Heel Pain

Are you aware that alternative treatments to steroid injections or joint replacement exists for heel pain? Minimally invasive regenerative treatments could help you get back to doing the things you love

Stem cell therapy, Micro-fragmented Adiopose Tissue (MFAT) and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment can provide relief from pain or a reduced range of motion for people suffering from heel pain.

What treatments does the Regenerative Clinic offer?

Our renowned medical team provides a range of treatments, from the traditional to the innovative:

This is an effective and well-researched procedure that’s a potential alternative to surgery. It takes advantage of the blood’s natural healing properties to reduce pain and improve joint function. It uses a specially concentrated dosage of platelets prepared from your own blood to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscle and bone. Treatment is administered via an injection and depending on the injury two to six injections may be required, performed at weekly intervals. Patients usually see their symptoms improve within four to six weeks of having the injections. PRP is a safe treatment option which, because your own blood is used, carries no risk of allergic reaction. Read more clinical evidence supporting PRP here.

This day case treatment is exclusively offered to our patients. It uses pioneering technology using your body’s own adipose (fat) cells to treat pain and inflammation with MFAT Injections. Injections using MFAT Injections are minimally invasive and are carried out under ultrasound guidance. Altogether the procedure takes about an hour to perform with a minimal recovery time. As well as being a potential alternative to surgery, MFAT Injections can also aid post-surgery recovery.

What causes heel pain?

Heel pain is relatively common, and it tends to be felt under the heel or just behind it.

There are several causes of heel pain, the most common are:

What are the symptoms of heel pain?

The symptoms you’ll experience will depend on what is causing the pain:

Plantar fasciitis: A sharp pain between your arch and heel. The pain worsens when you’re walking and eases off when the foot is rested. You may also find it difficult to raise your toes off the floor

Achilles tendinopathy: Pain in your ankle and heel, and, or calf when standing on tiptoes

Bursitis: A dull aching pain along with redness and swelling

Arthritis: is the inflammation of one or more of your joints. People typically tend to suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is more common and is caused by the cartilage wearing away.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes the joint lining to swell and leads to pain and stiffness in the joint.

Heel fracture or ruptured Achilles tendon: Difficulty walking, sudden sharp pain and swelling

Tarsal tunnel syndrome: A pinched nerve in the pain of the ankle causes a weakness in the muscle. You may experience a ‘pins and needles’ feeling and a burning sensation at night

How is heel pain diagnosed?

Your doctor will carry out a series of tests to diagnose if your pain is being caused by arthritis. They check for tenderness, swelling, limited movement and redness.

The doctor may refer you to have an X-ray or an MRI scan, which involves the use of magnetic fields and radio waves, can be used to look at your bones and soft tissue.

Your doctor may also request a blood test or a joint fluid analysis to check for signs of inflammation in the joints. 

What are the non-surgical options for heel pain?

Treatment aims to reduce the pain caused by arthritis or other foot conditions and improve the movement of the heel. 

Initial treatment may include medications such as analgesics which help reduce the pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDS – which reduce the pain and inflammation and steroid injections which reduce inflammation and provide short-term relief.

Lifestyle changes can also help manage heel pain. Cold compresses can be applied for 10-15 minutes every two to three hours to reduce pain and swelling, and you can minimise the activities that make your condition worse.

Losing weight will reduce the pressure on the joints. Wearing properly fitting shoes or using shoe inserts can help to reduce pain and discomfort.

Your doctor may refer you to see a physiotherapist who may advise you to wear a splint that stretches your foot while you sleep.

Our expert team specialises in treating all types of arthritis using advanced non-surgical techniques including stem cell therapy, AMPP® Activated Mesenchymal Pericyte Plasma (using Lipogems® technology) and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy.

What are the surgical options for heel pain?

If you don’t see an improvement in your symptoms with non-surgical options, your doctor may suggest surgery. The type of surgery you’ll need will depend on what is causing the pain.

Why have a consultation at the Regenerative Clinic?

Our experienced consultants will undertake a thorough examination exploring non-surgical and surgical treatments. They’ll also discuss your suitability for our state-of-the-art biological therapies. 

Who will my consultation be with?

You will see one of our expert foot and ankle specialists, Mr Nima Heidari and Mr Nicholas Savva, for around 30 minutes. During this consultation, our specialist will:

During the consultation, our specialist will:

  • discuss your medical history to find out more about your symptoms
  • examine the joint and identify the source of the pain and any mobility issues
  • arrange for a diagnostic investigation, usually an MRI scan
  • discuss all the treatment options with you, along with their potential benefits and any risks.
Our experienced team works as part of a collaborative partnership of surgeons, sports medicine doctors and physiotherapists to provide the perfect patient pathway to get you quickly on the road to recovery. Whether you need conventional treatment or if you are a candidate for our regenerative treatments, you can be sure that you will get the best advice.

What is the autologus biological approach and when should it be considered?

Autologous translates as ‘from the same person.’ In brief, it involves using your own cells to encourage healing. The major benefits are that there is no chance of rejection, infection or contamination as you are using cells from your own body rather than a donor.

We offer a range of therapies based on this principle which can be considered if traditional treatments including surgery aren’t relieving your pain. 

Biological treatments are pioneering procedures and we’re continuously monitoring and recording its effectiveness. Patients undertaking these treatments are asked to complete pre-operative and post-operative questionnaires. 

The information obtained from these questionnaires allows us to monitor your progress and it also contributes to our evidence-based database and other global studies on biological treatments. All information gathered is anonymised. 

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