A new study suggests that patients with plantar fasciitis symptoms can get relief with radiation therapy. Heel pain causes many people to suffer and struggle through each day. Plantar fasciitis symptoms are particularly bad in the mornings upon waking, after muscles have been immobile all night. Is radiation therapy the answer to curing this chronic pain?
Causes of heel pain include many other foot maladies in addition to plantar fasciitis symptoms, but it is responsible for pain felt by more than 2 million Americans. Plantar fasciitis pain is caused by the inflammation of the tissue at the bottom of the foot. The tissue connects the heel to the toes. When it becomes inflamed, heel spurs are a common side effect. The result is that your lower legs feel stiff and your heels ache every time you take a step.
Many of those who suffer with plantar fasciitis pain cannot walk or stand for extended periods of time. In an attempt to understand the pain and find ways to treat it, researchers studied 62 patients with heel pain for 1 year. Of the group, 29 received regular radiation therapy in a standard dose. The remaining 33 received a low dose of radiation therapy. All patients were treated using an external device that localized the beam, focusing specifically on the feet.
The patients who received standard radiation therapy experienced “highly significantly superior” pain relief from plantar fasciitis symptoms. Up to 80 percent of all participants experienced some form of heel pain relief, which continued to improve even after 48 weeks of treatment.
Radiation therapy has been used for inflammation in the past, so why not foot inflammation? Researchers involved in the study are “encouraged” by the results of the study. They found that patients suffered from no acute side effects or long-term toxicity following the treatment.
Treating heel pain
Radiation therapy may be a viable way to treat painful plantar fasciitis symptoms, but it’s only one option. You can rehabilitate your foot with regular stretching and massage to repair some of the damage. With regular work, many people experience relief from plantar fasciitis symptoms within 9 months. Speak to a physical therapist about foot exercises you can perform to relieve heel pain and to receive specialized devices that help, such as night splints.
Prevention is part of the cure when it comes to plantar fasciitis symptoms. Buy supportive, cushioning footwear that protects your heels from stepping impact. Wear footwear that has arch support, or buy custom orthotics that give muscles the support they need. By taking good care of your feet, you can lessen plantar fasciitis pain and keep symptoms from getting worse.
Learn how to stop the pain of plantar fasciitis symptoms right now in our free special report, Plantar Fasciitis Treatment: 5 Quick Fixes for Immediate Relief.