Plantar Fasciitis

FAQs on Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis in Oklahoma


The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that is structurally similar to a tendon. The fascia starts at the heel and goes along the bottom portion of the foot. The plantar fascia attaches to each bone that forms the ball of the foot. Working like a rubber band between the ball of the foot and the heel, the plantar fascia also forms the arch of the foot.


How common is plantar fasciitis?


Plantar fasciitis affects 2 million Americans each year. Plantar fasciitis is a major cause of pain and disability among working people and athletes. In a survey of professional athlete’s physicians and trainers found that plantar fasciitis was among the five most prevalent foot and ankle injuries seen. Plantar fasciitis also accounts for 10% of runner-related injuries. The exact incidence by age is unknown, but the peak incidence occurs among those ages 40 to 60 years. Women are affected by plantar fasciitis twice as often as men, and race/ethnicity plays no role in the prevalence.


What causes the pain of plantar fasciitis?


Excessive stretching of the plantar fascia causes microtrauma of the band of tissue, either where it inserts in to the medial calcaneal tuberosity (heel region) or along the structure. Repetitive microtrauma can result in chronic degeneration of the plantar fascia fibers. Fasciitis refers to a degenerative process with inflammatory changes. Studies have shown that fasciosis, a chronic degenerative condition, is characterized histologically by fibroblastic hypertrophy, disorganized collagen, and absence of inflammatory cells.


What causes heel pain?


The fat pad covers the plantar fascia absorbs the shock of walking. Damage to this fascia causes heel pain. As a person ages, the plantar fascia becomes less elastic and more rigid, not stretching very well. The fat pad on the heel becomes thinner with age, and it cannot absorb much shock from walking. The extra shock damaged the fascia and may cause it to swell, bruise, and tear.


What are the risk factors for plantar fasciitis?


Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include:


  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Becoming active in a short amount of time
  • Spending all day on your feet
  • Being flat-footed or having a high arch


How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?


When you see the doctor, he/she will ask about the type of pain you have, when it occurs, and how long you have had it. Most people with plantar fasciitis report pain when standing up for the first time after sleep. In addition, the pain is described as a pin or knife sensation at the bottom of the foot. After standing, the pain becomes more of a dull aching sensation.


How is plantar fasciitis treated?


Regenerative medicine physicians are using stem cells and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to treat plantar fasciitis. In a 32-week study involving patients with moderate-to-severe chronic plantar fasciitis, researchers compared corticosteroid injections to PRP injections. The results showed that PRP was much more effective than other therapies.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been used during the last 10 years in many animal and human studies. MSC-based clinical trials have been conducted on 12 different pathological conditions and shown efficacy and safety. Stem cells therapy works for plantar fasciitis also. In a study where stem cells were used in 11 people, 45% showed an immunosuppressive response to stem cell infusions. In addition, 66% of patients had slight improvement in another study when given a stem cell transplantation.



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