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PRP Injections: A Go-To Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Posted by Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES on 24 July 2017
PRP Injections: A Go-To Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

The first time you heard the term "plantar fasciitis" is probably when one of the lazy kids in your grade seven Phys-Ed class was giving their daily excuse to avoid running laps. Or, it's from our grandparents, complete with quadruple-wide New Balance shoes with built-in inserts, just to walk from the living room to the kitchen.

But even Hall-of-Fame calibre athletes like MLB slugger Albert Pujols, NBA point god Jason Kidd, and top-five all-time QB Peyton Manning, have succumbed to the debilitating wrath of plantar fasciitis symptoms. So, it's not just unwilling gym-class participants or your physically-deteriorating grandparents who are agonizing over the chronic foot condition.

Thankfully, a study funded by Arthrex provides evidence that PRP injections for plantar fasciitis could be the first-line solution to relieve and heal your symptoms.

A Real Pain in the Plantar

The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes that supports the arch of your foot.

Plantar Fasciitis symptoms occur when you strain your plantar fascia, leading to micro-tears in the ligament, causing pain and swelling. Its sufferers are typically middle-aged.

Here are the 6 main contributing factors to plantar fasciitis:

  1. Excessive pronation
  2. High arches
  3. Flat feet
  4. Long periods of running or standing on hard surfaces
  5. Being overweight
  6. Tight Achilles/calves

Case Study: PRP Injections vs Cortisone injections for Plantar Fasciitis

Here are the details of Arthrex's study:

  • 63 patients were injected with PRP injections
  • 62 received cortisone injections
  • Both sets of patients were injected in an identical manner
  • After a year, subjects improved with both treatments
  • No significant difference between PRP and cortisone injections for plantar fasciitis

This seems like a veritable stalemate between the two treatments, but there's more to these tests than meets the eye...

If the Results are Similar, why choose PRP Injection Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis?

Cortisone masks pain, due to powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and it's considered to be a quick fix, while PRP works to heal the injured area.

But for argument's sake, it's worth noting that the Arthrex study shows similar results after one year between Cortisone and PRP treatments. However, there are plenty of other reasons to treat your plantar fasciitis symptoms with PRP treatments instead of cortisone injections.

Cortisone side effects can be as mild as acne and headaches, or as serious as seizures, depression, and coughing up blood. PRP injections come with virtually no side effects besides brief soreness. You're only being injected with your own platelet rich blood, in order to stimulate muscle repair - not a potentially harmful chemical drug like corticosteroids.

Cortisone also prevents ligaments and joints from fully healing. While your plantar fascia may be okay for the time being, it won't fully heal, making it susceptible to another micro-tear, causing the pain and discomfort you thought you'd already dealt with.

If scientific studies are providing equal results for PRP injections compared to cortisone, it's a means for a safer, longer-lasting way to treat plantar fasciitis symptoms!

Hopefully, with further studies, advancements, and funding, PRP injections will be the first treatment suggested when you go to the doctor with complaints of chronically sore arches.

If you're suffering from plantar fasciitis or other chronic ailments like osteoarthritis or tendonitis, RegenerVate offers PRP, ADSC, and BMAC injections to not only help relieve your pain, but help heal your injuries.

Contact us now and find out more!
Author: Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES
About: Dr. Stoddard is a sport medicine and injection physician in Toronto and is the Medical Director of RegenerVate. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sport Medicine. His injection training, including ultrasound, PRP and Prolotherapy, was primarily done in the USA. He is a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM), is married and a proud father of two boys. He is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.
Tags: PRP Injections

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