Treatments And Technologies We Use To Treat Arch and Heel Pain
There are many different ways to treat arch and heel pain, and it’s just as well because we don’t all respond to the same stuff.
The ultimate key to successful treatment of arch and heel pain is working with a team who are willing to take a sufficiently flexible approach, and trial a number of different therapies to see what works best on your specific case.
ShockwaveTherapy was originally researched and developed in the 1980s for the non-invasive treatment of kidney stones. Later it was discovered that the same sound soundwaves have a profoundly beneficial effect on injured soft tissues and even bone.
The startling effects of Shockwave Therapy that have been observed in the scientific literature include: blood vessel regeneration – reduction of pain signals – regeneration of bone tissue – prevention of cartilage degeneration – increase in tissue ‘growth factors’ – reversal of chronic inflammation re-absorption of calcification in the tendon – reducing tendinopathies. These effects are a glimpse into how useful shockwave is in the treatment of arch pain and heel pain.
Low Energy Laser Therapy is the application of specific deeply penetrating light waves to a painful area. Light with a wavelength in the red to near infrared region of the spectrum (660nm–905nm) is generally employed because these wavelengths have the ability to penetrate skin, and soft/hard tissues. Lasers like these are known to trigger the release of a substance called ATP within cells, this suggests that they boost tissue metabolism in painful areas.
A great many clinical trials have shown this type of treatment has a meaningful effect on inflammation and tissue repair. In our experience people with arch & heel pain often experience immediate improvements in their pain after laser sessions.
Gait Analysis & Stride Analysis tools are for people who are interested in long term prevention of pain. When the root cause of your pain has been uncovered it takes all the guess-work out of treatment and rehabilitation of pain. Deep insights into our movement patterns are now possible: with the use of cloud based AI machine learning; and complex sensors that go in your shoes while you perform movement tests.This data opens the door to tailored forms of rehabilitation
We believe that all pains have a story to tell and that there are genuine underlying physical issues behind all stubborn pain. In other words, you don’t get sore overnight, and you certainly don’t get chronic pain overnight, unless you have had a real physical issue. Gait Analysis & Stride Analysis are designed to identify these issues.
Orthotics are a tool that have helped millions of people move past exactly the type of stubborn pains that tend to chip away at the fun, freedom, and choice that make life enjoyable.
An averagely active person takes in excess of 3 million steps per year. Modern humans do all this on extremely flat, hard surfaces like concrete, tarmac and paving stones. Hard, flat surfaces are as stressful to our joints and connective tissues as sugar is to our teeth. This is a major part of why we live in an epidemic of lower body pain and degeneration.
Orthotics are a way of protecting us from the lifelong strain concrete and tarmac inflict on our tissues.. The Increased support for the foot that orthotics provide often brings greater ease and freedom to our movements in the long term. The benefits are often felt not only in the feet, ankles, and knees but even in the back and hips.
Acupuncture can be extremely helpful in the management of many cases of arch & heel pain. As opposed to the traditional approach to acupuncture (where needles are placed in a wider set of related locations) we generally focus directly on the area of pain.
Needling aims to promote blood flow, ease painful pressure points in soft tissues and reduce pain signals. Needles are placed very superficially around the area of pain and we generally leave them in for around 10 minutes, depending on your body’s tolerance to them. If acupuncture works for your arch & heel pain the benefits are usually felt within the first 2-3 sessions.
Scraping gently in and around the connective tissues of the neck using a blunt scraping tool is the basic method behind how we manage scar tissue in the neck. Guasha is the old Chinese name for this technique but there are many others from different cultures and there are more modern techniques like Graston Technique. The idea with all of them is to break up and assist with remodelling of microscopic scar tissue adhesions, which are a major cause of neck pain.
A large number of people suffer with stubborn arch & heel pain caused in part by soft tissue adhesions. A bit like a tiny spider web that creates tissue tension and irritation. These types of adhesions can come from almost any history of physical injury, trauma or overuse.
Graston Technique is like a form of specialised massage that utilises ‘scraping’ tools to release the connective tissues. Using Graston Technique to release adhesions can bring shockingly fast relief for many arch & heel pain sufferers. Even for those patients who have struggled for years.
There is an important nuance to understand about the use of exercises in arch & heel pain management. Exercises are a vital part of the longer term rehab of arch & heel pain. In the short term however exercises often either have little effect or slightly aggravate your condition.
If you have a significant build up of scar tissue muscle knots, soft tissue adhesions or tendinopathies in your arch it is way too much to expect that exercises alone will resolve them. Most stubborn cases of arch & heel pain require hands on treatment before they are truly responsive to exercise prescription.
Pain relief first -exercises later, is an excellent rule to observe for most arch & heel pain cases.
Trigger point release techniques use the hands to release those painful muscle points that are all too easy to find in and around literally all chronically painful body parts.
There’s still no full scientific understanding of the role myofascial trigger points play in pain. It’s a very hard thing to study and the truth is we still don’t know much about the body. Meanwhile, in the front lines where pain is treated day in and day out; treatments that release myofascial trigger points bring dramatic improvements for a great many sufferers of arch & heel pain.
The Mayo Clinic is one of the world’s foremost medical research institutions, their website lists the following known cortisone side effects: Cartilage damage – death of bone tissue – joint infection – nerve damage – joint inflammation – tendon weakening and rupture – thinning of bone (osteoporosis) – permanent thinning of skin and soft tissue around the injection site.
Maybe you might consider trying our long list of treatments that carry no long term side effects whatsoever before you consider risking a cortisone injection as treatment for your arch & heel pain.