Plantar fasciitis is irritation and inflammation caused by micro-tears in the band of tissue between the heel and the toes, which can cause pain in the heel area. Podiatrists may recommend ice packs to ease the pain and help the healing process, but is cryotherapy a viable option for plantar fasciitis treatment?
Can Cryotherapy Cure Plantar Fasciitis?
In conjunction with other treatments, cryotherapy may be a viable treatment option to relieve plantar fasciitis pain in some people.
An American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine survey revealed that most doctors recommend cryotherapy for people with early-stage plantar fasciitis.
A 2014 study indicated that cryoultrasound, a combination of cryotherapy and ultrasound therapy, could effectively treat plantar fasciitis with long-lasting results.
Ask your doctor if cryotherapy would be a good option to manage and treat your plantar fasciitis.
What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy uses extreme cold to manage and treat certain medical conditions, including certain forms of cancer, warts, and skin tags. Podiatrists may also recommend it for a foot injury like plantar fasciitis.
Cryotherapy, also called cryoablation, targets and destroys specific fibers in the affected nerves in the foot. Freezing these nerve fibers can reduce or stop pain signals from transmitting to the brain. In addition, the therapy allows the healthy nerve tissue to regrow and may even prevent future irritation of the nerves in the long term.
Which Doctor Should I See About Cryotherapy Treatment?
A podiatrist can perform the procedure in their office. It only takes a few minutes and is relatively painless. However, you may feel a pinch when the needle used to inject the numbing medicine is put into your heel. After that, you may feel pressure as the doctor makes a small incision and inserts the probe into your foot.
After the procedure, you may experience.
These are normal and should go away within a few days. You may also feel a small bump in your foot at the procedural site. The lump is usually not painful and should go away within six months.
In rare cases, nerve or skin damage may occur at the site. Contact your doctor if your pain is extreme or the procedure's side effects do not go away within a few days or weeks.
Who is Prone to Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis accounts for about 15% of all foot pain and is one of the most common causes of pain in the heel area. Millions of people in the United States experience plantar fasciitis every year.
You may be more prone to plantar fasciitis under certain conditions, such as if you
People usually describe the pain as a sharp pain in the heel. Some people may also have a heel spur, but the heel spur does not cause the plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is not easy to treat. As a result, some people become dissatisfied with the typical treatments recommended by their doctors.
Most doctors recommend conservative treatments, and surgery is usually only used as a last resort. However, your doctor may recommend cryotherapy as a median treatment before surgery.
What Other Treatments Can I Try for Plantar Fasciitis?
Treating plantar fasciitis can be challenging and often takes time. Your podiatrist may not recommend cryotherapy at the beginning. They might want to try some less invasive treatments first. And even after cryotherapy, you may still need to maintain simple precautions to prevent plantar fasciitis from recurring.
The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends several ways to treat and manage plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis treatments generally take a least six weeks to begin working. So, try the above suggestions for a few months, then ask your podiatrist about cryotherapy or other treatment options if the above options are not working.
Typically, your podiatrist will only recommend more invasive treatments as a last resort when all other treatments have failed.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful medical condition affecting the heel of the foot. Too much stress, repetitive movements, or wear and tear can create tiny tears in the band of tissue that stretches from your heel to your toes.
Plantar fasciitis can be challenging, and finding a treatment that works is often frustrating.
Cryotherapy may relieve the pain and help the healing process when used in conjunction with other treatments and therapies.
Ask your doctor if cryotherapy could help you. In the meantime, try wearing comfortable, flat shoes with good arch supports and apply ice to the area when it starts to hurt.
Briskin, G. B., (n. d.) Cryotherapy for plantar fasciitis and nerve pain. https://www.footankleinstitute.com/treatments/cryotherapy-for-nerve-pain
Buchanan B. K. and Kushner D., (2022). Plantar Fasciitis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431073/
Costantino C., et al., (2014). Cryoultrasound therapy in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis with heel spurs. A randomized controlled clinical study. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24172641/
Kwiecien S. Y. McHugh M. P., (2021). The cold truth: the role of cryotherapy in the treatment of injury and recovery from exercise. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33877402/
Pribut S. M., DPM, (2007). Current Approaches to the Management of Plantar Heel Pain Syndrome, Including the Role of Injectable Corticosteroids. https://japmaonline.org/view/journals/apms/97/1/0970068.xm
Prohaska J. and Jan A. H., (2022). Cryotherapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482319/