Fitness professional, former collegiate athlete and Air Force veteran Julia Karlstad referred several clients over the years to the Non-Surgical Center of Texas. Then, she found herself in need of Dr. Annette Zaharoff’s pioneering Regenerative Medicine services.

I’ve been battling chronic plantar fasciitis in my right foot for years. It started in college when I played basketball for the Air Force Academy. It got worse during my time in the military, because we didn’t have the best shoes for foot support.

Then I ruptured my plantar fascia about a year and a half ago playing basketball. I was in and out of a boot for over a year, and I was definitely still dealing with serious side effects. I was trying to do my job as a fitness professional and maintain my sanity with the decreased mobility. I couldn’t run on it at all. I was in constant pain, hitting a 7 or an 8 on a scale of 10 by the end of the day. I was favoring my “good” foot and came very close to getting a stress fracture.

The main doctor I was seeing did not recommend surgery and another doctor who evaluated me did recommend surgery. I wanted to avoid surgery and I also knew I had to fix this foot. So, I decided to go see Dr. Zaharoff. I was familiar with the concept of PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) Injections, but I didn’t know if they could help my foot or not. I also knew Dr. Z was one of the pioneers in administering Regenerative Medicine treatments, especially here in San Antonio. I figured if anyone could help me, she could.

The initial meeting with Dr. Z was very good. She sat down and took the time to really listen to me. She definitely did a very thorough manual evaluation of my foot. I felt comfortable.

Dr. Z told me she definitely thought I was a good candidate for PRP Injections. She explained her treatment plan for my foot, and we scheduled the first round of injections for August 2018.

I am not going to lie: When I walked out of her office after those injections, I was really nervous and I was in a lot of pain. I walked out on crutches after something like 15 different injections.

I followed most of her recommendations from a physical therapy standpoint; I didn’t run and didn’t do any high-impact training. In November of 2018 (4 months after treatment), I started to run. In fact, I completed a 5-mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day and maintained an 8-minute mile pace. My foot didn’t hurt at all that day. There was a little pain the next day, but it didn’t last. I’m still recovering. Today I’m running anywhere from five to 10 miles a week.

My right foot is still not as healthy as the other foot because there is some structural damage the PRP Injections cannot fix. But my foot has not felt this good in years. I can’t remember when it felt better.

I am ecstatic. I’m not favoring my left foot anymore. I used to always be aware of my right foot, about the pain and making adjustments for the chronic plantar fasciitis. I don’t think about it anymore, so I am definitely an extremely happy patient.

Author and health and fitness professional Julia Karlstad (M.Ed., CSCS-NSCA, SFN-ISSA) is the owner of JKFITNESS (, named Best Fitness Studio in 2018 and 2019 by San Antonio Magazine. The Air Force veteran captain is the mother of two beautiful young children.