Plantar Fasciitis and Chiropractic

First thing in the morning, you get out of bed, put your feet on the floor and BAM! You get a searing pain in the undersurface of your heel. As you walk around it seems to get better. You most likely have plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia, also known as the plantar aponeurosis, is a thickened connective tissue band that holds the arch of the foot.

When you suffer from plantar fasciitis, there is inflammation (that’s what “-itis” means) of the fascia. Usually the pain is found where the fascia attaches to the heel. That is not necessarily the case, however, a study of 2,666 patients found the pain can regularly occur anywhere along the fascia.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Plantar Fasciitis

Here are some of the reasons you might consider visiting a chiropractor for plantar fasciitis, as well as some doctor-recommended advice for getting treatment at the source of the pain!

Adjusting Posture

Chiropractic care can help you deal with one significant contributing factor to plantar fasciitis, which is bad posture. The way you walk and the amount of impact generated by your feet because of your body posture can worsen or contribute to plantar fasciitis. A good chiropractor can help you improve your posture, which will in turn improve the way your feet feel as you walk or move!

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis in one foot more than the other, it could be that your weight isn’t very balanced across your feet–which bear that weight. A chiropractor can help realign and balance your body so that the weight is distributed more evenly and isn’t falling more heavily on one foot versus the other, allowing the affected foot to heal more quickly and reducing the chance of symptoms recurring.

Physical Activity Level

Chiropractic care can help you feel well in other ways besides balancing your weight and improving your posture. Eliminating aches and pains in your back, neck, and shoulders, can help you feel more positive about your health and life in general, which can in turn encourage you to follow through with simple exercises that will help you heal more quickly from plantar fasciitis.

Doctor Recommended Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

While chiropractic care can have many benefit when it comes to plantar fasciitis, particularly by improving your posture and alignment, don’t forget to focus on the doctor-recommended treatment methods that will get you back on your feet. Make sure you spend adequate, consistent time each day doing simple stretches, supporting your feet by wearing slip-in orthotics, icing your heels and feet regularly, taking anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen to reduce inflammation, and making sure you adequately rest your feet. The more consistent you are by combining these proven treatments–along with chiropractic care if you find that it helps you–the quicker you’ll feel better!

When you choose a chiropractor for plantar fasciitis, make sure you select a provider who sets realistic expectations about what he or she can accomplish in helping you heal. Steer clear of anyone who promises to “heal your plantar fasciitis in X sessions” or who promotes himself or herself as a one-stop cure.

We encourage our clients to take a holistic approach to their health–which means taking a whole-body approach to healing from plantar fasciitis. If you suffer from bad posture or an unbalanced alignment that you think might be contributing to your plantar fasciitis, visiting a chiropractor may be a great option for you!

Before we go into what you probably don’t know about plantar fasciitis, let’s cover what you probably do know:

  1. Wear a cushioning shoe with an arch support. Plantar fasciitis is found more often in over pronators. Over pronators, or people with fallen arches, will stretch out the fascia more.
  2. Increasing your running distance or being overweight increase your risk. These things place extra demand on the plantar fascia. If you’re carrying a little extra weight work towards trimming down. If you are a runner be sure to follow the 10% rule, which states never increase your distance any more than 10% week to week. This will allow your support structures time to adapt to the increased demands.
  3. Rest is required. Rest is required for proper recovery. If you start working out too soon you simply risk missing more time from your sport.
  4. Run on soft ground. When running on a hard surface like the sidewalks, you will stretch out your fascia more. Soft ground is a more forgiving surface.

Those are the basics and if you’ve read anything about this condition undoubtedly you’ve come across the above advice. But what about the info you probably haven’t heard:

  1. Calf stretches are needed. Over tight calf muscles lead to excessive pronation. You need to stretch out the two main muscles of the calf; the gastrocnemius and the soleus. There are three stretches that any good sports injury practitioner should provide.
  2. Heel SpurHeel spurs do not cause plantar fasciitis. It used to be thought that bony spurs found on the bone of the heel caused plantar fasciitis. However, there is no correlation between heel pain and the presence of a bony spur. Many people who never have had plantar fasciitis have heel spurs. The finding of a heel spur is an incidental finding but is often identified  (incorrectly) as the source of the pain. So if you have a spur, fear not, with proper treatment you should be able to recover form plantar fasciitis and return to activity.
  3. Ultrasound is useless for treating plantar fasciitis. Again, you might find this surprising because this treatment is used so commonly. A clincial study conducted by the medical department at the University of Sheffield and the London Foot Hospital found that ultrasound treatment was no more effective than a fake treatment.
  4. Fixations in the ankle bones may be the ultimate cause of your pain. Your ankle consists of 7 bones. Proper walking and running mechanics depend on normal motion between these bones. Fixations, also known as misalignments, of these bones will result in their work being put on the neighbouring plantar fascia. This results in plantar fasciitis. You can read the research here. Find yourself a chiropractor experienced in dealing with sports injuries to have your mechanics tested.
If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, give Dr. Brody at Personalized Chiropractic Care, Woodland Hills, 818 887-2225.