For many folks, a case of heel pain can be successfully treated using more traditional and conservative techniques such as rest and stretching. Sometimes, however, the need for something more advanced may arise. That’s where regenerative medicine may come in.
Regenerative treatments – such as the MLS laser and regenerative injection therapies we provide here at Kalamazoo Podiatry – can provide some patients a much-needed boost in their natural healing, helping to resolve the source of their heel pain faster and more effectively.
What Does Regenerative Medicine Mean?
The term “regenerative medicine” has been around for at least a couple of decades but has been in actual practice for much longer.
When we use the term, we are referring to a treatment designed to stimulate and aids the body’s own natural healing and recovery responses. This does not involve the use of any foreign drugs or materials, but only elements that are natural or found within the body itself.
One of the best benefits of regenerative medicine is that there is a very little-to-no risk of side effects or negative reactions. Since we are using elements already familiar to the body, there is very little chance of them being rejected.
When Might Regenerative Medicine Be Recommended for Heel Pain?
As with any form of treatment, we will not recommend regenerative therapies for every case of heel pain. There are many different causes of heel pain that will respond best to different forms of treatment, and we always take a case-by-case approach to provide the best route of treatment for each patient’s individual needs.
That said, there is a higher chance we may recommend a form of regenerative therapy in certain situations:
- Your heel pain has not responded to other treatments as well as we would like.
- You are in a position where a faster recovery time may help you avoid complications.
- We wish to avoid the need for surgery, if possible.
We will always be happy to answer any questions you may have on your potential route for treatment, and why we may recommend certain methods for you over others.
What Regenerative Treatment Options Are Available at Kalamazoo Podiatry?
We currently provide two options for patients: Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser therapy and Regenerative Injection Therapy.
MLS Laser Therapy
MLS laser therapy uses specific wavelengths and intensities of light energy to stimulate beneficial recovery responses at the site of pain or injury.
The laser system can reach the site without any burning, damage, or pain. Most patients report feeling a warming sensation at most.
Positive effects that MLS laser therapy can trigger include:
- Acceleration of cellular activity, including growth and tissue repair
- Increased blood flow to the area, bringing more of the nutrients and growth factors cells need to rebuild
- Reduction of swelling in the area
- Reduction of pain by first temporarily blocking nerve cells, and then by helping to resolve the damage at the source of the pain
- Increased immune system function
A course of laser therapy typically consists of 6-12 sessions spanned out over a period of weeks. The overall number will largely depend on the type and severity of the condition being treated. Each session will usually be less than 30 minutes in length, and there is nothing you must do to prepare before coming in.
Once a session is complete, you are free to continue with your day as normal – no bandaging or aftercare required! Many patients report beginning to feel positive results after their first session, while some may need another. That said, the effects tend to stack with each successive session, meaning your heel pain should feel better and better.
Regenerative Injection Therapy
Unlike a cortisone shot, which is meant only to temporarily relieve pain, regenerative injection therapy aids in the natural healing of damaged soft tissues.
These injections are made completely from biomolecular material that the body naturally uses for healing and recovery. These materials are donated by volunteer mothers following the successful birth of a child. The donation process is entirely safe and causes no harm or disruption to the mother and child whatsoever.
Just as with MLS laser therapy, there is no preparation or aftercare needed with this treatment. We will administer the injection at or near the site of your heel pain – applying a topical numbing agent to reduce any potential pain or discomfort if you desire it. We might ask you to flex and move a little bit before sending you on your way, but that will be it!
Finding Solutions to Your Heel Pain
Whether regenerative treatments are what you need to overcome your heel pain or other methods such as custom orthotics or physical therapy would be best, we always want to provide you a route to lasting relief. Regardless of whether your heel pain only recently began or has been a chronic condition, we have the knowledge, experience, and tools to help you get back to enjoying what you love without discomfort holding you back.
Schedule an appointment at either of our offices by calling (269) 373-1019 for Kalamazoo or (269) 673-8757 for Allegan. If you prefer to reach out to us electronically instead, simply fill out our online contact form and a member of our staff will respond to you during our standard office hours.