Mark was an avid runner and softball player who was struggling with painful Achilles tendonitis. The pain was present for over a year and after no relief from cortisone shots or electrical stimulation.
At Marks first visit Dr. Hauser examined his Achilles tendon and assured him that Prolotherapy would be a good treatment for his pain. Mark had one treatment and returned three weeks later feeling 25% better. He was able to cycle up to eight miles and noticed that he recovered much better after biking than he had before his first treatment. After his second treatment, Mark continued to cycle and was able to take a hiking trip that was pain free. While Mark was very happy with being able to cycle and hike, he was still unable to run.
Each treatment to his Achilles tendon resulted in further improvement. After four treatments he was able to jog one mile every other day. He came back for a final treatment that he felt would push him to the point where he could get back to his regular routine. So Mark had his fifth treatment in five months and left with high hopes that his injury was healed. Three months after Marks last treatment we gave him a call to see how he was doing. He said that he was completely pain and was back to running three miles a day and very happy with his recovery.
Marks case is a perfect example of why Prolotherapy is a great option for athletic injuries. While an injury may take an athlete out of a particular sport, Prolotherapy can provide the gradual recovery that allows an athlete to remain active and even continue in their sport until a full recovery is achieved. The average number of treatments needed is 3-6, and only once per month, which is convenient compared to surgical recovery time. Is an injury keeping you from the activity or sport you love most? Its time to rid yourself of pain and get back at it!
Chronic Foot Problems and the Achilles Tendon
As we age, flat feet become more common. This means that the foot has too much pronation. As the foot pronates excessively, a plantar fasciitis or even a heel spurs can occur. To prevent these injuries from occurring, proper footwear is essential to support the arch through correct orthotics. Once plantar fasciitis occurs, Prolotherapy of the plantar fascia (strong attachments at the bottom of the foot) can be quite helpful in eliminating this pain. This type of injury generally comes on gradually and presents itself as discomfort noticed at the front of the heel or arch when one first gets out of bed in the morning. Pain exacerbates significantly with any increase in athletic activity. When the athlete is off of his/her feet for any period of time, the injured fascia begins to feel better. Unfortunately, the healing bond is quite weak so that when walking without arch support or exercising, the plantar fascia begins to tear. This results in pain in the area where the plantar fascia attaches to the calcaneous (heel bone), and a formation of a bone spur. Bone spurs tell the athlete and physician that there is weakened and injured tissue present, which is generally a ligament. Use of an arch support helps to prevent the plantar fasciitis from recurring, but Prolotherapy is needed to strengthen the healing bond.
In addition to the Prolotherapy, proper stretching of the muscles of the lower leg is also helpful. Correction of this problem will also involve evaluation of the gait in order to determine if there are other factors that may be perpetuating this problem, such as other ligament weakness, skeletal malalignments, or muscular imbalances. However, the most important factor in curing sports injuries is to stimulate the regeneration of the injured tissue by Prolotherapy.
The Achilles Tendon: The Weak Link for Many Athletes
The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon of the human body and is one of the most commonly injured tendons in sports. It is the tendon responsible for plantar flexing of the foot, which is how athletes are able to spring off of each step.
Athletes in running sports have a high incidence of Achilles tendon overuse injuries. About 75 percent of total and the majority of partial tendon ruptures are related to sports activities involving abrupt repetitive jumping and sprinting movements.
Surgery is supposedly required in about 25 percent of athletes with Achilles tendon overuse injuries, and the frequency of surgery increases with patient age and duration of symptoms, as well as occurrence of tendinopathic changes.
Of those who receive surgery, 20 percent require reoperation. These are sad statistics if one knows the pathology in chronic Achilles problems. The condition begins as a tendonitis because the Achilles tendon is trying to strengthen. But often, because of NSAIDS and cortisone shots, the inflammatory process is halted. The tendon then begins to show signs of cellular damage and collagen degeneration. This is called tendinosis. Tendon pathology such as this can only be encouraged to repair itself with Prolotherapy. Only Prolotherapy will be able to stimulate the growth of the Achilles tendon tissue to make it stronger.
Steroid injections not only do not help the problem, they likely cause the problem. Steroid shots with cortisone have been implicated as a significant cause of Achilles tendon rupture.