Chiropractic & Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

 

Did you know that chiropractic care can significantly reduce the pain associated with plantar fasciitis?

When speaking with my patients, many of them know that they have been diagnosed with foot pain called plantar fasciitis, but are unfamiliar with what it is.  Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia – specifically the fascia, or connective tissue that protects the muscles and layers of the foot just beneath the fat pad and skin on the bottom of the foot.  The typical place to have pain is just before the arch on the heel side of the foot.  This is because the plantar fascia attaches at the ball of the foot and the calcaneus, or the main bone making up the heel.  The pain can travel all the way up the arch of the foot on the inner side, and to the ball of the foot as well.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

There are several ways the inflammatory process of plantar fasciitis can start:

  • overuse as with distance running without properly fitted shoes, foot bones that are out of place, or inadequate gait for length of run time
  • weight gain, obesity
  • improper training techniques
  • lack of mobility or slide between the skin, fat, fascia and muscles in the foot

How does a chiropractor treat plantar fasciitis?

Chiropractic care can help plantar fasciitis by treating the cause.  Typically, an individual that comes into my office with plantar fasciitis has one of the above causes going on. Second, the activity is not stopped so the fascia does not have adequate time to heal.  This does not mean, however, that when you have plantar fasciitis that you should stop your activities – and that is where chiropractic comes in.

  • Chiropractic adjustments to the foot – chiropractic adjusting includes any joint in the body, not just joints in the spine.  It is possible to move the bones in the foot in order to achieve better motion between the layers of skin, fat, fascia and muscle as well as the bones and the motion required to do activities like running.
  • Gua sha therapy – this Eastern Asian myofascial technique is the stripping of scar tissue in a localized area, such as an insertion site of fascia to the bone, that breaks up the scar tissue so that the body can use it’s innate healing ability to resorb the scar tissue and increase mobility of the area.  Typical treatment is done with a blunt instrument such a porcelain dumpling or won-ton spoon. Results are usually seen within a few weeks and can greatly increase the mobility of the fascia and decrease scar tissue build up dramatically.   Treatment time is typically under one minute.
  • Fascial Movement Taping – similar to kinesiology taping, fascial movement taping can allow for healing response to endure movement, so it is ideal for people who cannot stop doing a physical job or an athlete.  Application can be done in a few minutes and the tape can stay on the skin for up to a week, even with showering and dressing and undressing.

 

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