When a person thinks of a chiropractor, they usually think that the only thing a chiropractor does is treat back and neck pain. Of course, this isn't true. In this article I am going to tell you about one of the most common problems today which can be treated successfully by a chiropractor and is neither a back nor neck problem. Plantar fasciitis is a problem that affects thousands of people every year and can also cause a disability among most that have it. It is a strain or tear in the plantar fascia that resides in the bottom of the foot. It is also known as heel spur syndrome even though a heel spur is not always present.
The cause of plantar fasciitis can be due to abnormal heel impact in the gait cycle, rapid stopping or starting, ill-fitting shoes, or a leg length discrepancy. It is often associated with walking, running, tennis, gymnastics, soccer, and basketball. Symptoms include increase pain with weight bearing, and medial heel pain. A burning sensation on the bottom of the foot may also be present. Pain is originally worse when getting out of bed or after long rest periods due to ligaments getting cold or shortened. Plantar pain increases with running or toe rise. Pain increases at the end of the day or running on hard surfaces.
The good news about plantar fasciitis is that it can be treated conservatively. During the beginning phases of treatment ultrasound is used followed by ice and stretching exercises. Also, since the majority of the cases involve flat feet, low arches, and/or faulty foot mechanics, orthotics may be necessary, and most of the time can fix the problem. As the pain decreases, a more aggressive approach can be done consisting of myofascial release, stretching, massage, manipulation, and Gua-shaw all of which I do in my office. This is done in correlation with rehab consisting of isometric training and balance boards to increase propioception. In runners, a return to running should start as soon as symptoms will allow and should be done in small increments with ice afterwards. There are also some nutritional protocols I use to help with the healing process. Home care consists of avoiding sprinting or running up hill and on uneven surfaces. One should also look for shoes with a close fitting heel, a supportive arch, and good shock absorption.
Thank you and have a healthy day!