Advanced Treatments for Chronic Pain

When Pain Just Won’t Go Away

In a majority of cases, treatment for painful musculoskeletal foot and ankle injuries (such as heel pain, tendinitis, arthritis, etc.) never needs to get too sophisticated. A few weeks of rest, specific daily stretches, and wearing your orthotics is often more than sufficient to get you back on your feet comfortably. However, sometimes a particularly severe or stubborn case of chronic pain requires a little more. What should you do if the “basic” treatments just aren’t delivering the results you require?

In the past, the answer might have been surgery. But thanks to advanced conservative and regenerative treatments now available at Eugene Foot and Ankle Health Center, this is almost never required anymore!

By incorporating care options such as platelet-rich plasma therapy, shockwave therapy, and amniotic tissue injections, we are going above and beyond what you’ll find in most ordinary foot and ankle clinics and helping our patients overcome even the most stubborn cases of chronic pain—without drugs or surgery.

Read on to learn a little bit more about these advanced techniques.

Platelet-Rich Plasma

Popular with professional athletes beginning in the 1990s, platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP, is a technique that harnesses the healing potential of your body’s own platelets to deliver targeted, accelerated healing to a specific region of injured tissue.

Platelets are one of the main components of your blood, although they only make up about 1 percent of your total blood volume. Their most important function is enabling blood to clot, but they are also full of proteins called growth factors that are important in helping repair damaged tissues.

In PRP therapy, we take a small sample of your blood and spin it so all the red blood cells (nearly half your blood volume) can be separated and removed. The remainder (which includes the platelets) is recombined with the plasma to form a blood solution highly concentrated with platelets.

Re-injecting this mixture into the painful region delivers a rich mixture of platelets—and therefore growth factors—right where they are needed most. This can accelerate, or even “kick start,” a stalled healing process.

One PRP session may take 1-2 hours, including the prep and a short recovery period afterward. Up to 3 treatment sessions may be given in a 6-month period, as needed. Since the treatment actually heals your problem (rather than just cover symptoms) the results are usually long-lasting. This treatment costs $500 at our office.

Shockwave Therapy

With shockwave therapy, there are no injections whatsoever. The goal is to trigger your body’s natural tissue repair and anti-inflammation mechanisms through external stimulation, which in turn brings pain relief and faster healing.

In this treatment, the shockwave machine generates gentle pulses of energy, which travel through an applicator device placed on your skin, then deep into the injured tissues.

The shockwaves, essentially, create “microtraumas” in the inflamed tissues. They are too minor to cause you any additional discomfort (beyond the pain of the injury you already have), but your body notices them, and responds by flooding the area with new blood vessels, oxygen, nutrients, and pain-relieving neurotransmitters. Shockwaves can even break up calcified deposits and trigger collagen formation.

Again, these are all natural processes that your body should be doing for you anyway. Shockwave just gives them a boost—and usually enough of one to reverse your painful symptoms.

One shockwave appointment can be very brief—as little as 15-30 minutes in most cases. The standard treatment course is one treatment per week for three weeks, with additional treatments as necessary. A package of three treatments runs $450; additional sessions are $150 each thereafter, or slightly more if there is a second treatment site.


chronic pain in foot

Amniotic Tissue Injections

This is an injection therapy, similar in many respects to PRP. However, instead of using your body’s own platelets, the injectable is prepared from dehydrated amniotic and chorionic material. This features an even more potent mixture of bioactive nutrients critical for tissue repair, including growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, and collagen.

Furthermore, because amniotic tissue is considered “privileged,” there is little-to-no chance of it being rejected by your body.

We know there may be some ethical and safety concerns when discussing the use of amniotic material, so let us put these to rest. In short, no babies or mothers are harmed by the gathering processes. The membranes are voluntarily donated after healthy births, then rigorously screened for safety. Amniotic membranes have been used successfully in medicine for decades, and are ordinarily discarded unless donated.

The treatment is so powerful that, generally, only a single injection is necessary to trigger a significant and long-lasting reduction in symptoms. That said, we may schedule a few follow-up appointments simply to measure the results via ultrasound. The cost of this procedure for patients is $400.

Don’t Give Up!

We understand that it can be very discouraging when treatments like rest, stretching, and orthotics fail to deliver promised results. But it’s not time to give up yet!

If traditional remedies aren’t resolving your chronic foot or ankle pain in a timely fashion, the treatments mentioned above can help. We have seen remarkable and dramatic results in a significant majority of patients who try them—even those who have been struggling with pain for years.

All you have to do is make that call and schedule an appointment. We’ll carefully evaluate your condition and help you determine which of these advanced treatments, if any, may be right for you.

You can reach our office in Eugene, OR by dialing (541) 683-3351. Or, if you wish, you can reach out to us online via our appointment request form.

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