and other Regenerative Injection therapies can relieve the pain and strengthen the ligaments and tendons and provide relief of pain and restored mobility.