Plantar Fasciitis/Foot Pain
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the bottom of the foot and around the heel that worsens after the foot is stepped on following a period of rest such as arising in the morning. Bending the toes and foot up towards the shin also results in pain in the affected area. Because plantar fasciitis is a slow-to-develop foot disorder, most people fail to seek chiropractic treatment, assuming the pain is originating from other causes. However, plantar fasciitis is actually a common disorder, with 80 percent of all heel pain attributed to plantar fasciitis. Fortunately, several chiropractic techniques are available that can relieve pain and restore your foot's range of motion.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a disorder in which the ligaments that connect with foot bones suffer micro-tears, scarring and collagen deterioration. Certain risk factors may precipitate chronic heel pain such as:
- Standing for long periods
- Increase exercise
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Inward rolling of the foot while walking
- Bone spurs
How is Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosed?
Based on symptoms described by the patient and ultrasound imaging of the affected foot, chiropractors can differentiate plantar fasciitis from similar conditions (osteoarthritis, heel pad syndrome) and initiate a treatment program specifically designed to address plantar fasciitis pain.
What Else Causes Foot Pain?
Pinched Nerve/Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Characterized by a burning, shooting pain similar to the pain felt in hands and wrists affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome results from nerve entrapment. This syndrome radiates pain from the inside of the ankle to the arch and sole of the foot.
Pain in the ball (middle part) of the foot emerges primarily from defective foot functioning, loss of fat padding on the foot's sole or from the overuse of the feet.
Tendons anchoring muscles to bone may become overused or overstretched during vigorous physical activity. The main difference between plantar fasciitis and tendonitis is that, with tendonitis, the affected tendons are painful to the touch.
Cartilage breakdown in the ankle joint, big toe joint and the subtalar joint from arthritis will cause chronic foot pain and restrict mobility of the foot.
Chiropractic Techniques to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis and Foot Pain
Chiropractors using active release technique (ART) for foot pain address damaged soft tissues by evaluating the tightness, mobility and texture of the tissues by using their hands to exert a specific amount of pressure on the tissues. As a type of therapeutic massage, ART breaks up fibrous lesions that cause pain by employing stretching motions to "release" these lesions. Patients are encouraged to be active participants during an ART session by telling the chiropractor whether his hand motions are helping the pain, doing nothing for the pain or worsening the pain.
Additionally, toe and calf stretches that promote the disintegration of fibrous lesions while improving range of motion can be taught to patients suffering plantar fasciitis. These can be done at home as a complement to active release therapy and any other treatments recommended by your chiropractor.
If you endure foot pain and/or plantar fasciitis pain daily, stop suffering needlessly and call our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ringer.