Prolotherapy treatment for Fallen arches and Flat Feet
The medial arch is supported by fascia and ligaments. As previously explained, ligaments maintain proper bone alignment. Loose ligaments allow the bones to shift, resulting in chronic pain. The main supporting structure is the plantar fascia, also known as the plantar aponeurosis. The plantar fascia is essentially a strong, superficially placed ligament that extends in the middle part of the foot from the calcaneus to the toes. Another important structure is the plantar calcaneonavicular ligament which passes from the lower surface of the calcaneus to the lower surface of the navicular bone. (See Figure 10-4.) This ligament resists the downward movement of the head of the talus, supporting the highest part of the arch, and is responsible for some of the elasticity of the arch. This ligament is also known as the spring ligament.
An arch support insert is the typical treatment for a fallen arch. Many people experience dramatic pain relief, while others continue to suffer from chronic achy feet.
Prolotherapy is the treatment that makes the most sense for a fallen arch due to weak ligaments. Prolotherapy injections into the fibro-osseous junctions of the plantar fascia and calcaneonavicular ligament, which supports the arch, will strengthen this area. If the condition is diagnosed early on, the ligaments can be strengthened to support the arch. If the process has gone on for years, an arch support may be needed in addition to Prolotherapy. But even in the latter case, Prolotherapy can eliminate the chronic arch pain.
Foot Arches – Fallen arches and Flat Feet
Fallen arches, or flatfoot, is a condition in which the arch on the inside of the foot is flat and the entire sole of the foot rests on the ground. Although flat feet in and of themselves are not usually problematic, they can create problems in the feet, hips, ankles and knees. Pain may be experienced in the lower legs if there are alignment problems and if the individual is engaged in a lot of heavy, high-impact activities that put stress on the bones and muscles of the lower legs.
A weakened arch causes the foot to feel weak and tired especially after a day of standing or walking. It can also radiate pain into the big toe side of the foot.
Chronic metatarsal ligament weakness and arch weakness (also known as plantar fasciitis)
Fasciitis can cause numbness in the foot and toes in the same areas of pain. Pain and numbness in the foot can also be caused by ligament and tendon laxity in the knee. The lateral collateral ligament can refer pain and numbness down the lateral side of the leg and foot and the medial collateral ligament down the medial side. Thus anyone with foot pain or numbness needs to have their knees looked at to see if there is any evidence of ligament weakness there.
To understand why other injuries occur in the feet, it is important to consider the three arches of the foot. The medial longitudinal, lateral longitudinal, and transverse arches of the foot. The talus, cuboid, and intermediate cuneiform bones function as keystones to these arches. These bones have joint surfaces that form a wedge to provide support. Interlocking joint surfaces also provide support.
The typical treatment for pain from fallen arches is an arch insert. While many people experience dramatic pain relief from this, others continue to suffer from chronic achy feet despite the arch support. The long-term problem with this approach is that it does not strengthen the weak arch ligaments that may be at the root of the problem.
Another standard practice is to use steroids or to prescribe anti-inflammatory medications. However, in the long run, these treatments do more damage than good. Cortisone shots and anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to produce short-term pain benefit, but both result in long-term loss of function and even more chronic pain by actually inhibiting the healing process of soft tissues and accelerating cartilage degeneration.
Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair the foot ligaments. It does so by inducing a mild inflammatory reaction in the weakened ligaments and cartilage.
Although skeletal structure is important to arch support, without the ligaments, the arches would collapse. The plantar ligaments (ligaments on the bottom of the foot), which are stronger and larger than dorsal ligaments (ligaments on top of the foot), tie the inferior edges of the bones together. The most important ligament in the maintenance of the medial longitudinal arch is the plantar calcaneonavicular, or spring ligament.