A Great Solution for Chronic Heel Pain is Known as Dry Needling
Hi, I want to talk to you today about dry needling for plantar fasciitis. This is a procedure we do in the office that has a terrible name. I need to come up with a new name for it, but dry needling is a great solution for people who have chronic plantar fasciitis.
As you know, plantar fasciitis can be debilitating. It can be very painful. You get that pain in the morning when you get out of bed for the first few steps and at the end of the day. Your feet just seem to hurt all the time. You don’t have to live with that pain. Typically, though, the conservative treatment that we do will get rid of that.
With dry needling, we are able to eliminate that pain in the office with a simple surgical procedure. What dry needling involves, I have a short video on our website that you can watch showing the procedure, but dry needling is essentially taking a needle and poking holes. Kind of like aerating the lawn, you aerate the plantar fascia. You poke little holes in the ligament. It injures the ligament, causing your body to recognize it as an acute problem, as if you were to bump your elbow, your body will swell up, heal the area, and then you’re good. What happens with chronic heel pain is your body recognizes that as normal. So with dry needling, you change that normal, kind of reset the baseline by injuring the ligament, physically injuring the plantar fascia, and allowing your body to come in and heal it up.
It is a neat little procedure. It takes virtually no time at all in the office. Within a half an hour you’re in and out. What it involves is numbing up the heel, so you do need to have an injection in the office so the foot is numb and the bottom of the heel is numb. After it is numb, we use the ultrasound to visualize the ligament. Then we take a small needle and poke it through in numerous spots, using the ultrasound machine to visualize where the needle is going to make sure that we hit that ligament.
Afterward, we put a little steroid injection in there. There is no incision. There are no stitches. You simply have a little bandage, because there will be a little bit of bleeding, that you remove that night or the next day. You walk around for the next 10 days or so with protected weight bearing, either wearing a special shoe or perhaps a CAM walker boot to protect the plantar fascia. People do great with it.
We see you back in two weeks and the vast majority of people are better. In my office, I have seen over an 80% success rate using this neat technique. It was actually invented by a gentleman in Italy. He came out a couple years ago with a study that was presented. In his early research it showed 90% success, so I have followed his technique. You can read more about it on our website, but it is a great option and I would highly recommend those of you who are suffering from chronic heel pain look into dry needling because it works.