Plantarfascitis is one cause of foot pain. It is not unusual for patients to ask me if pain in their heel or sole of their foot is plantarfascitis. Some times it is, and sometimes it isn’t. Luckily there are low tech tests that help me tell the difference between say plantarfascitis or neuropathy. Below is the definition and causes of plantarfascitis and natural, drug-free treatments that are available.
What is plantarfascitis?
The classic presentation of plantarfasciitis is a sharp heel pain that radiates along the bottom of the foot. The pain is often worse when getting out of bed in the morning or when standing up after sitting for awhile. I have also seen presentations where the foot pain is over the entire bottom of the foot. Or, it can be in the center of the bottom of the heel or to the back portion. The pain can also be over the inside portion or outside portion of the heel. I find that the area that hurts often has something to do with what is actually the cause of the pain. People who run or are on their feet a lot can get plantarfascitis, but really, anybody can get it. The good news is that 95% of these people can be helped with conservative care and not need surgery.
What causes plantarfascitis?
Plantarfasciitis develops when repetitive use irritates and inflames the tough connective tissues along the bottom of the foot. The person’s foot may roll in too much (pronate) or roll out too much (supinate). This rolling causes stress on the sole of the foot that can lead to plantarfascitis. Dropped arches or flat feet can contribute to plantarfascitis. Calf muscles that are too tight are also a common cause of plantarfascitis.
Some natural treatments for plantarfascitis
- temporary taping of the foot helps in some cases
- Lessen the amount of activity (don’t run as much) to ease stress on the hurt foot/feet.
- Ice massage or ice packs can reduce pain and inflammation. I suggest my patients put a plastic water bottle in the freezer, then take it out a couple times a day and roll their foot over the frozen bottle for an easy ice massage.
- Here at the office, ultrasound can help along with transverse friction massage.
- Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is a natural anti-inflammatory and can speed healing.
- Chiropractic adjustment of the foot joints can also be helpful along with correcting any imbalances that are found in the hips and back
- Orthotics to correct the foot bio-mechanics are often needed for long term correction and prevention of plantarfascitis.
- Wearing properly supportive shoes helps as well
If you are suffering from foot pain, it is wise to seek a proper diagnosis and treatment sooner rather than later. It is important to find out if you have a condition more concerning than plantarfascitis such as neuropathy which is a form of nerve damage. Also, the longer plantarfascitis persists, the harder it is to treat and the longer it takes to resolve the condition. Here at Blomerth Chiropractic and Neuropathy Northshore at Blomerth Chiropractic, we have successfully treated these conditions for years. Or if we find you need some medical attention for a more serious condition, we have local podiatrists that we regularly refer patients to as well.
So, if you are suffering with foot pain, don’t wait to get it looked at. We are here to help if you need it. Give us a call at 978-535-6155 to request an appointment.
*From the article: Plantar Fasciitis by John K. Hyland, DC, DACBR, DABCO, CSCS in the November 2016 edition of The American Chiropractor