Should You Get Steroid Injections For Plantar Fasciitis
Posted on Dec 07, 2016

If you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis, then you want treatment options that are effective and quick.

We completely understand - plantar fasciitis can be painful and disrupt your daily routine.

However, we also know that in your search for treatment options, you can come across conflicting information. A common treatment method for plantar fasciitis is the use of steroid injections.

So, let’s dive into injections and whether or not they truly are effective for treating pain.

How Steroid Injections Work

Typically, steroid injections are prescribed by the treating physician when other options are unsuccessful. Injections can be serious and impact you in different ways, so you want to make sure that more simple methods of treatment have been exhausted.

At the time of the injection, your doctor will insert the solution where you’re experiencing the most pain. This solution can include steroids or a combination of both steroids and numbing medications. This is generally completed with a needle attached to a syringe. Anesthetic agents may or may not be used. 

After the injection, you’ll likely experience numbness that fades after several hours. Once the numbing sensation is gone, your heel pain may persist for some time. Your doctor may advise you to remain inactive until you are comfortable again. Some people, about 2-5%, will experience ‘post injection pain syndrome’. This is when the pain actually becomes worse for a short while.

This happens because occasionally the steroid will crystallize in tissues and cause inflammation and pain. This will resolve.

The pain relief as a result of steroid injections can vary from person to person, and it is only a temporary solution.

Side Effects Of Steroid Injections

Steroid injections are not only temporary, but can lead to permanent, painful side effects. A common side effect of injections is heel pad atrophy.

Your heel pad cushions your heel and absorbs shock as you walk. This can alleviate pressure and pain on the joints. The steroids can thin this structural tissue to the point that it does not function anymore.  

Despite injections being a covered and standard treatment for plantar fasciitis, they can also contribute to plantar fascia damage. Damage to the plantar fascia can be either tearing or a complete rupture, putting you in even more pain than you started with. Steroids are well known to thin connective tissue and to weaken it.  

Finally, steroids also have the ability to cause the skin to lose pigment.  

These are just the local complications. Steroids can cause many systemic complications too such as hyperglycemia, water weight retention, hormone depression, suppression of the important adrenal-axis and more.  

That said, steroid injections are still a very well accepted and common practice in our country’s medical system. Do not be surprised if one is offered to you. But keep this information in mind as you make your decision as to whether to take that treatment or not. Another bit of information that might be important to you is that the relief from steroid injections is generally not permanent and many go on to develop the same problem again in a rather short time frame.  

Try The Healing Sole First

Dr. Meredith Warner created The Healing Sole to be an accessible solution to plantar fasciitis pain. And while it can be a simple option for you, the design of The Healing Sole is far from simple.

The Healing Sole features a rocker bottom sole that provides a gentle stretch to the plantar fascia, while redistributing the weight in the foot to avoid painful pressure points. The compressible inner heel and non-compressible outer heel reduce the stress to these points as well.

Incorporating our flip flops and sandals into your routine will improve your foot health for far longer than injections can.

With all these features and more - you’ll get the most out of The Healing Sole. This is meant to be an alternative to such expensive injections that have so many known complications.  Dr. Warner is not a fan of steroids and this idea helps her to manage people’s foot pain without them in her clinical practice.