A new study conducted by researchers at Saarland University Medical Center in Germany focused on patients suffering from chronic bone heel spurs. The study showed that radiation therapy provided relief.
With millions of American suffering from heel pain, commonly often diagnosed as plantar fasciitis, this could be a new form of treatment. Plantar fasciitis is a common problem for athletes – with some dealing with it for years and others never beating it.
Plantar fasciitis (PF) is best described as an inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot running from the heel to the toes. Those with a severe case of PF often experience extreme pain and it often compromises their ability to walk and stand. It is often most problematic in the morning.
The Saarland study looked at 62 patients followed for one year. Twenty-nine received a standard dose ot radiation therapy, and 33 received a low dose. The radiation therapy used was external bean radiation that delivers radiation only at a specific part of the body.
The patients receiving the standard radiation dose found pain relief to be “highly significantly superior” and of the 29 patients receiving this dose, 80% had complete pain relief. The pain relief continued or improved for as long as 48 weeks after their treatment.
Dr. Marcus Niewald, a radiation oncologist at Saarland said that, “Radiation therapy has been used for its anti-inflammatory effect for more than 60 years.” Researchers are, “… extremely encouraged by the results of the study because evidence of improved quality of life for patients in clearly evident with the standard radiation dose.”
The study also found no acute side effect or long-term toxicity from the radiation therapy.
The study was published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology.
If you suffer from chronic plantar fasciitis, ask your podiatrist or doctor to research this study and see if it could be beneficial for you.
Heel and tendon pain are common foot injuries often caused by repetitive activity such as running. It is estimated that 1 and 2 million patients visit a doctor each year for heel-related pain. The study mentioned below may be helpful for many athletes.
A retrospective study of 100 patients who received a radio frequency treatment for heel or tendon pain found that the procedure improved their level of activity and significantly reduced pain.
Thomas A. Brosky II, DPM of the Foot and Ankle Clinic of Oakwood, Ga. presents his research findings at the Midwest Podiatry Conference in Chicago on Thursday, April 1. Topaz is a minimally invasive procedure for the debridement, or cleaning, of soft tissue, such as tendons in the knee, shoulder, elbow and ankle. When using Topaz to treat heel pain, a podiatrist uses a series of small punctures at appropriate locations in the foot. The doctor then slips the TOPAZ wand thru these punctures where radio frequency energy is applied on and around the affected tendon for 1/2-second duration treatments a quarter inch apart. Then, with every fourth application, the device is inserted deeper in the tendon until it reaches about one-quarter inch in depth.
The entire TOPAZ procedure typically takes less than 20 minutes and the patient is ready to leave the clinic once they recover from light anesthesia.
In Dr.Brosky’s study, patients who had not responded to conservative treatment were given Topaz. Then, he and his research team surveyed 100 of these patients to determine their satisfaction and level of success with Topaz.
Of the 100 patients surveyed, 93 responded. When asked about pain levels during six-week postoperative period, 47 said they had no pain, 27 had mild pain and 18 said their pain level was moderate. More than 9 of 10 indicated they were happy with this procedure and would recommend it to a friend.
“The results of our survey indicate that many patients who undergo Topaz do very well, even when surveyed a year after the procedure,” Dr. Brosky said.
He said that almost eight of 10 patients said they could walk several blocks without pain after the surgery and that while 47 patients indicated they couldn’t run before the surgery, 65 said they could run afterward. Brosky stressed that Topaz isn’t a first-line treatment for heel pain.
“All of the patients in the study had conservative treatment first such as ice, stretching, and over the counter pain relievers,” he said.
Utilizing the science of Coblation technology, the TOPAZ MicroDebrider, was developed by Sunnyvale, Calif.-based ArthroCare Corp. Their website describes “TOPAZ as a quick, simple and minimally invasive medical technique now available for the treatment of tendons and fascia. The TOPAZ MicroDebrider utilizes patented Coblation® technology, designed to specifically treat tendons and fascia. To date, over 5 million Coblation procedures have been performed1. The TOPAZ technique has been associated with quick return to daily activities allowing for significant improvement in patient outcomes. Since obtaining original FDA clearance in 2002 and expanded indications for tendonotomy in 2005, TOPAZ has offered a minimally invasive alternative for thousands of patients for the treatment of tendons and fascia.”
The Topaz website offers a physician locater based on your Zip code.
While aiding in physical mobility and flexibility, the Stretch EZ’s cradle design encompasses the foot allowing for a comfortable stretch to the foot, heel, Achilles tendon, hamstring, quadriceps, inner/outer thigh and calf. Made of a comfortable poly laminate and webbing, this unique stretching aide assists in the treatment of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, calf, thigh, hip and low back strains and injuries. Strap loops allow for personal control of each stretch. For more information or to request a free catalog, visit the OPTP website. The cost is $29.95.
Could you use a towel? Sure. But the Stretch Ez holds the foot at the correct angle and exerts even tension across the whole foot.
I recommend this product if you are struggling with plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, calf, thigh, hip and low back strains and injuries.
OPTP (Orthopedic Physical Therapy Products) is a recognized leader in providing healthcare and fitness professionals with orthopedic, physical therapy, rehabilitation and fitness products. They offer balance equipment, prefect for building ankle strength, tapes, resistance exercise equipment and more. Check them out at their OPTP website.
Every five to seven days I publish a new post on this Happy Feet blog. These are fairly short posts, usually on one subject related to foot care – usually around 400-500 words.
What some of you may not know is that every month I publish my Fixing Your Feet Blog. It is a much longer blog post, with many different topics. In fact today’s blog is almost 4000 words! Below are two short paragraphs from today’s Fixing Your Feet blog. I encourage you to read about it’s content and then check it out. I recently talked about Heel Blisters. The article The Art of Lancing Blisters is important to treating heel blisters and will help you understand my next post on heel blisters specifically.
The new Fixing Your Feet Blog has an editorial about The Art of Lancing Blisters, Twyla Carolan is back with an article on Heel Pain Be Gone, there is one photo in the Bad Feet section, one new web site and product for athletes, advice from readers, and a whole bunch of reader feedback. Oh yea, and a great offer for those with copies of the 4th edition of Fixing Your Feet! The same offer is made to subscribers of this Happy Feet blog
The Fixing Your Feet Blog has been updated with a new design to offer you search capability of all posts, or the web; a new color to better show links; updated Feedblitz subscription option (Feedblitz send you an email when a new post is made); and an added poll feature. Check out the extra stuff on the left side of the screen. You can also post a comment, just like here.
To help my Happy Feet blog subscribers, I added a search feature to this blog too. You can search the blog for any topic. A very handy tool.
If you are new to either blog, I encourage you to check them both out, subscribe, and pass the blog information along to a friend.