What Can I Do About My Foot Pain – Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects the heel bone to the base of the toe. It provides support from the heel to the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia ligament becomes inflamed.
Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition, as it is estimated that around one in ten people will experience plantar fasciitis symptoms at some point in their life. This condition can affect a person’s mobility and overall ability to do perform daily activities without assistance.
Though plantar fasciitis usually causes foot pain, often nerves will also become irritated and cause pain to radiate up the ankle bone.
Some common causes of plantar fasciitis include:
- Posture mistakes – A common posture mistake that can cause plantar fasciitis is rolling the feet inward and outward excessively and frequently while standing or walking
- Walking, standing and/or running on hard surfaces for long periods of time
- Using the wrong shoes that don’t fit well or don’t provide adequate cushioning
- Exercising mistakes. For example, exercising without properly stretching the calves
- Arthritis can cause tendons and joints to become inflamed, contributing to plantar fasciitis
- Certain types of exercises that place a lot of stress on the heel and attached tissue
- Unusual foot or walking position. An atypical walking pattern, for example, can affect the weight distribution pattern, putting extra stress on the plantar fascia
Higher At Risk
Those who have predisposed risk factors are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis. Those at higher of a risk are:
- Pregnant women experiencing pregnancy-related changes in the body that can cause plantar fasciitis
- People with high arched or flat feet
- People who are overweight
- Men and women between the ages of 40 and 70 with age-related deterioration
- People whose jobs require them to stand or walk on hard surfaces for long periods of time
Plantar fasciitis, or often called policeman’s heel, is an easily diagnosable condition by its distinct symptoms of:
- Sharp stabbing or burning pain affecting the bottom of the heel or the arch of the foot
- Prolonged heel pain
- Heel pain that increases after exercising
- An unusually tight Achilles’ tendon
To diagnose plantar fasciitis, doctors perform a physical exam which involves checking for tenderness in the foot. Your doctor will want to determine the exact origin of the pain, to help rule out that the pain is being caused by a different foot problem.
During the physical exam, your doctor may ask you to flex your foot while they push on the plantar fascia ligament to check if the pain gets worse as you flex and subsides as you point your toe. Your doctor will also check the affected area for redness and mild swelling.
You doctor may perform additional tests to check your muscle tone, reflexes, coordination, balance, and sense of touch and sight. This is done to help evaluate the strength of muscles and health of the nerves. Your doctor may order an X-ray or MRI to check if something other than an inflamed plantar fascia is what is causing your pain.
Once you have your diagnosis, finding a plantar fasciitis treatment near you, in a timely manner, is extremely important. If plantar fasciitis is left untreated, it can cause chronic pain. Heel pain can force you to change the way you walk, which in turn can increasing your risk of other problems such as back, foot, knee, or hip pain.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help?
Many people with plantar fasciitis use chiropractic care to help manage their symptoms. Chiropractic care is a great alternative to invasive plantar fasciitis treatment options near you. When performed by a trained professional, chiropractic solutions are 100% safe and can help reduce dependency on medication for pain.
Chiropractors use manipulation techniques to take pressure off the plantar fascia tendon, allowing it to relax. Your chiropractor may also recommend stretch exercises and lifestyle changes to help alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis.
Studies show that chiropractic care can help manage pain throughout the entire body, including pain affecting the plantar fascia, by allowing better communication between the nerves and brain.
Many chiropractors use hot and cold therapy to promote blood flow, reduce inflammation, and help muscles relax. Depending on the nature of you pain, your chiropractor may alternate heat and cold therapy, or use one of the two therapies to alleviate plantar fasciitis symptoms.
People with plantar fasciitis often try to adjust their gait in order to avoid pain. A change in your step can put stress on other parts of the body, and lead to other problems such as strained muscles and sore joints down the road. Chiropractic care can alleviate pain, allowing those with plantar fasciitis to walk and stand properly.
Chiropractic care can be used as a standalone therapy, or in conjunction with other treatment solutions. When used as an adjunct, chiropractic care increases the effectiveness of pain injections and massage therapy.
Plantar fasciitis can prevent a person from living their life to the fullest. People with plantar fasciitis likely avoid activities that cause their pain to flare. Chiropractic care can help reduce pain, allowing patients to get back to the activities they enjoy, and avoid the stress of worrying about pain.
Chiropractic care targets the root cause of pain, rather than just treating symptoms of the condition. This helps ensure the patient a long-term relief plan from plantar fasciitis.
How long does it take for chiropractic care to start working? This is one of the most common questions plantar fasciitis patients ask their chiropractors. In many cases, patients begin experiencing chiropractic care benefits after their very first treatment.