Injection-based treatments have changed the game in treating pain. But there are ceilings on some of them. Experts generally recommend limiting how many cortisone shots you get in a year, for example.
That doesn’t mean you’re out of options if you have persistent heel pain. In fact, here at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle, Samantha Childers, DPM, and Ricky Childers, DPM, offer other injectable treatments. One of them — platelet-rich plasma (PRP) — uses your own blood, so you don’t have to worry about complications or limitations.
We offer PRP as part of our suite of regenerative medicine treatments to help people with heel pain and other discomforts find relief. To find out if PRP could be right for your heel, visit one of our offices, located in Roanoke and Decatur, Texas.
Before you meet with our team, though, we can give you an overview of this groundbreaking treatment and when it might help your pain.
Understanding platelet-rich plasma
PRP is a lot like a cortisone shot in that we inject it into targeted areas around your pain to ease inflammation. But there are some key differences between synthetic injections and PRP.
We get the PRP by taking a tiny sample of your blood and putting it in a centrifuge. This allows us to separate out the platelets and save the platelet-rich plasma. The platelets give us a powerful healing tool because they contain growth factors, resources your body uses to heal damaged tissue and generate healthy new cells.
So PRP doesn’t just address inflammation. It also floods your heel with tools your body can use to address the pain there.
When PRP is right for heel pain
PRP isn’t a cure-all for all types of heel pain. It’s effective for soft tissue-based injuries and conditions. So if you have inflammation in a tendon — as is the case with Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis — PRP can help. It both eases the swelling and helps your body heal the tendon.
Similarly, because PRP helps with inflammation, it can be a useful tool if you have arthritis-related heel pain.
What to expect with PRP
Some people get sufficient relief with just one round of PRP injections, while others need repeat sessions — spaced several weeks apart — for the best results. We can tailor a treatment plan to you based on your specific heel pain.
PRP doesn’t work overnight. It takes time for your body to put the growth factors to work. Most people start to notice improvement within a few weeks.
Drs. Childers might recommend PRP paired with other treatments to help you get relief faster. Your personalized heel pain treatment plan might include PRP alongside custom orthotics and physical therapy, for example.
To see if PRP could help with your heel pain, call our team at North Central Texas Foot & Ankle or send an online message to one of our offices today.