Plantar fasciitis is a condition that many people might not have heard of, even though they might suffer from it. It starts as a pain in the heel and can be quite painful upon waking up and beginning movement. Many assume that they must live with it, but chiropractic adjustments are one option that has been proven to work in many cases.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. It runs along the bottom of the foot. Its purpose is to absorb shock and support the arch of the foot. When this band becomes inflamed, it is known as plantar fasciitis. The most prominent symptom of this condition is a sharp, stabbing pain in the ankle as soon as you get out of bed and take a few steps.
After you move around and walk for a short time, the pain seems to decrease on its own. Many times, the pain might return after a short time of sitting or standing. Plantar fasciitis can return at the end of the day. No one knows what causes it, but it is more common in those who are overweight and runners.
Causes and Risk Factors
The cause of plantar fasciitis is unclear in many cases, but several factors appear to be associated with it. It is thought that tension and stress on the plantar fascia cause tiny tears. As it becomes repeatedly stretched and torn, irritation and inflammation develop. Several factors seem to place you at risk for developing plantar fasciitis.
- Certain types of exercise
- Improper foot mechanics
- Standing on your feet too long
The most common age for plantar fasciitis to develop is between 40-60. It is also common among those who do exercises like aerobic dancing, running, or ballet dancing. Some people who have poor foot mechanics also have a greater tendency to develop the condition. These include people with a high arch, unusual walking gate, or flat feet.
Carrying extra weight also places strain on the tissue. Others who also get plantar fasciitis are those with occupations that require them to stand for long periods, such as factory workers or teachers. Wearing high heels can also contribute to plantar fasciitis.
Women who are pregnant can develop the condition because of the extra strain and posture changes due to the baby. Sometimes, even those who do not have any risk factors develop the condition for no apparent reason.
Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis produces heel pain that can cause difficulty when performing daily activities. One of the risks of letting it go is that the pain often causes you to alter your gate or posture. This can turn into a knee, hip, or back problem later.
Most of the time, plantar fasciitis is diagnosed using your medical history and a physical examination. The location of the pain and its pattern can also be a clue. In some cases, your physician might order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI. They typically do this to rule out other conditions, like a stress fracture or bone spur.
In most cases, plantar fasciitis will recover after a few months. Conservative treatments, such as ice, stretching, and changing activities that make the pain worse, are the first line of treatment. Some physicians might prescribe pain relievers and anti-inflammatories to relieve the symptoms as it heals.
Other therapies that might be used include:
- Physical therapy
- Splints worn at night
- Orthotics and arch supports
- Walking boot
- Walking with a cane
One of the issues with pain reducers is that they reduce the symptoms without alleviating the root cause. The best treatment options are those that focus on allowing the damaged tissue to heal. The combination of techniques used is designed to offer both fast relief and long-term opportunities for healing.
If these methods do not work, then more invasive procedures might be suggested. These include steroid injections, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, ultrasonic tissue repair, and other minimally invasive techniques. These treatment options are minimally invasive, which is preferred over surgery.
In most cases, mild or minimally invasive treatments will resolve the problem in a few months. In rare cases, the plantar fascia might become unattached to the heel bone. The surgery involves only a small incision and can be done under local anesthesia.
Chiropractic Adjustments for Plantar Fasciitis
Of course, if you have plantar fasciitis, the only thing you want is for the pain to subside, so you can get back to the things you love. It is always best to avoid surgery, if possible, and that is why many turn to chiropractic treatments for relief. Chiropractic and massage techniques for the foot and ankle were found to be effective in relieving plantar fasciitis.
Several forms of chiropractic treatment can help alleviate plantar fasciitis. Chiropractic adjustments to your spine, feet, ankles, knees, and hips. These adjustments help alleviate pressure on the bottom of your feet to give you time to heal.
Stretches are another important part of the recovery process. The purpose of these stretches is to relieve stress on the bottoms of your feet. These exercises and stretches help to reduce inflammation in your feet and allow the condition to heal over time.
The final part of treating plantar fasciitis using non-invasive means is learning new ways to move ad stand or sit. These adjustments help you learn to shift your weight, so you do not put as much strain on the bottoms of your feet. Sometimes, you might be advised to wear a splint at night to keep your feet from getting into positions that worsen the condition.
The goal of chiropractic adjustment for plantar fasciitis is to take as much stress as possible off the affected tissue. This gives the affected tissue time to heal, which reduces the inflammation that causes the problem in the first place.
The good news is that you can often avoid taking prescription medications or surgery with a chiropractic adjustment. This is not always the case, and sometimes, more invasive procedures might be recommended. The most important factor is to find a professional who specializes in treating this condition. It is also important to make sure the healing is complete, so you can return to the activities you love.
When choosing a chiropractor, it is important to find someone who is experienced in treating plantar fasciitis with non-invasive treatments. Plantar fasciitis can be chronic and interfere with your daily activities. In some cases, it might resolve in two to three months, but with proper treatment, it will often resolve much more quickly.
Taking advantage of chiropractic care for plantar fasciitis can prevent the condition from getting worse over time. Your practitioner can help you develop lifestyle changes to help prevent it from returning later. If you have been trying to cope with the condition for a long time, your spine and other joints might need chiropractic adjustment to get them back in alignment. Compensating for plantar fasciitis can cause you to walk, sit, stand, and sleep in ways that cause other symptoms to develop. Chiropractic adjustments can help to alleviate any secondary problems that have developed.
Whether you have had the symptoms of plantar fasciitis for a long time or if they just started, the best advice is to see treatment as soon as possible. Waiting only means that it will be a longer time before you can return to the activities you enjoy. It takes time for plantar fasciitis to heal, and the sooner you see a professional, the sooner you can get on the road to recovery. The good news is that you can find relief through techniques that are non-invasive and that do not require surgery.