SPONSORED: Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Is Offered at Spine & Extremities Center

IMG_6827(1) (1)CLARION, Pa. – Diagnosis and treatment of plantar fasciitis/heel pain with MSK ultrasound, osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT), Shockwave Therapy, and Class IV Medical Laser is offered at Spine & Extremities Center in Clarion.

Heel pain can be from multiple causes. Plantar fasciitis is the most common by far and is primarily due to damaged tissue along with the insertion of the plantar fascia; however, other structures are often also involved with this disorder. It is important to treat these other areas to help achieve a more complete healing response to limit or prevent recurrences. Heel pad syndrome can be associated with plantar fasciitis but is a different condition and is from atrophy and inflammation in the subcutaneous fat pad under the heel. Achilles tendinopathy, Achilles peritendinitis, retroachilles bursitis, and retrocalceal bursitis also cause pain in the heel, but this pain is posterior. Ultrasound and physical exam findings can help in differentiating these conditions.

The plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. With plantar fasciitis, the insertion has microtears, inflammation, breakdown of collagen, and scar tissue. An ultrasound can be performed on a patient with heel pain to evaluate the plantar fascia, heel pad, Achilles tendon, bursa, and other structures to confirm the diagnosis and determine what, if any, other areas may need to be treated in a patient’s individual treatment program.

Along the medial (inner) aspect of the foot is an important artery and nerve that supply the area of the plantar fascia and heel pad. These important structures lie along with a muscle on the edge of the foot that flexes your great toe, called the abductor hallucis. Part of the treatment at Spine & Extremities Center involves assessing and treating this area and muscle with OMT and their modalities to make sure this muscle and soft tissue are healthy and that the nerve and blood supply to the plantar fascia and heel pad is optimized. They use manipulation to mobilize and increase the range of motion in the mid/hind foot joints to reduce abnormal strain patterns on the initial visit.

If diseased, the plantar fascia, heel pad, Achilles tendon insertion, or bursa are hypersensitive due to the abnormal nerve tissue formed within scar tissue, as well as the chemicals contained within the damaged tissues which increase the perception of pain by your nerve fibers. Spine & Extremities Center’s medical laser can help reduce the pain and inflammation, and through a process called neuromodulation can help reduce the abnormal painful nerve impulses.

Traditional steroid injections can decrease inflammation temporarily but do not provide any stimulus for new, healthy tissue to form within the plantar fascia insertion. The steroid also does nothing to physically break up the scar tissue and adhesions. Chronic anti-inflammatory therapy also can weaken tissue over time. Because steroids do not promote healing, the plantar fascia remains structural abnormal. Recurrences are therefore common. Their Shockwave device uses acoustic pulsed waves targeted at the abnormal, inflamed scar tissue at the plantar fascia insertion or other abnormal tissues to cause microtrauma to stimulate this healing process. This is known as Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Therapy (EPAT). The intent is to break up the chronic hypersensitive, friable scar tissue. The body can then resorb that dysfunctional tissue. The pulsed energy also stimulates and invigorates the formation of healthy collagen to regenerate the plantar fascia and/or Achilles tendon insertion into a healthy, organized structure able to absorb the wear and tear of daily life.

During treatment, you will feel a dull, deep ache and the settings of the Shockwave machine will be adjusted to your tolerance. During the first visit, one of the doctors will assess and treat the ankle and foot for dysfunctions and soft tissue restrictions (somatic dysfunctions) associated with plantar fasciitis/heel pad syndrome/Achilles tendinopathy and treat with manipulation as needed.

Spine & Extremities Center uses the medical laser in combination to attenuate or decrease the pain component of the abnormal tissues as well as the microtrauma from the Shockwave treatment by targeting and inhibiting the cells responsible for the exaggerated pain response. This process is known as photobiomodulation. The heel pad is treated as well for a more thorough treatment. The laser adds energy to the tissue which acts to increase the intracellular production of ATP, the energy currency of tissue. This accelerates healing. The laser helps increase oxygen delivery to the healing tissue, as well as stimulates the growth of microscopic new blood vessels in the tissue. These capillaries will help keep the area of the plantar fascia and heel pad healthy by delivering fresh blood and removing toxins from this area. The medical laser application is painless, and typically patients only feel a very soothing, relaxing heat in the area as the laser infuses healing energy into the tissue.

The treatment takes about eight weeks and includes six sessions. You will likely experience a significant improvement during this time. The healing will continue for several months after you begin your treatment as your body heals this area and regenerates the damaged tissue. Spine & Extremities Center’s treatment program can be used as a first-line treatment but often patients have been through traditional physical therapy or have had one or more steroid injections prior to seeking this newer technology and have had either no relief or only temporary relief.

Patients seeking an evaluation for plantar fasciitis/heel pain can schedule a new patient visit with Dr. Barrett. This is billed to insurance and includes the evaluation and management, diagnostic ultrasound, and OMT. The patient is responsible for the specialist copay and any deductible per their insurance carrier terms. The six-session Shockwave and laser therapy components of the program are self-pay only and cost $595. These treatments are performed by one of their advanced modality providers. If both feet are involved there is a discount for bilateral treatment. Additional information on the package will be given to you prior to or during your assessment.

To book an appointment, call or text 814-227-5855 or download their app here:

Apple App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/spine-extremities-center/id1590117359?ign-itsct=apps_box_link&ign-itscg=30200

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fitnessmobileapps.spineandextremetiescenter&hl=en

More information can be found on their website at www.spineandextremitiescenter.com.


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