What is Plantar Faciitis?
The plantar fascia is a fancy term for a thick band of tissue that connects the heel of the foot to the ball of the foot, acting like a shock absorber during normal gait patterns. It is essentially a bow string that can become incredibly taught if the arch of the foot decreases or collapses.
How do I know if I have it?
Initial signs that you may be dealing with a plantar fasciitis problem occurs immediately upon waking in the mornings, when you first place your feet on the floor and experience incredible stiffness or pain. As you move around, the pain gradually decreases, but may end up returning to a high level by the end of the day, especially if you are in an occupation where you are on your feet all day long.
Additional aspects of your life may predispose you to this condition as well. For example, if you are between the ages of 40 and 60, you are considered to be at higher risk than your counterparts for this condition. Or, if you are a distance runner or wear ill supporting footwear like flip flops or high heels, this also predisposes you to a good flare up of plantar fasciitis. Ultimately, the largest indication that you are likely to develop plantar fasciitis at some point, lies within your foot mechanics. Those people with flat feet, or overly high arches, are those that are most likely to complain of foot pain. All. The. Time.
So, is this condition treatable? Yes. Yes, it is; I promise it won’t kill you.
What are the traditional treatments for this condition?
Traditional medicine protocols usually involve seeing a Podiatrist (foot specialist). They will evaluate your condition and recommend physical therapy or stretches, with icing and rest. Night splints may also be recommended. The healing process utilizing this avenue of treatment may take several months. If the condition is severe enough, injections of a pain-relieving steroid directly into the thick bow string tissue is utilized. However, these injections usually offer only temporary relief, and if multiple injections were needed, it is not recommended as this type of medication can actually weaken the plantar fascial tissue and possibly cause it to rupture or tear. The last resort in traditional treatment for this condition is surgical in nature. The surgeon will ultimately detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone to provide relief on the taught and painful bowstring. However, this procedure leaves the foot exposed to further arch collapse as well as prone to stress fractures in the foot as there is no longer a ‘shock absorber’ in place during activity.
What additional options can KB Chiropractic offer me?
MLS Laser Therapy: This state-of-the-art technology is EXCLUSIVE to our office. It offers significantly decreased healing time by doing 4 things:
1) it decreases surrounding tissue edema that is irritating the plantar fascia
2) it decreases the inflammation of the fascia itself
3) it drastically decreases pain
4) it increases cellular capacity to heal itself and those damaged tissues.
* We have a 95% success rate for the treatment of plantar fasciitis utilizing this therapy alone.
Chiropractic Mobilization: Many times, when evaluating for plantar fasciitis, we find fixations within the bones of the feet, more specifically within the arch. By mobilizing these joint spaces, they now have proper movement during activity, allowing for proper ‘shock absorption’ of the plantar fascia.
Passive Stretching: It is all connected!!! By stretching surrounding muscles that attach to the ankle/foot, we can have a direct effect on the elasticity of the ‘bowstring.’
Active stretching and exercise techniques: There ARE things you can do to help yourself! We can show you which ones are most effective while providing guidance and modification as needed.
Electric Muscle Stimulation: This therapy provides temporary relief of pain, while also providing a decrease in the tight muscle tone of the surrounding tissues.
CBD and Biofreeze topicals: These topical lotions will absorb locally to give relief of the pain. (Trust me, they work WONDERS after a long day on your feet!)
Vibration Therapy: several studies show that vibration therapy helps to relieve pain caused my tightened tissues or fascia. The vibration actually ‘resets’ the taughtness of most ligaments, and re-establishes our normal postures.
Custom Orthotic Scans and Inserts: We utilize Foot Levelers Custom Orthotic Scans in office to provide specific and individualized support of the arches and the plantar fascia. These orthotics speak for themselves in efficacy of treatment, and come with a 2 year warranty!