PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy for plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
If you have severe pain in or near the heel, you may have a condition called plantar fasciitis. Almost one in ten people may develop this condition at some point in their lives. About 10 per cent of the population suffer from this condition once in their lifetime. If you are, you know that PRP for plantar fasciitis is one of the most effective treatments that has surfaced recently.
While traditional treatments for heel pain, including corticosteroids and painkillers, only provide temporary relief, you can now rely on Platelet Rich Plasma PRP for plantar fasciitis to repair and heal inflamed and damaged tissue as a long-term treatment.
Understand plantar fasciitis and its symptoms.
The plantar fascia is a tough band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. As long as you remain flexible and normal, you can walk normally. This is because the tissue supports tension by stretching the foot muscles while supporting the arch of the foot. However, when this tissue becomes inflamed, you will feel pain and have difficulty moving. Plantar fasciitis manifests itself in different ways. For example, when you wake up in the morning, you may notice a sharp pain on the bottom of your foot. Or if you have been standing for a long time, possibly on a hard surface.
Many patients tend to ignore the problem, which seems to go away when they rest for a while or after a short walk in the morning. However, doctors recommend that you receive appropriate treatment such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for plantar fasciitis or you may be at risk of developing back, knee, foot or hip problems.
Main causes of plantar fasciitis
Various causes can lead to small tears in the plantar fascia that cause swelling and pain. If you can identify these causes, lifestyle changes can help you find relief. You may also consider getting PRP for plantar fasciitis as a last resort. Here's a quick look at the main reasons:
- If you are an athlete who trains via running or ballistic jumping, you may develop pain in your heel.
- Overweight people who put too much weight on their feet may have inflamed foot tissue.
- If you have to spend many hours on your feet, it is a good idea to choose the right shoes that provide adequate support for your heel and arch. Without proper support, you can develop plantar fasciitis. For this reason, people who work in factories or as teachers often have heel pain.
- As you get older, the tissues in your feet can weaken and cause pain. For this reason, the condition is quite common in people between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time can also cause heel pain.
- Adopting dance forms such as ballet or aerobics can lead to the development of the condition at a younger age. And PRP for plantar fasciitis may be the safest treatment option that does not cause long-term damage.
- Some people have a foot structure that makes them prone to pain, such as flat feet or high arches. Your doctor may recommend that you correct the problem by wearing appropriate orthotic shoes or insoles to give your feet the support they need.
- In some cases, your doctors may not be able to diagnose the cause of your plantar fasciitis, but may try different treatment options to help you with pain, including PRP treatment. They may also run a diagnostic to understand if you are placing your feet in an unusual way when you walk.
Conventional treatments for plantar fasciitis
So far, there are no effective solutions for plantar fasciitis and doctors only try to relieve the symptoms. Most of these solutions are short-term and patients talk about how the pain goes away after the treatment is over. These are some of the possible solutions recommended by your doctor.
- Physiotherapy with eccentric exercises stretching the muscles in a controlled way to strengthen them.
- Immobilise the affected foot with a CAM cast or controlled ankle movements. Let the heel rest and allow it to heal naturally. Splint at night to keep the foot immobile.
- Non-steroidal painkillers.
- Insertion of silicone cushions in the heels for support.
- However, for plantar fasciitis, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy can provide long-term relief by repairing inflamed tissue. You may also find that PRP injection costs are cheaper compared to other treatment options.
Why PRP injection works for plantar fasciitis
Platelet-rich plasma treatment for plantar fasciitis enables recovery by bringing all the essential elements to the area. For any tissue to heal, it needs a blood infusion that delivers oxygen and other platelets and healing agents that form new tissue. However, studies conducted at the National Centre for Biotechnology Information show that the stubborn plantar fascia has a low blood supply because it has few blood vessels.
In addition, this band of tissue does not receive the required number of fresh cells needed to repair the broken fibres. PRP not only cleanses the tissue with platelets, but also signals to the body that the area needs to heal. In addition, the dense and alpha granules frame the tissue with new collagen fibres so that they heal quickly.
Usually patients show positive effects after 2-4 weeks and still better pain relief after 24 weeks. Additional follow-up examinations of the treatment guarantee a long healing period. This is because PRP therapy stimulates the natural healing processes, unlike other treatment options that numb the pain. As a result, you are likely to find that the positive effects develop slowly but last longer.
Have you noticed a heel pain that looks like plantar fasciitis? A good option is to contact an experienced doctor and identify the problem. It is advisable to get the necessary treatment before the problem worsens and the tissue tears.