Cortisone, Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy or Prolotherapy for Plantar Fasciitis?

Patients and doctors know that Plantar fasciitis is one of the commonest, and most frustrating, foot ailments seen in the doctor’s office. There are a number of treatments for this condition, of which corticosteroid injection is, perhaps, the most popular. However, recent years have seen an increased interest in the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections in various clinical situations such as plantar fasciitis. One of the reasons? There is significant clinical improvement in PRP patients as opposed to corticosteroid injection patients.1

In a recent study, researchers looked to compare two other treatments for Plantar Fasciitis, PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy) and Prolotherapy. No surprise here – they both worked!

Researchers gave patients two injections of either Prolotherapy or PRP into the plantar fascia at two week intervals. They measured each patient for pain, disability, and activity limitations. For pain and disability both groups showed significant improvements. The PRP group also showed significant improvements for disability and activity limitation.2

This supports past research, especially on PRP

“treating chronic plantar fasciitis with PRP injections is safe and has the potential to reduce pain.” 3

“Injection of PRP is safe and doesn’t affect the biomechanical function of the foot. Our successful early findings with injection of PRP indicate that this may become a very commonly used modality in treating this difficult condition.” 4

Further, research presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is more effective than Cortisone for chronic Severe plantar fasciitis.5

Platelet Rich Plasma Injections

To create PRP therapy, a small sample of your blood is drawn (similar to a lab test sample) and placed in a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds, separating the platelets from the other components. The concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) is then injected into and around the point of injury, jump-starting and significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing signal. Because your own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction.

The body’s first response to soft tissue injury is to deliver platelets. Packed with growth and healing factors, platelets initiate repair and attract the critical assistance of stem cells. PRP therapy’s natural healing process intensifies the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets.

Because the goal of PRP therapy is to resolve pain through healing, it could prove to have lasting results. Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the healing progresses.

Research studies and clinical practice have shown PRP therapy to be very effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal lives. Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, confirming the healing process. The need for surgery can also be greatly reduced by treating injured tissues before the damage progresses and the condition is irreversible.

Magaziner Center for Wellness performs over 1,500 PRP procedures each year. So you know at Magaziner, your wellness is in very good hands. Scott Greenberg, M.D., is one of the leading Prolotherapy doctors in New Jersey

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1. Shetty VD, Dhillon M, Hegde C, Jagtap P, Shetty S. A study to compare the efficacy of corticosteroid therapy with platelet-rich plasma therapy in recalcitrant plantar fasciitis: A preliminary report. Foot Ankle Surg. 2014 Mar;20(1):10-3. doi: 10.1016/j.fas.2013.08.002. Epub 2013 Aug 16.

2. Kim E, Lee JH. Autologous platelet-rich plasma versus dextrose prolotherapy for the treatment of chronic recalcitrant plantar fasciitis. PM R. 2013 Jul 19. pii: S1934-1482(13)00369-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2013.07.003. [Epub ahead of print]

3. Martinelli N, Marinozzi A, Carnì S, Trovato U, Bianchi A, Denaro V. Platelet-rich plasma injections for chronic plantar fasciitis. Int Orthop. 2012 Dec 19. [Epub ahead of print]

4. Ragab EM, Othman AM. Platelets rich plasma for treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2012 Aug;132(8):1065-70. doi: