Every moment we’re standing, our feet hold up our whole body’s weight. Over time, that sort of stress will depreciate the tissue and joints involved in taking that weight. This depreciation can in turn make movement difficult and become very painful.
One of these regions very important in taking our weight is the plantar fascia, a stretch of ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot. This weblike tissue supports the arch of the foot and absorbs the shock when moving around on your feet. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed or starts to tear, this becomes a condition known as plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, and is characterized by an intense, stabbing pain that can be felt by putting pressure on the affected foot for a short or extended amount of time, or after exercise. Plantar fasciitis’ most obvious cause is age, but the weakening of the plantar fascia can be accelerated by some exercise, obesity, walking style, and even occupation.
A treatment that is also commonly used for joint pain and osteoarthritis, PRP (platelet-rich plasma), is a great option for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. PRP is a type of regenerative medicine that takes the patient’s own blood and uses a centrifuge to isolate the platelet-dense part of the plasma, the clear fluid in our blood. This fluid, dubbed ‘liquid gold’ for its many possible uses in regenerative medicine, also does wonders for those suffering with plantar fasciitis. PRP contains many growth factors that stimulate formation of new tissue and blood vessels. All it takes is an injection of a patient’s own PRP and their body’s natural healing mechanisms ameliorate many musculoskeletal disorders, including plantar fasciitis.
It is important to note, however, that since PRP uses the body’s power to heal itself, it takes time for results to show; while long-term results far exceed that of any medication, short-term pain relief has not been shown to be any more significant than that of average steroid medication.
As mentioned before, while the procedure itself is quite short and painless, results take time to show, and optimal results from PRP are usually seen about 4-6 months after treatment. Since plantar fasciitis is a general term for any irregularity of the plantar fascia, there are different degrees of severity for the condition. Some cases of plantar fascia are milder than others, so PRP is recommended for those who don’t see significant relief from physical therapy or from medications. PRP also has a minimal downtime, and regular activity can be resumed the day after treatment.
If you have any questions about this treatment, or want to schedule an appointment, call our office at (609) 587-9944 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Yang WY, Han YH, Cao XW, et al. Platelet-rich plasma as a treatment for plantar fasciitis: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017;96(44):e8475. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000008475