Do You Need Injection Therapy for Your Chronic Foot Pain?
Are you suffering from chronic pain that just won’t go away in your heels, arches, or ankles? Have you tried rest, stretching, and other conservative treatments with no success? Is your discomfort preventing you from being as active as you want to be, or getting in the way of your daily tasks?
If so, it might be time to consider some form of injection therapy to address your injury. This type of treatment can be highly effective for injuries involving soft tissue pain (plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, etc.).
And the great news is that, at Omega Medical Group (OMG), we are currently using advanced regenerative medicine injections—namely Clarix Flo—to facilitate fast pain relief and even accelerated tissue healing. This technique has proven highly effective on even the most enduring and severe chronic injuries, and is something we’re extremely proud to be able to provide.
But first, let’s step back and look at injection therapy more generally and show where we got to where we are today. We’ll cover the “history” of injection therapy treatment options to show you how medical technology has advanced—and why Clarix Flo is most likely the best choice for your chronic pain.
Steroid injections are the most basic form of injection therapy—and unfortunately for many podiatry clinics, still the only option available.
In this procedure, the doctor injects both a local anesthetic and a small amount of a corticosteroid (usually cortisone) into the area where the tissue is injured. This produces a rapid, powerful anti-inflammatory effect to provide relief for pain.
Results vary based on an individual, but on average it takes 0-2 days for the injection to take full effect, with pain relief that lasts 3-6 months.
While this can be an extremely welcomed relief for longstanding pain, there are definitely some limitations and downsides. Most significantly, steroids really don’t do much to aid in tissue healing—the treatment is really more targeted at just the symptoms. And furthermore, too many injections over a relatively short period of time may cause complications, including weakened tendons or joint infections.
Although they can provide long-term pain relief, steroid injections are not really a long-term solution to the underlying causes of pain.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
This is a treatment option that we used to provide, but have since replaced it with Clarix Flo. Even though we no longer offer it as a treatment option, we’ll discuss it briefly to provide some key context and background.
PRP is a definite step up from steroid injections, and was quite popular with professional athletes during the 90s and early 00s as a way to accelerate return to physical activity after a musculoskeletal injury.
In this procedure, a small sample of your own blood is drawn, then spun in a centrifuge to separate out into individual components—liquid plasma, red blood cells, and the remaining solid particles (which include the platelets).
Platelets are a component in your body’s natural tissue healing and regeneration processes, so they are recombined with some of the plasma (without any red blood cells) to create a highly concentrated “platelet-rich” mixture. This platelet-rich plasma is then re-injected into the injured tissue, so the platelets can start to trigger your body’s natural repair mechanisms.
In other words, unlike steroid injections—which mostly just “mask” pain—PRP could actually help heal the underlying injury in addition to relieving pain. However, the overall success rates were somewhat mixed.
A Quantum Leap Forward for Injection Therapy: Clarix Flo
While PRP was considered “cutting edge” just 20 to 30 years ago, the truth is that change happens quickly in the medical world. New regenerative injection therapies have blown it out of the water in terms of effectiveness—and Clarix Flo, the treatment we now use at our office, is at the front of the pack.
This game-changing injection therapy is made from micronized amniotic membrane and umbilical cord tissue. Now, donated amniotic material has been used in medicine for decades, but with Clarix Flo it’s been broken down into particulates so that it can injected deep into damaged tissues.
When you compare the healing potential of Clarix Flo against PRP, it’s really no contest. The amniotic membrane and umbilical tissue are just packed with growth factors, proteins, and other necessary nutrients your body needs to heal itself.
Crucially, no other product offers umbilical-cord based particulates to this degree, allowing Clarix Flo to provide more original innate tissue than other placental injection technologies. This creates a regenerative healing environment like no other, right at the site of the pain.
And because this type of tissue is considered “privileged” by your body, there is virtually no risk of rejection or side effects. So in addition to being the most effective injection therapy available for both pain relief and accelerated healing, it’s also the safest.
Just one injection is often more than enough to “kickstart” a full recovery from unresponsive chronic pain, or significantly shorten the rehab timetable after an acute injury.
What Kinds of Conditions Can Clarix Flo Treat?
One of the awesome things about injection therapy in general—and Clarix Flo in particular—is that it can be used to address an extremely broad range of conditions.
Almost any soft tissue condition involving inflammation, pain, or disfunction can benefit from the regenerative healing environment produced by the Clarix Flo injection. Examples of common uses include:
- Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
- Achilles tendinitis
- Ligament and muscle tears
- Foot and ankle osteoarthritis
Injection therapy with Clarix Flo is often combined with other conservative therapies, such as physical therapy or custom orthotics, to achieve optimal results. We may recommend it right away after an initial examination, or as a “second resort” when traditional conservative treatments have failed to produce optimal results.
In other words, we understand that each person is unique, and we’ll review your case carefully—and talk with you about all your options—before settling on a treatment plan that we’re confident will help you get better in a way that makes sense for your lifestyle.
So if you’re finally ready to get rid of that chronic pain—or you’re determined to return to activity as quickly as possible after a sprain or strain—give the OMG team a call today. You can reach us at (305) 514-0404, or request an appointment using our online contact form.