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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP): A Game Changer in Treating Chronic Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain, and about 1% of American adults are diagnosed with the painful, degenerative condition each year. The older you are, the higher your risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is sometimes very difficult to treat, but platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is relatively new and has quite high success rates. And it embraces the healing power of platelets from your own blood.

Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs from the base of your toes to your heel. Its main function is that of shock absorption — with each step you take, your plantar fascia flexes and stretches.

If you have plantar fasciitis, the band of tissue has tiny tears, called microtears. These microtears cause the tissue to become inflamed, and the result is pain. You probably feel the pain in your heel. At first, you may think it’s a bruise.

Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

Some people are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis than others. Risk factors include:

One of the reasons that plantar fasciitis has been difficult to treat is that many of the risk factors are difficult or impossible to mitigate. You probably can’t afford to quit your job, and as much as we’d like to, none of us can stop aging.

Traditional Treatment Options

Traditional treatments for plantar fasciitis range from a conservative approach — such as special stretches and exercises to help the ligament move more easily — to surgical intervention. These treatments include:

For a small percentage of people, treatment, whether conservative or more radical, doesn’t seem to help at all. PRP therapy offers hope for all sufferers of chronic plantar fasciitis. It actually helps the microtears in your plantar fasciitis heal, rather than simply easing the pain or resorting to the more drastic measure of surgery.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

Plasma is a component of your blood, and platelets are a type of blood cell that contains proteins that help you heal. When you cut your hand, for example, platelets help the blood clot and promote healing.

Platelet-rich plasma is obtained through a process that separates a small amount of your blood into its various components. The platelets are then made into a plasma preparation that has five to 10 times more concentrated platelets than normal blood. PRP has been used for many years during surgeries involving tendons, ligaments, and bones because of its ability to speed the healing process.

As a treatment for plantar fasciitis, PRP is injected into your foot in order to help the microtears in the plantar fascia heal. It is far less invasive than surgery and has excellent success rates.

What You Should Know About PRP Therapy

The relief, unfortunately, isn’t instantaneous, but it’s worth the wait. You may feel increased pain in the days right after a PRP injection, and you may need to limit your activity for a day or two and use a brace or a boot. Within three to seven days, though, you should be able to go back to regular activity.

PRP therapy has a very low risk of complications. Because the PRP is extracted from your own blood, there’s little risk of having an allergic reaction or other complications.

Your treatment at Integrated Medical Solutions of Knoxville is always tailored to your specific needs. You may need one PRP injection or a series of them spaced out over several weeks to a few months.

If you’ve tried everything to treat your plantar fasciitis, but you’re still in pain, book an appointment online or by phone today. We’re happy to provide an assessment and discuss PRP therapy with you.

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