Heel pain is a common medical complaint among both women and men, especially among athletes and those who are middle-aged or older. At Cambridge Foot and Ankle Associates, Inc., patients in Newport Beach and Orange, CA, enjoy state-of-the-art care for heel pain, including noninvasive approaches like shockwave therapy designed to promote optimal healing.
Different issues can contribute to heel pain, including deep bruises (sometimes called “stone” bruises), Achilles tendon problems, repetitive or overuse injuries, bone spurs and plantar fasciitis. Having an in-depth exam and evaluation is the key to receiving the proper diagnosis and most appropriate care for long-term relief of pain and related symptoms.
The plantar fascia is a strong band of fibrous tissue that extends across the bottom of the foot from the heel to the base of the toes, providing support for the midfoot region and the arch. Sometimes, this band of tissue can become inflamed and irritated, resulting in pain in the heel and along the side of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs most commonly among older men and women, and it can also occur in athletes as a result of repetitive impact or in people who stand for long periods of time each day.
While treatments such as custom orthotic bracing, strapping and cortisone injections can provide some relief, a more advanced way to actually heal the injury and provide long-lasting improvement is through biologic regenerative treatments such as Platelet Rich Plasma therapy. Platelets initiate tissue repair by releasing growth factors in the area. These growth factors start the healing process by attracting cells that repair the plantar fascia, including critical adult stem cells. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy intensifies this process by delivering a higher concentration of platelets than normally incurred from injury. The therapy involves a small sample of the patient’s blood placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other blood components. The concentrated plasma is then injected into and around the area of pathology, in this case the plantar fascia, significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing.
For even more severe cases however, there are still things that can be done. Extra Corporeal Shockwave therapy has become a common solution for plantar fasciitis because it effectively addresses the inflammatory tissue on the bottom of your foot via medically enhanced sound waves which facilitates healing and regeneration, allowing you to overcome the chronic pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
Bone spurs are small, hard projections that form along the side or edges of the bone. In the feet, bone spurs occur most commonly along the heel. Sometimes, these spurs cause few or no symptoms; but other times, they can press into the surrounding soft tissues and cause pain and irritation, especially when the foot is flexed or pressure is placed on the heel.
Shockwave therapy is a treatment that uses focused pulses of ultrasonic energy to penetrate the soft tissues, breaking down fibrous adhesions or scar tissue and promoting healthy circulation for faster healing. Shockwave therapy can be especially effective in treating chronic heel pain, including pain due to sports injuries and repetitive use injuries. It’s also effective in reducing or eliminating pain associated with plantar fasciitis. Because it uses highly focused energy, shockwave therapy can be targeted only at the injured area, leaving surrounding healthy tissue unharmed. Shockwave therapy can be performed right in the office with no need for anesthesia and very little to no discomfort beyond the discomfort associated with existing inflammation and irritation. While a single treatment is often sufficient to provide relief for patients, others may need an additional treatment for maximum relief of symptoms.
At Cambridge Foot and Ankle Associates, Inc., our staff is dedicated to helping every patient achieve the foot care that they need. We no longer accept Carefirst or Accountable, but we do accept Cigna and United Healthcare and Healthcare Partners insurance. If you have any questions about our payment policies or the insurance we accept, please call our office. and find out how we can partner with you.
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