Living an active life requires being on your feet. But if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, time on your feet only brings you pain.
What if you didn't have to put a limit on yourself? PRP Clinic at Synergy Medical offers platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, a quickly emerging regenerative therapy that provides long-lasting relief for patients with plantar fasciitis.
For many medical conditions, the suffix “-itis” implies inflammation. So, the term “plantar fasciitis” would suggest inflammation of the plantar fascia — the tissue that connects the inside of your heel bone to the base of your toes.
But the “-itis” in plantar fasciitis is a misnomer. Plantar fasciitis actually refers to the degeneration of the plantar fascia, not inflammation.1
Because your plantar fascia absorbs shock when you walk or run, its degeneration leads to pain in your heels or along the arches of your feet. You may find that your pain is worse in the morning and after walking or running for long distances.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis varies depending on the severity of your symptoms and can include:2
The use of corticosteroids, while common, is particularly troubling because they only seem to have small, short-term effects.3 Repeated corticosteroid injections also have the potential to induce plantar fascia rupture.1, 4, 5 Therefore, some experts have suggested re-evaluating the use of corticosteroid injections for patients with plantar fasciitis.1
When conservative treatments don't result in a satisfactory outcome, consider platelet-rich plasma injections to treat your plantar fasciitis.
The treatment for your plantar fasciitis may already be in your blood.
When you're injured, your platelets help your blood clot by releasing growth factors, proteins, and other anti-inflammatory chemicals.6 In animal studies, growth factors were shown to increase the healing of ruptured tendons.7 Platelets can also attract your body's stem cells to the injury site, where they can form healthy tissue.8
While these healing mechanisms exist naturally in your body, your body may not always produce platelets at the intensity you need them.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy delivers a high concentration of platelets (at least 2 times that of whole blood) to your plantar fascia. This allows your body to recognize your plantar fascia as a priority for healing.
In other words, PRP therapy allows you to treat your plantar fasciitis using your body's own natural healing factors.
PRP therapy has emerged as a potential treatment for many medical conditions in recent years, and plantar fasciitis is no exception.
In fact, PRP may work better than corticosteroid injections. In a study published in 2019, investigators compared the effectiveness of PRP injections to corticosteroid injections for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. They found that the patients in the PRP group had significantly lower pain and higher function than those in the corticosteroid group. More remarkably, these results were seen 1 year after treatment, demonstrating PRP's long-term safety and effectiveness.9
While PRP injections may not show significant immediate or short-term advantages over corticosteroids, its strengths lie in its long-term effects. A 6-week study comparing PRP to corticosteroid injection found that PRP provided better results after 6 months.10 A meta-analysis of 9 clinical trials arrived at a similar conclusion.2
Other benefits of PRP injections include:
Your provider will provide instructions on how to prepare for your appointment. Some medications like anticoagulants or NSAIDs may need to be stopped.
The entire PRP process, which includes preparation and injection, takes approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours. At PRP Clinic at Synergy Medical, you can expect the following steps:
|A technician will draw a small sample of blood from you, which will be placed in a tube.|
|The vial is placed in a centrifuge, which spins the blood at high speeds. This separates the platelets from the other blood components.|
|We remove the tube from the centrifuge and separate the plasma layer from the other layers which are then discarded.|
|Once the PRP solution is prepared, your provider will inject it into the affected area where the healing process begins.|
Because PRP triggers a cascade of biological responses, you may experience some soreness or swelling in the injection area for a few days. We recommend taking it easy for a few days after your treatment.
Because PRP is an autologous therapy (derived from your own blood), it has an outstanding safety profile. There is no risk of an adverse reaction or disease transmission. Talk to your provider if you're taking any medications or if you experience any severe discomfort after your injection.
Plantar fasciitis is a common disabling condition that affects approximately 10% of the general population.11 Due to its degenerative nature, you may find that the pain keeps coming back even with stretching exercises or corticosteroid injections.
PRP injections offer new hope for patients with plantar fasciitis. If you're in the Marysville, OH area and are suffering from heel pain, reach out to us today to see how PRP therapy can help you live your life to the fullest.