What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition in which the thick band of tissue, the plantar fascia, that runs along the bottom of your foot begins to pull away from the bone, causing inflammation and pain. If left untreated, it can lead to bone spurs and debilitating pain. Patients describe the pain as feeling like a stabbing pain in the base of the heal, which is often worse first thing in the morning or after long periods of sitting down. For many people suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, the pain can be chronic and unfortunately can lead to a decrease in daily activities.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia runs between your heal and your toes and is designed to act as a shock absorber for your foot. Plantar Fasciitis is caused when repeated stress on the plantar fascia puts too much tension on it and causes it to begin pulling away from the bone. Many different activities and conditions could lead to Plantar Fasciitis. Runners, especially long-distance runners, are known to suffer from Plantar Fasciitis because of all the extra strain that they place on the plantar fascia. Dancers are also at a higher risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis. It is common among ballet dancers because so much stress is put on this area of the foot.
Athletes and dancers are not the only people with a higher risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis, however. Anyone with an improper arch in their foot, such as those who are flat-footed, are more likely to have trouble with their plantar fascia. Obesity also increases the likelihood of damage to the plantar fascia, again because of the added stress and tension. Some women find that they develop plantar fasciitis during their pregnancy from all of the added weight and stress on their feet, especially during the third trimester.
Age is another factor when it comes to Plantar Fasciitis. As with everything else, the plantar fascia becomes more worn over time, leading to a higher percentage of people over the age of 40 developing symptoms. The other group of people most at risk for developing Plantar Fasciitis are those whose occupations mean that they are on their feet most of the day. This applies to contractors, teachers, nurses, factory workers, and anyone else who spends the majority of their day standing.
What are the traditional treatment methods?
Traditional treatments of Plantar Fasciitis typically involve taking medication to relieve the pain caused by the inflammation in the plantar fascia. The medication recommended can be anything from over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin to prescription pain medication in more severe cases.
Many doctors also prescribe steroid injections in the inflamed area. While these injections can provide temporary relief, multiple injections are not recommended as they can weaken the plantar fascia permanently.
In the most severe cases, when other traditional treatments have failed, surgery may become an option. Because this is the most invasive method and can result in a weakening of arch of the foot, it is used as a last resort for many who suffer severe pain from Plantar Fasciitis.
How is Chiropractic treatment different?
Chiropractic care approaches Plantar Fasciitis from a different point of view than traditional medicine. Rather than simply trying to reduce symptoms, Chiropractic care aims to treat the underlying cause of the discomfort. After all, the symptoms are your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Quieting the symptoms, while it does offer some short-term relief, does nothing to fix the actual problem.
In order to offer long-term relief from Plantar Fasciitis, Chiropractic care works to help heal the damaged tissue of the plantar fascia and naturally reduce painful inflammation. Using a combination of techniques, a Chiropractor will able to provide fast-acting and long-lasting results.
By performing Chiropractic adjustments on the spine, a chiropractor can help to realign your spinal column, allowing for optimum functioning throughout the body, including the plantar fascia. Precise and gentle Chiropractic adjustments may also be made to the bones of the foot and ankle to ensure proper alignment there as well.
Part of your Chiropractic treatment plan may also include a series of specific stretches and exercises designed to help stretch your plantar fascia so that it is able to handle stress without tearing away from the heel bone. Orthotic shoe inserts may also be recommended to prevent further damage and reduce tension on the tissue. Follow the instructions of your Chiropractor when it comes to how much to do and for how long, every case is treated on an individual basis.
Low-Level Laser Therapy, or LLLT for short, is also being incorporated into Chiropractic treatment plans with a great deal of success. By applying low-intensity light to the affected area, this treatment not only reduces inflammation and pain but also helps to actually heal the damaged tissue itself. This amazing therapy can reverse damage from Plantar Fasciitis and help your body to be able to heal itself for long-term results.
Taping the affected foot is another proven technique used by Chiropractors to treat Plantar Fasciitis. For this treatment, 1 ½” wide white cotton athletic tape is used – you can easily find this tape in the athletic support and brace section of your local pharmacy or at many online locations. The foot needs to be wrapped every morning before you start your day and removed every night before you go to bed. For more details on how to wrap your foot, visit http://deanchiropractic.com/specialties/plantar-fasciitis/ to watch an instructional video by Dr. Dean demonstrating exactly how it’s done.
If you are suffering from the painful symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis, don’t wait for the damage to your tissue to become worse. Call a Dean Chiropractic today and set up an appointment. The sooner you are diagnosed and begin your individualized treatment plan, the sooner you will feel relief from the pain and inflammation and will be able to get back to all of the activities you enjoy the most! Don’t let Plantar Fasciitis hold you back, begin the healing process today!