Injection therapies for the foot.
When it comes to pain from an inflamed soft tissue (think muscles, tendons and ligaments) there is an endless supply of treatments that start with a RICER technique all the way to surgery to try to straighten things out. Today we will explore the role of a sports Podiatrist in what we call “Prolotherapy” or injection therapy.
In past blogs we have focused on biomechanical assessments and correcting any abnormalities that we observe in our clinic. This is the cornerstone of the treatment of any overuse injury as, if the cause isn’t addressed in the treatment plan then the pain will continue until something changes. Assuming biomechanical abnormalities or “the cause” is brought back to a tolerable level for the tissue, treatments can be used to assist with the healing process. Prolotherapy is the use of needles to instigate a speedup of the healing process.
Dry Needling – Dry needling is the process of using extremely fine needles similar to acupuncture to break up hard bands of muscles known as knots. The effect is often likened to around 2 hours of deep tissue massage within a consult which can average around 30 minutes. Pain is generally only felt by patients with painful pathologies and is often far less than you might expect.
Local Anesthetic – Local anesthetic is a technique that can be used both to test out a source of a pain or to treat chronically inflamed or swollen tissues. By injecting LA into an area it has the effect of numbing an area temporarily, by knocking these nerves out that may be constantly firing it can not only be a welcome relief to a painful condition but can also break the dreaded pain cycle. Local anesthetic is also reported to cause hydro-dilation of a tissue which can have a great anti inflammatory effect on more chronically painful tissues
Cortisone – Cortisone is a longer term anti inflammatory, prescription based medicine. Cortisone is a steroid and has the ability to cause long term pain relief and decrease inflammation over a short to medium term (think weeks to months). Cortisone can be mixed with LA to help with the pain associated or be injected in a minimally painful way.
There are many ways to assist the bodies natural way of healing pain, the use of needles is often more beneficial and less painful than you may think. These injections or sometimes the course of injections should be paired with an appropriate way of addressing the root cause. Whether that is footwear modification, orthotic therapy or even gait retraining.
Visit one of our sports Podiatrist Christopher Wevling, Nathan Pring or Ashley Wevling at our clinics based in Yarraville and Point Cook.