If you’re suffering from chronic pain or a recent injury, many doctors might recommend an injection of cortisone. While this can provide a rapid reduction in the severity of your symptoms that can last weeks or even months, it’s still just a temporary solution. It doesn’t heal the injury; it only makes you feel better for a while.
Amniotic tissue injections are different. This advanced regenerative treatment not only aids swift pain relief, but actually provides your body with the essential ingredients necessary to accelerate and complete the healing process. Just one injection can provide significant, lasting relief in many cases—especially when incorporated into a comprehensive treatment plan with other conservative therapies like shockwave, orthotics, or physical therapy.
What Are Amniotic Tissue Injections and How Do They Work?
The products we use are made from amniotic and placental tissue that has been voluntarily donated, purified, dehydrated, and preserved. (It’s important to clarify here that the tissue gathering process is 100% safe for both mothers and babies. Tissue is taken only from pre-screened donors after healthy, scheduled C-section births, and would otherwise have been discarded.)
Why amniotic and placental tissue? There are a couple of big reasons:
- It’s packed with regulatory proteins, growth factors, and other essential ingredients that are critical for your body’s natural cellular repair processes. This not only helps your body quickly deal with pain and inflammation, but actually heal itself faster.
- Amniotic injections have been shown to act as a “stem cell magnet,” drawing more of your body’s own stem cells to the injured tissue to jump-start the healing process.
- Amniotic and placental tissue by its nature is “immune-privileged,” meaning that it’s protected against attack from the immune system. This is to ensure that the fetus is not threatened by an immune response from the mother’s body—but it also means that you are extremely unlikely to develop any significant negative reaction or rejection from an injection. (No negative side effects have been directly attributed to the product.)
What Conditions Can Be Treated with Amniotic Tissue Injections? Am I A Candidate?
Amniotic tissue injections are often a great choice for patients with any kind of condition that results in pain from damage to soft tissues (muscle, ligament, tendon). This includes most forms of heel pain (including plantar fasciitis and tendinitis) and many foot and ankle sports injuries.
Although these injections may be a recommended treatment for patients with a wide range of ages and activity levels, it may be especially beneficial for:
- Athletes who want to return to their sports season as quickly as possible
- People who work on their feet or have other active hobbies
- People who have tried other conservative therapies without success, and are looking for a better option that isn’t surgery
Most people will only require a single injection, although other treatments (such as physical therapy or orthotics) may also be recommended based on the causes and severity of your condition.
Because the injections elicit an inflammatory response, pain and soreness may be present at the injection site for 2-3 days afterward, but most people tolerate this very well.
There are no special preparations you need to make before your appointment, and you will be able to go home immediately afterward. There are no specific aftercare instructions either, although icing the injection site and keeping your feet elevated can help with any short-term discomfort you might be experiencing.
Many people report significant improvement in their symptoms within just one week of their injection. And again, because amniotic injections actually help heal the tissues, that relief can last indefinitely.
That said, please do understand that it may take up to 12 weeks to receive the full therapeutic benefit from the injection, as the tissues continue to heal. After some initial improvement you might feel like the treatment has “stalled out” after a month or two, but in most cases you just need to wait a little longer.
Pain can also return if the fundamental causes (such as structural foot problems, poor footwear, or training mistakes) are not addressed. Don’t worry, though: identifying and rectifying such causes will also be part of our comprehensive treatment recommendations!
At Rainier Foot & Ankle Associates, we think our patients deserve the absolute best. That’s why Dr. Bock chose to open an independent practice, and why our commitment to personalized care and cutting-edge treatment options will never waver.
Whether amniotic tissue injections are right for you, or a different treatment approach would be best, we will always take the time to fully evaluate your situation, discuss all your options with you, and help you make an informed choice about your health care.
To take the next step toward relieving your pain for good, please call our Enumclaw, WA office at (360) 761-1285, or complete our online appointment request form today.