When you have chronic and persistent pain in your feet, it can affect your entire life. It can lead to issues with your mobility and seriously impact your day-to-day life. While surgery is an option it may not be the answer for everyone, but over-the-counter medication doesn’t always provide the relief you’re looking for. An option that works for many patients is injection therapy.
What Is Injection Therapy?
As the name would suggest, injection therapy is a treatment involving an injection. More specifically, when speaking about injection therapy, we’re referring to a steroidal injection given to help treat inflammation and pain. These are regularly used for a variety of conditions throughout the body, including many different foot conditions.
Cortisone, also known as corticosteroid, is simply a strong anti-inflammatory medication. It’s regularly used to treat inflammation and pain in both soft tissue and joints. The material injected in your foot will be a mixture of cortisone and other medications, like a local anesthetic.
Corticosteroids are naturally presentin the body and they affect a huge majority of the body’s tissues, namely because they affect the production of enzymes. When it’s injected in the tissue, the corticosteroids interact with the body’s enzymes, causing the tissue to become less inflamed.
With a cortisone injection, you have the benefit of quick pain relief. It’s often a favourite option to treat the following conditions:
- Bursitis, or inflammation of a bursa
- Tendonitis, or irritation and inflammation of a tendon
- Ligament inflammation, or ankle sprains
- Plantar fasciitis
- Nerve inflammation, also known as Morton’s neuroma
- Joint pain, often due to arthritis or injury.
The Process of Receiving Foot Injection Therapy
The process of receiving injection therapy starts with a visit to your Chiropodist. Once you have been assessed, they will discuss your treatment options and whether or not injection therapy is right for you. If you decide to proceed with an injection therapy, the next step is deciding which type of injection will best address your foot issues.
When you arrive for your injection therapy appointment, the Chiropodist will likely first anesthetize the area to minimize the pain from the injection. They will prepare the injection and finally will inject the solution into your soft tissue or your joint, depending on your ailment.
Finally, you will need a bit of time to recover. Depending on where you were injected and anesthetized, your foot may be numb for a few hours, so try to have someone drive you to the appointment. There should only be minimal discomfort, as these are meant to relieve your pain not add to it. Many patients require multiple treatments, but you should start feeling a difference in a short amount of time.
Benefits of Foot Injection Therapy
Injection therapy is a possible solution for many patients because it provides many benefits.
It Works Quickly
When you compare injection therapy to the alternatives – medication or surgery – it quickly becomes obvious that a benefit is the speed with which you will start to feel relief. Because it works quickly, you will enjoy relief shortly after the injection, a welcome prospect for chronic pain and foot pain patients.
It’s Mid-Level Foot Treatment
For many patients, eventually over-the-counter medication stops working so well and harsh prescriptions bring with them harsh side effects. Surgery can be extremely effective but takes months of recovery and can be very painful. Injection therapy is a good middle ground between the two. It’s stronger than over-the-counter medication but not as intense as a surgical procedure and doesn’t have the mind-altering side effects of narcotics and opioids.
Longer Last Foot Pain Relief
One of the issues with taking medication for your pain is that the pain inevitably comes back and if you don’t take the medication on time, you’re left suffering until it takes effect. With injection therapy, you can enjoy on average three to six months of relief, rather than three to six hours. Plus, you won’t have the months of recovery from a painful surgery that may or may not work.
No one likes to get an injection. However, an injection when compared to having your foot cut open and nerves incised looks relatively easy. Thanks to the local anesthetic your Chiropodist provides, you can enjoy longer pain relief than medication without the pain of a lengthy recovery.
Downside of Foot Injection Therapy
As with any treatment, there are side effects and downsides. The same is true of injection therapy and it’s important that patients are aware of the less-desirable effects of it.
Risk of Side Effects
Every treatment has side effects. While the risk of side effects from injection therapy are minimal, they are still there and should be considered before undergoing the procedure. Things like weak tendons, nerve damage, and joint infection are all possible.
Not A Cure
While surgery isn’t a guarantee, it can provide an actual cure to your foot problem. Injection therapy doesn’t provide that possibility. It’s a treatment of your condition, not a cure. As wonderful as the relief feels, the pain will come back and you will have to continue your treatment on a schedule as determined by you and your Chiropodist.
Injection therapy, or the treatment of foot conditions through the injection of steroid solutions, is a safe and generally effective option for many patients. Once the proper treatment is decided upon and received, a patient can bask in months of pain relief. While it isn’t a cure and there is a minimal risk of side effects, injection therapy can stand as a great middle-ground between medication and surgery. With the minimal amount of discomfort and speed of recovery, injection therapy is worth talking to your Chiropodist about. Questions about foot injection therapy, contact us today.