Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Plantar Fasciitis or the Agony of De-Feet

What is it 
Many years ago, I casually mentioned to a friend that I had plantar fasciitis "PLAN-tar fash-ee-EYE-tus". He said it sounded like Klingon and accused me of making up an imaginary condition. Unfortunately, it’s all too real. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the ligament that connects the heel of your foot to the toes. It’s the most common form of heel pain. It can also cause pain in the arch of the foot. 

Risk factors include tight achilles tendons, lousy shoes or broken down shoes, standing, walking or running on hard surfaces and being overweight. Pain in the back, hip or knee can cause you to change your gait leading to this condition also. 


  1. Acupuncture Get in for acupuncture twice a week. Plantar Fasciitis is one of those conditions that responds well to acupuncture on almost everybody. I usually use electrical stimulation to activate Qi and blood flow in the injured area and to loosen the fascia. 
  2. Rest Try to rest your foot or feet as much as possible to allow the tissue to repair itself. I know it’s not what you want to hear, but runners, you need to switch to swimming for a while. 
  3. Morning Stretching Every morning before you get out of bed, stretch your foot. Dorsiflect your foot, (pull your foot back toward your knee), rotate your ankle, then dorsiflect again before putting weight on your foot. Folks with an extreme case will need to do this even after having sat in a chair for any length of time. 
  4. Active Stretching The fascia that starts at your toes continues past the heel up into your calf and knee. Stretching the Achilles tendon is a vital part of healing yourself. This article does an admirable job of outlining some great stretches to get you on your way.  Note that I never recommend hanging your heel of the edge of a step because your body will be unable to completely relax the muscles and tissues of the foot and Achilles.
  5. Taping There are two kinds of taping that sufferers will benefit from. Kinesiotape is one, white athletic tape is the other. Watch the video I made about kinesiotaping here.  Kinesiotaping is not meant to provide structural support to the areas in trouble, merely to increase the Qi and blood flow.  KT Tape can be found in Walmart among the sporting goods. I sell KT tape in the clinic also. Athletic taping *is* a structural fix. I like the method outlined in this video
  6. Proper Shoes Throw those cute flip flops away. Time to grow up and buy yourself
    some shoes with proper arch support. Shoes with a low heel, such as Dasko’s, or clogs will help lessen the stress on the Achilles. Many people also swear by Birkenstocks or Doc Martins. Don’t be afraid to experiment with what works best for you. If you’re seeking orthodics, Dr. Ramzi Daloul at Community Chiropractic does a great job at fitting folks with orthodics that work. 
  7. Rolling Rolling your foot twice a day on a ball, dowel or frozen water bottle can provide some relief.
  8. Arnica Montana Using the homeopathic Arnica Montana or preparations containing Arnica, such as T-Pain Relief, are a huge help. Use an internal prepartion and a cream or gel right on the affected area. 
  9. Splinting Splints that are worn while sleeping can help some folks get relief, but many people find them uncomfortable and/or fail to find relief. 
  10. Bone Spurs Bone Spurs often complicate Plantar Fasciitis. Bone spurs respond well to e-stim with acupuncture. There are herbal plasters and oral preparations that can be of great benefit for this condition. Supplementing your diet with Magnesium is also a must.
  11. Deep Tissue Massage can also be a benefit this condition.
  12. Conventional Medicine MDs usually recommend PT and/or a steroid injection. Although most patients benefit from PT, many fail to get the results they are hoping for. Steroid injections can cause the ligament to rupture, so I don’t recommend that route! 

Left Hand Community Acupuncture is located in the heart of Old Town Lafayette 
at the corner of Simpson St. and Michigan Ave. LHCA offers an affordable sliding scale of $25-$55. We do not ask for proof of income. You decide what you feel is fair to you and fair to us. We treat patients in a relaxed, group setting that promotes an atmosphere of healing. Caroline Adams is a Licensed Acupuncturist and nationally 
board certified. Acupuncture can help with a wide range of health issues including pain, stress, insomnia, arthritis, allergies, depression, headaches, fatigue, cold and flu, digestive issues, PMS, and many other health concerns.



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