The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons states; the cause of most heel pain can be attributed to several conditions such as tendonitis, stress fractures, arthritis, nerve damage and inflammation as well as an affliction known as Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis, also known more commonly as “heel spurs”, is when the fibrous tissue that stretches from the heel to the toes becomes inflamed. The spur itself is actually a calcium deposit that can occur by putting too much stress on this ligament which results in the formation of these deposits and causes severe pain when walking or just standing.
Occasional spates of this condition can be helped by reducing the inflammation and pain through simple applications of ice, rest, stretching and some ibuprofen, however if the condition is chronic the call for more serious treatments is warranted. Some doctors may try cortisone injections to decrease inflammation and these have been successful to some degree however a shot to the heel area can potentially create other problems like a fat pad atrophy and fascial rupture. Although this occurs in relatively few patients is does happen and can make matters even worse. Surgery is usually a last resort because it doesn’t have a big success rate and invasive procedures in this area can have complicated side-effects as well.
The latest advancements in heel pain treatments, according to Dr. Niccoli of the Alameda Family Podiatry Group in Alameda, California, have lead to TOPAZ. This treatment has proven itself to be a boon for patient with chronic plantar fasciitis and is a non-invasive alternative. TOPAZ is a FDA approved method using low- energy radio frequency that focuses on the afflicted area and induces a micro trauma which initiates the healing response. The sound waves cause the creation of blood vessels, increases oxygen supplies and improve nutrient delivery to the pain site. In essence TOPAZ, in as little as 20 minutes, can trigger a stimulation of the body’s own reaction to heal itself and relieve the symptoms of heel pain.
The TOPAZ procedure has a greater success rate compared to heel surgeries and far less complications in addition to a much faster recovery time. Patients can be showering in as little as 3 days and can expect to be back in their shoes within a week. Because there are no incisions to the fascia ligament, normal foot function is maintained. With over 5 million procedures performed, the consensus from patients has been substantial improvements and a greater appreciation for the simple act of walking or dancing – pain free.
For more information about the TOPAZ treatment for heel pain contact Dr. Niccoli through the Alameda Family Podiatry Group at (510) 521-3410 or click on http://www.drniccoli.com.
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Dr. Niccoli is a graduate of California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco and had spent his externship at Stanford University, Harvard Affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and holds a Masters degree in Medical Education. As a former Chief Surgical Resident for Coast Plaza Medical Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Niccoli has dealt with reconstructive surgeries for the feet and legs, ankle pain and degenerative joint diseases. His experience in neurological conditions, advanced biomechanics, hindfoot and ankle trauma as well as revisional surgery and sports medicine, has provided him with a vast wealth of knowledge and education that helps find solutions to each patient’s needs.