Prolotherapy and Foot Pain
& Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Achilles Tendon and Heel Spurs
Achilles and foot problems
Pain in the arch
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Problems of the Achilles tendon,
Heel Spurs, and and Alternative Treatment Method - Prolotherapy
This article by Ross Hauser, M.D., deals with Achilles tendon surgery,
treatment, and problems with the heel heel and their relationship with
Prolotherapy an an alternative treatment. If you have questions about this
article - send Dr. Hauser an email.
Achilles tendon is the largest
tendon of the human body and is one of the
most commonly injured
tendon in sports. It is the
tendon responsible for
plantar flexing of the foot, which is how people spring off of each step, "have
a spring in their step."
Patients who participate 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
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
because the Achilles tendon is trying to strengthen. But often, because of
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 be encouraged to repair
Prolotherapy can 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.
Many patients with
foot pain come to
Medical saying they have been
diagnosed with "heel spurs." Others were told they had "plantar fasciitis.”
Patients have anxiety night and day because they have "heel spurs" and "plantar fasciitis."
Such a diagnosis resulted from an
x-ray that revealed some extra bone where the
plantar fascia attaches to the calcaneus. This extra bone is called a "spur."
Because it involves the heel, it is ingeniously named a "heel spur." It is
located where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel, hence plantar fasciitis.
Treatments such as a cortisone shot or, even worse, surgery to remove the spur,
have claimed many victims. These treatments do not correct the underlying
defect. The plantar fascia supports the navicular, talus, and medial cuneiform
bones. When the plantar fascia must also attempt to support the arch, excess
pressure is placed on the calcaneus bone. The calcaneal spur forms because the
plantar fascia cannot adequately support the arch. The plantar fascia is holding
on for dear life” to its attachment at the calcaneus. This holding on for dear
life” causes the body to grow more bone in that area in an attempt to reduce the
pressure on the
ligament, resulting in a heel spur. The same kind of pressure
would occur if you were hanging from a ledge of a tall building by the tips of
your fingers. You can bet when you were finally rescued that the ledge might
have some marks in it where your fingers were located.
Cortisone may temporarily relieve the pain in some cases, but it will always
weaken tissue long-term.
Prolotherapy to the
junction of the
plantar fascia will cause a permanent strengthening of that structure. Once the
plantar fascia returns to normal strength, the chronic heel pain will be
eliminated. But what about the heel spur?” people complain. Remember, the heel
spur is just an x-ray finding. Many people have heel spurs without any pain.
will not remove the heel spur, but it will eliminate the
chronic pain by eliminating the cause. So relax and enjoy a foot without pain.
Prolotherapy is a very safe procedure if standard protocol and
solutions are used, but serious
side effects are possible if these are not
Ross Hauser, M.D.
Medical and Rehabilitation Services
Hauser received his M.D. from the University of Illinois, Chicago; completed his
residency at Loyola-Hines VA-Marianjoy Hospitals in Physical Medicine and
Rehabilitation; and received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University
of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Hauser is one of the leading
experts in the treatment of chronic pain and sports injuries with
He, along with his wife Marion, have written seven books on the
topic of Prolotherapy, a comprehensive book on the natural medicine
approach to cancer, as well as a myriad of articles and newsletters
for the general public. Read more about
Ross Hauser MD