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A common cause of ankle pain is sprain, but it can also be the result of instability, arthritis, tendonitis, or gout. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain and affects about 2 million Americans. Overuse or repeated trauma can cause microscopic damage to the soft tissues and joints of the foot and ankle, leading to pain. Nerve compression, fracture, and poor structural alignment of the foot and leg may also lead to pain. Achilles tear or Achilles tendon rupture are other less common causes of ankle and foot pain. In addition to pain, many people experience other symptoms such as redness, warmth, stiffness, and swelling in the foot and ankle. The pain may be unremitting or intermittent and may worsen with weightbearing or movement.
The appropriate therapy depends on the cause of the pain. Initial treatment typically consists of RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Pain medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and physical therapy may help mild to moderate pain in the foot and ankle. Cortisone injections are often prescribed for more longstanding pain. However, these steroid shots are associated with a number of complications, including nerve, joint, and cartilage damage, tendon rupture, infection, bleeding, and thinning and discoloration of the skin at the site of the injection. A number of other treatments are available, including ankle strapping, custom orthotics, phonophoresis, and physical therapy, but sometimes these modalities fail to alleviate symptoms. Traditional treatments for foot and ankle pain do not guarantee pain relief and provide only a temporary abatement of symptoms while degenerative damage continues to occur.
Scientists have found that a local injection of processed dehydrated amniotic tissues can aid in the repair and recovery of injury or damage in the foot and ankle. Amniotic tissues are rich in growth factors, cytokines, collagen, and fibronectin, substances that promote healing and boost the body’s own regenerative abilities. Regenerative treatment reduces pain and inflammation and allows for a rapid return to pain-free activity.
At Living Well Balanced Integrative Medical Centers, we use amniotic tissue allografts from Predictive Biotech, a leading-edge provider of regenerative products. These tissues, which are typically thrown away after birth, are collected from carefully screened, consenting mothers at the time of delivery. They are processed in an FDA-registered lab and micronized into injectable solutions.
Some of the most common causes of pain in the foot and ankle include plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinosis. Researchers have studied the effect of amniotic tissue injections in patients with these conditions and found very positive results.
One study  enrolled patients with plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinosis who had failed to improve with 6 months or more of multiple standard therapies. These patients underwent a single amniotic tissue injection and active rehabilitation afterwards. Four weeks following the regenerative therapy, pain was significantly reduced. Twelve weeks after the regenerative injection, the study participants reported that the pain score had come down from an 8 to a 2. The regenerative treatment for foot and ankle pain was associated with no adverse effects or complications.
Another prospective randomized clinical trial conducted in Virginia  enrolled 45 patients with longstanding plantar fasciitis of 8 weeks’ to 1 year duration. These patients were recalcitrant to at least 3 of 5 standard treatments, including RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), corticosteroid shots, NSAID pain pills, stretching exercises, and orthotics. The patients were divided into three groups. One group received standard care and a placebo, the second group received standard care plus 0.5 cc amniotic tissue injection, and the third group received standard care plus 1.25 cc regenerative injection. The patients did not know which arm of the study they were enrolled in. Both the 0.5 cc and 1.25 cc amniotic tissue injection groups reported significant pain improvement while the control group (placebo group) reported no improvement in foot and ankle pain.
At Living Well Balanced, the focus is on you. Let us help you return to an active lifestyle free of pain. Talk to us today to see if you are suitable for this pioneering new therapy for chronic ankle and foot pain. Our dedicated team will perform a thorough evaluation and obtain an in-depth medical history. The appropriate regenerative product will be recommended based on your unique needs and symptoms.
If you have questions about Regenerative Medicine for your foot or ankle pain please call our office at 919-926-8890.