Upon speaking with our practice members with foot related discomfort, they have either been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis through another provider or have self-diagnosed their symptoms, but are often unfamiliar with what plantar fasciitis really is. Plantar fasciitis is the is the inflammation of the fascia, or connective tissue, that surrounds and protects the muscle layers of the base of the foot. Typically, patients will complain of discomfort over the bottom of the foot – specifically over the heel near the arch. This is because the plantar fascia attaches to the ball of the foot and the heel of the foot. The discomfort most often begins near the heel, but can also move throughout the inner side of the arch/foot and to the ball of the foot.
Typical causes include:
– Overuse. Often associated with distance running or increased physical activity.
– Poor Gait. Have you noticed a recent change in how you run or walk?
– Inadequate Support. Make sure to replace old tennis shoes. You may need arch supports if you find you walk more on the outside or inside of your foot – are your feet pronated or supinated?
– Recent Weight Gain/Obesity.
– Subluxations. Often adjustments will be performed to the navicular and the first metatarsal phalangeal joints.
Chiropractors have many tools to aid in the reduction of discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis.
- Adjustment of the foot and ankle bones. Chiropractic adjustments to these regions allow for better motion between the soft tissues and the joints of the foot, many of which are required during motion – especially during activities like running.
- Myofascial Techniques such as Graston, FAKTR and/or manual release. These techniques all work to break up and strip away the scar tissue in the area of complaint and allowing the body to more properly heal – decreasing scar tissue build up and increasing mobility.
- Therapeutic Ultrasound. Ultrasound is often used for deep heating of the structures in the foot including, tendons, muscles and ligaments. Heating of these structures is thought to help the healing process and aid in reduction of discomfort.
- RockTape. Plantar fascial tapings are a common way to help alleviate symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Functional tapings are a great way to promote healing, add support and reduce stress to the plantar fascia.
- Suggestions in stretching and exercises.
- Referral for evaluation and/or recommendation for orthotics.
Working together, you and your chiropractor can get you back to a more functional, pain-free level of activity in a shorter amount of time.