It has been several months since my last injections into the achilles heel area of my right foot and lately I have been in considerable pain. Of course, some days are worse than others and it always seems to be the case when I go for the injections that the pain is not as bad as on other days. Perhaps hat is to make me think twice about having the prolotherapy treatment.
Of course once the injections begin there is no thinking twice. At the moment the needle is piercing a sensitive spot, even though it has been numbed with lidocain, it is not pleasant. In that moment the idea that this will hopefully eliminate the chronic pain in the foot goes away and there is instant regret. Within seconds my thoughts return to the idea that it is worth any and all fleeting to return to the pre-injury pain free days, and it all is worth it.
In order to find the right spots for the injection, the doctor presses hard on different places in the area around the most sensitive spot. Interestingly enough I am surprised to find that I have a number of sensitive spots other than the obvious ones at the insertion point where the achilles tendon enters at the bottom of the back of my foot. There are a number of sensitive spots moving up the tendon and even on the front of the ankle as well. The most sensitive spot is to the outside of the heel, where my foot rests as I press the accelerator on the car.
I lie on my back as the doctor cleans and then numbs the entire area with many shots of lidocain. These shots are with small needles and are just below the skin, so while they are not comfortable, they are not really painful either. Except the one into that sensitive spot on the side of the heel. Yowzer! We then 8-10 minutes for the medicine to work numbing the entire area.
One of the assistants said to me when I entered, “You love this stuff, don’t you?” I had to tell her that although I have had many shots, I do not like them. I like the healing they bring. “But if it was going to work, it would ahve already worked,” she says. I disagree, noting that there are many injuries that prolotherapy has already helped heal, and that I am working on the others hoping for the same relief and healing.
Still on my back, the doctor begins the prolotherapy injections into the different parts of my ankle and heel. The medicine has done its work and the area is numb so there is not that much pain from the needles. In some spots, I can feel the medicine as it is injected right on the bone where the ligament is attached. However when he injects the most sensitive spot it feels like there has been no numbing at all. The pain is intense, but the shot is quick and it passe quickly. Again, my thoughts return to the benefits and the healing that will come.
Because he has injected the area before and it is not yet healed, the doctor decides to use a stronger prolotherapy solution of 25% glucose instead of 15%. This “medicine” is meant to stimulate the body to heal itself and to strengthen the ligaments in the area, so I assume a stronger solution merely causes more inflammation which brings more healing. I am looking forward to that. I have been limping for months and the idea that pain can be cured is enticing and will worth any short term apin I might have had to endure during this visit.
I take a pain killer before bed the next morning there is not that much pain. There is always some pain the day after prolotherapy injection as the holes made by the needles are each a small wound that takes a few days to heal. I’ll limp a little today and by tomorrow I should be walking normally. And then… I’m looking forward to complete healing of the heel and foot..