Are you an athlete with a sports-related tendon injury? Or, maybe you’re not an athlete but still suffer from an overuse injury like plantar fasciitis. Tendon injuries in your foot or ankle can be very painful. While traditional treatments like rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce pain and inflammation, these treatments often don’t provide long-lasting relief. However, studies have shown that platelet therapy can be successful, in not only relieving pain, but in jumpstarting your body’s natural healing process.
What Are Tendons?
Tendons are a flexible band of fibrous tissue that attach muscle to bone, enabling the bone to move. Since tendons facilitate walking, jumping, lifting and moving in many different ways, they often bear a significant amount of force, and, therefore, are vulnerable to injury. Microscopic tears can occur in the tendons due to age, excess weight or repetitive activity. These tears cause pain, inflammation and weakness.
Unfortunately, tendons have a limited blood supply, which limits their ability to heal when damage occurs. Therefore, medical treatment, like rest, medication, physical therapy or surgery, is necessary to facilitate healing.
What Is Platelet Therapy?
When you’re injured, the body has an amazing capacity to heal itself. Platelets are tiny blood cells in your body that rush to the damaged blood vessels, along with other components in your blood supply, to help restore blood supply to the injured area. The platelets help repair the damage by forming a clot to stop the bleeding. Platelets also release numerous growth factors to initiate and promote healing in the injured tissue.
New advances in technology have enabled medical professionals to harness platelets and growth factors from the patient’s own blood. They then concentrate the platelets and growth factors into a platelet-rich plasma that can be injected into an injured tendon to help stimulate the body’s natural healing process. For over 20 years, platelet therapy has provided patients with a safe, non-surgical treatment option since it utilizes your own blood to rebuild damaged tendons.
What Types of Foot and Ankle Injuries Can Platelet Therapy Treat?
Studies have shown success in treating the following foot and ankle injuries with platelet therapy.
Achilles Tendonitis. The Achilles tendon is a large tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. Overuse and degeneration of this tendon can cause Achilles tendonitis. Symptoms include: Pain and swelling of the back of the heel, thickening of the tendon, and/or the development of a bone spur. Achilles tendonitis is common in runners or “weekend warriors.”
- Plantar Fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. Symptoms include pain and inflammation. Generally the pain is worse in the morning after first getting up, or after long periods of standing or walking, or standing upon being seated for a long time. Plantar fasciitis is common in runners, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes that don’t provide enough support.
- Ankle Sprains. While an ankle sprain typically refers to the tearing of the ligaments of the ankle, there are several tendons that pass over the ankle. The most common sprain occurs on the outside part of the ankle. Symptoms include pain, swelling and bruising. The person also may not be able to support any weight on the foot. Athletes who participate in sports that involve jumping are at risk for ankle sprains.
Custom Orthotics from the WalkEZStore – A Proper Foundation for Your Feet
Another non-surgical approach to preventing and treating injuries of the foot and ankle is custom orthotics, like ezWalker® or ezRunner® Custom Orthotics. These custom orthotics are biomechanically designed to help support the arches of your feet. They guide your feet into better alignment while reducing stress and strain on your feet and ankles.
Custom orthotic devices manufactured by the WalkEZStore have been shown to help reduce pain and improve foot health and performance. If you have Achilles tendonitis, WalkEZStore custom orthotics help control your heel and reduce the load on your Achilles tendon. Our custom orthotics also reduce the strain on the Achilles tendon by preventing overpronation. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, WalkEZStore Custom Orthotics support your arches while controlling your heel. Our custom orthotics also reduce the tension on your plantar fascia. If you’re prone to ankle sprains, WalkEZStore Custom Orthotics help you maintain your balance and stability better, so you’re less likely to twist your ankle.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®
Note: If you follow these guidelines and your pain or injuries persist, you may have a more serious condition. See your physician for a more complete diagnosis and treatment.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.