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Plantar Fasciitis is a common cause of pain on the bottom of the foot and heel. The plantar fascia itself is a thick band of tissue that runs from your heel to your toes to support the arch of your foot and provide shock-absorption. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it commonly causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of the heel or in the arch of the foot. This pain is often worse with the first few steps in the morning and lessens throughout the day.
Certain people are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. The most common age is 40-60 years old and being overweight also adds extra stress to the tissue. Having “flat feet” or high arches can also play a role in developing this issue. The way you walk or run can change the amount of stress on the plantar fascia and increase your chances of having pain. Runners, dancers, other athletes, and people who work on their feet most of the day are more likely to have plantar fasciitis at an earlier age.
Most plantar fasciitis cases recover after a few months, but it can also result in chronic heel pain or change the way you walk putting more stress on other joints, causing problems down the line. Some other conditions can also present with similar symptoms so it is important to be evaluated by a healthcare provider to determine the cause of your pain.
Our treatment for plantar fasciitis is customized to the patient depending on the cause, severity, biomechanical factors, activity level, and any complications.
Common treatments used at Acu-Chiropractic:
- Chiropractic Adjustments: These joint mobilizations may be used to address biomechanical changes in your foot, ankle knee, hip, or low back that may contribute to increased stress on the plantar fascia.
- Graston Technique: Involves using specialized instruments to mobilize affected soft tissue to improve recovery and reduce pain (also called instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization-IASTM).
- Myofascial Release/Trigger Point Therapy: Working on the muscles of the lower leg to loosen tight muscles and fascia to take some of the strain off of the plantar fascia
- Rehab Exercises: Specific exercises may be used in the office or at home to address muscle imbalances, improve strength and endurance, or promote proper tissue healing.
- Specific Stretches: Stretches to target the plantar fascia or surrounding tissue to regain normal function.
- Rocktape (kinesio tape) or Athletic Tape: Tape may be used to support the arch of your foot, relieve stress on the plantar fascia, or address other issues.
- Electric Muscle Stimulation: A gentle current through the bottom of the foot and surrounding muscles may be used to relax the muscles and reduce pain in order to get the area ready for treatment.
- Orthotics/insoles: Premade or custom orthotics/insoles may be recommended to provide cushioning or support the arch of the foot.
Plantar Fascia-Specific Stretching Exercise Improves Outcomes in Patients with Chronic Plantar Fasciitis. Benedict F. Digiovanni, Deborah A. Nawoczenski, Daniel P. Malay, Petra A. Graci, Taryn T. Williams, Gregory E. Wilding, Judith F. Baumhauer. J Bone Joint Surg Am Aug 2006, 88 (8) 1775-1781; DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.E.01281
Tissue-Specific Plantar Fascia-Stretching Exercise Enhances Outcomes in Patients with Chronic Heel Pain. Benedict F DiGiovanni, Deborah A Nawoczenski, Marc E Lintal, Elizabeth A Moore, Joseph C Murray, Gregory E Wilding, Judith F Baumhauer. J Bone Joint Surg Am Jul 2003, 85 (7) 1270-1277; DOI:
Effectiveness of Myofascial Trigger Point Manual Therapy Combined With a Self-Stretching Protocol for the Management of Plantar Heel Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Rômulo Renan-Ordine, Francisco Alburquerque-SendÍn, Daiana Priscila Rodrigues De Souza, Joshua A. Cleland, César Fernández-de-las-PeÑas. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 2011 41:2, 43-50
Graston Instrument Soft Tissue Mobilization and Home Stretching for the Management of Plantar Heel Pain: A Case Series. Looney, Brian et al. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, Volume 34 , Issue 2 , 138 - 142