Navigation Links
New Twist on Treatment of Foot Pain
Date:12/1/2008

'Dry-needling,' steroids effective against plantar fasciitis, researchers say

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Italian researchers say they've developed a fast, effective, non-invasive treatment for the painful foot condition known as plantar fasciitis.

Using a combination of "dry-needling" and steroid injections guided by ultrasound, the researchers say their approach achieved a 95 percent success rate in tackling a condition that afflicts about one million Americans every year and accounts for up to 15 percent of all foot problems.

"On a long-term basis, patients recover almost completely from their fasciitis" following the procedure, said study lead author Dr. Luca M. Sconfienza, from the University of Genoa department of experimental medicine. "Overall, the ultrasound guidance allows performing the procedure in total safety."

Sconfienza was to present the findings Monday at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting, in Chicago.

Plantar fasciitis produces pain caused by stress placed on the bottom of the foot, which occurs when the plantar fascia -- a band of connective tissue running from the heel to the ball -- becomes inflamed. It can result from aerobic injury or even improper shoe support, and is the most common muscular-skeletal problem that foot doctors face in the United States, according to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine.

Non-surgical treatment is often effective, involving a combination of anti-inflammatory medication; foot rest; switching to shoes with improved arch support and orthotics; and physical therapy, according to the academy.

The study authors noted, however, that such a standard line of treatment may take up to a year to produce benefits, and doesn't help everyone. Patients can then try shockwave therapy, which involves multiple applications of sound waves directed at the affected area. This treatment is often painful and can lead to swelling, bruising, and numbness, however. The next option is surgery.

Searching for an alternative treatment, Sconfienza and his colleagues focused on 44 plantar fasciitis patients who had proven "unresponsive to medical therapy." Radiologists first applied a local anesthetic to the patients' affected heel area, and then repeatedly poked the region with a solid needle -- a procedure known as dry-needling -- to provoke more blood flow to the area.

A small amount of steroids was then injected into the same area, with ultrasound guidance used to improve accuracy and to avoid injecting the steroids into the plantar fascia, which could rupture the tissue. Following a single 15-minute treatment, orthotics were inserted into each patient's footwear to take pressure off the rear part of the foot.

The result: 42 of the 44 patients were cured of their symptoms within two to three weeks of treatment, the researchers said.

"As it is conceived, our procedure is new," said Sconfienza. "To our best knowledge, the combination of dry-needling and steroid has never been described. We think that this combination is the strength of the therapy, and being so simple and cheap, the procedure can be performed anywhere and by anyone who underwent a basic training in interventional ultrasound."

Dr. Johanna Youner, a New York City podiatrist and a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association, said that while the combination of steroids and dry-needling may be novel, the use of steroids itself is not.

"But what is interesting," she added, "is the notion of using dry-needling -- that is poking at the inflamed area repeatedly. This would increase the trauma to the area a little, and by doing that increase blood flow. That is not a traditional treatment. And it might seem counterintuitive. But when you increase inflammation and blood flow to an area you can help it heal faster. And the fascia itself is a ligament that does not have a lot of blood flow, so it heals slowly. So this could theoretically help."

More information

To learn more about plantar fasciitis, visit the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.



SOURCES: Luca M. Sconfienza, M.D., department of experimental medicine, University of Genoa, Italy; Johanna Youner, DPM, doctor of podiatric medicine, New York City, and member, American Podiatric Medical Association; Dec. 1, 2008, presentation, Radiological Society of North America annual meeting, Chicago


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Holiday Meals With a Calorie-Conscious Twist
2. Jennifer & Gigi: A Story of Love and Compassion with a Hollywood Twist -- In honor of National Family Caregivers Month, CarePages.com celebrates "Grandma Gene" and gives a voice to the community of caregivers around the world
3. Video: 2008 US Olympic Gymnastic Superstars Join Todays Top Music Icons for Womens Cancer Awareness Network Special, Frosted Pink with a Twist
4. Direct From Beijing, 2008 Olympic Gymnastic Superstars and Grammy Award Winning Icons Descend Upon San Diego to Tape ABC Network Womens Cancer Awareness Special, Frosted Pink With A Twist
5. Bright Starts(TM) Adds New Twist to Old Favorites
6. Olympic Champion Mary Lou Retton and ASCO Join Frosted Pink with a Twist to Empower Women Through Education and Advocacy
7. V8 V-Fusion(R) Takes an Exotic, Tasty Twist on Vegetable Juice
8. DNA with a twist: New company to search for cancer drugs and antibiotics
9. FDA Approves ASMANEX (R) TWISTHALER(R) (Mometasone Furoate Inhalation Powder) for the Once Daily Maintenance Treatment of Asthma in Children Ages 4-11
10. DC Ranch Village Health Club & Spa Twists with Chocolate Yoga Class
11. Chubby Checker Adds Twist to 10,000 Strong at Ninth Annual Walk to Cure Cancer for UMass Memorial Cancer Center at the UMass Medical School
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... VisualSP has helped over 1.5 million ... only option for on-premises installation of its Help System for SharePoint was at the ... system into the entire tenant. , The company recently released a modified version ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... ... For many women, getting birth control isn’t as easy as it should be. In fact, ... to a health care facility or a pharmacy within 60 minutes of where they live. ... for many who are faced with health or personal issues that leave them homebound. To ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... Rochester, MN (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 ... ... Elastography (MRE), is pleased to be invited to the Siemens Healthineers annual ... imaging professionals. The event will take place from March 27 - 31, ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... Dr. Isabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP, one of ... series titled The Thyroid Secret. Dr. Wentz talked about journey and research recently on ... that medication IS NOT the only solution to deal with thyroid disease. , ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... San Mateo, CA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Radiosurgery Society (RSS), a non-profit medical society dedicated to advancing the science ... manuscript leveraging data from its RSSearch Patient Registry, a multi-institutional, observational registry ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... report to their offering. ... The ablation device global market is expected to ... 2023. Ablation is the minimally invasive therapeutic tissue ... or diseased tissue removal, to the removal of abnormally conducting cardiac ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017   Dynatronics ... today the appointment of Cynthia L. McHenry ... will be responsible for leading Dynatronics manufacturing, distribution, ... will report to Dynatronics, CEO Kelvyn H. ... concludes an extensive search process conducted by the ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017 FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary  ... Data published in a research report by Grand ... a value of USD 55.8 billion by 2025. The projection takes into ... and a more open approach towards cannabis products around the ... Florida , North Dakota , Ohio ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: