Cortisone – Plantar Fasciitis

Are Cortisone-Steroid Injections A Cure?

According to podiatrists most cases of Plantar Fasciitis can be healed through conservative treatments.

These are:

  • Rest
  • Icing
  • Exercises
  • Use of therapeutic insoles

In case of Plantar Fasciitis, recovery with natural remedies should be preferred over other invasive options, such as injections. Natural remedies however don’t provide results in some cases and eventually your doctor would recommend corticosteroid injections as they have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

What is a Corticosteroid Injection?

Cortisone is a hormone. It occurs in our body naturally and is secreted by the adrenal gland in response to stress. Cortisone injections on the other hand contain a synthetic version of it. The patient is given a shot directly into the side of the heel or the injured plantar fascia ligament. Synthetic cortisone is not injected into the blood stream.

Benefits Of Cortisone Injections

Cortisone is a strong anti-inflammatory substance. It helps bring down inflammation that surrounds your plantar fascia ligament. This leads to pain relief in some cases. Cortisone injections are a great alternative to surgery but are recommended only if all conservative methods have failed.

You will experience pain relief within a few days if your body responds well to cortisone. This effect may last for several weeks.

Some patients may need several injections before they experience any pain relief at all. Some may even require on-going injections for effective pain management in case of an unresolved Plantar Fasciitis.

What Are The Risks Of Cortisone Injections?

Be wary of the risks, benefits and possible side effects of any drug before taking it. Always consult with your doctor regarding this. Remember, use of cortisone carries risks with the most disturbing and hazardous side effect of it being at the infection site. Ways to prevent on site infections:

  • Sterile conditions are a must
  • Swabbing the skin with iodine or alcohol

Cortisone Flare

This is a very common side effect and it happens when the pain worsens initially in the treated area before it starts to lessen. This increased pain can go on for several days before the patient experiences any relief.

Skin Lightening

One more side effect experienced by some patients with medium-to-dark skin tones is that they see lightening of their skin color at the site of treatment.

Do note that a Corticosteroid injection does not help every Plantar Fasciitis patient. While some may experience significant yet temporary relief from pain, others may not see any benefits at all.

Any long-term ill effects of cortisone injections are not well documented. Some studies to indicate that deterioration of tendons and cartilage is common in long term users. These risks and side effects necessitate that you’ve exhausted all conservative options of pain management before you resort to a treatment like cortisone injections.

How It Works

Corticosteroid Injections – Ideal for Short-Term Relief from Heel Pain

Your doctor may inject it either directly into your plantar fascia (that is on the underside of your heel) or on the big-toe (heel side or close to the arch). These injections should always be administered with an anesthetic mix. Remember, the injection will still be painful and you may need a topical anesthetic spray on your skin before it is administered.

Treatment with Footlogics orthotics

You have to understand that cortisone injections do provide relief from heel pain, they are still NOT a long-term solution in any case. The pain is eventually going to return, unless you alter or change the biomechanics of your walking pattern. This is why many experts recommend orthotic insoles like Footlogics. These re-align and support your foot and reduce the tension on the plantar fascia ligament. This impacts the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms and rectifies it from the root. Daily stretching exercises are also a must so that the ligaments in your feet and lower leg become more flexible. This further helps reduce tension in the plantar fascia.

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