Sufferers of chronic plantar fasciitis may have reason for celebrating. A treatment that has been used for other ailments for about two years may be just the answer to help patients suffering from chronic plantar fasciitis. Giving patients another option to treat their chronic foot pain should come as a huge relief as more than 90 participants from the study improved their symptoms after treatment.
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes, and it supports the arch of your foot– and can become inflamed and extremely painful if an overuse injury sets in.
“Your plantar fascia acts as the shock absorber of your foot. This tissue on the bottom of your feet takes the brunt of your weight … Overuse occurs when you don’t give the foot time to rest and recover,” says Dr. Rahul Razdan, an interventional radiologist and a researcher in this study.
When this happens, most try standard treatments such as pain medication and physical therapy — but walk away unsatisfied, with the problem resurfacing.
“People who are most prone for plantar fasciitis are athletes, people who stand on hard surfaces for long periods of time, women and people who already have foot problems,” said Dr. Razdan. “If the fascia becomes scarred, it forms debris.”
Using an instrument called the TX1 Device along ultrasound imaging, doctors like Dr. Razdan can treat patients with a quick procedure.
TX1 device is a small needle with vacuum suction on the end. The doctor can enter the foot using this needle and can break up and suck out scar tissue and debris from the fascia. This leaves room for new healthy tissue to fill the space.
Dr. Razdan emphasizes that following the treatment, it is imperative to stay in an air boot for up to four weeks to immobilize the foot. This is so the new tissue can properly grow and fill the empty space. Going to physical therapy to learn how to walk normally again is crucial as you may have been changing your gait and putting pressure out the outside of your foot and relying on other muscles to avoid feeling pain.
Runners may have the tendency to be eager to shorten this time, but Dr. Razdan says that giving this time to yourself to heal will be worth it in the long run, literally.
Check with your doctor to see if this treatment is available near you.