When Heel Pain Fails to "Heal"
I have been in practice for more than 35 years and plantar fasciitis (heel pain) is the most common complaint that walks into my office.
The greatest contributor to heel pain is plantar fasciitis, an injury to the fascial band that attaches to the heel bone. Early onset plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory process that can be easily treated with conservative care. If care is delayed, or not treated properly the inflammatory process turns into a degenerative process (scar tissue). This degenerative condition is not "inflamed" therefore anti-inflammatory medications such as Motrin or cortisone injections are ineffective in reducing pain levels.
The biology of the fascia needs to change at this point. There are several treatments listed below that address the scar tissue in the fascia and are described in detail on my site.
- Amniofix injection. Pros: amniofix is a simple onetime injection that can be performed in the office. Cons: cost and not covered by insurance.
- Shockwave Therapy. Pros: Can be performed in the office. Cons: cost and not covered by insurance.
- Topaz procedure. Pros: covered by insurance. Cons: must be performed in an operating room.
All three of the above treatments stimulate the body’s natural healing response. I personally have been involved, as an investigator, in two clinical randomized trials using Amniofix in patients with plantar fasciitis for greater than six months. The bottom line is that all 3 treatments are well documented in the medical literature as an effective treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis.