What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition of the foot. It can commonly cause pain of the heel. Common symptoms include a sharp, stabbing pain, pain that is worst at rest or after being at rest.
The plantar fascia is a tendon at the bottom of the foot, and attaches to the base of the heel extending into five bands that attaches to the toes. It's role is to maintain the arch of the foot and act as a weight-bearing structure absorbing a significant daily load. When there is overuse of the plantar fascia, minor tears are formed and can create inflammation along these areas of the foot. Heel spurs can often form with patients suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Patients will often describe their pain feeling similar to a thorn or nail at the bottom of the foot and heel. The pain is especially severe in the morning after waking up from sleep or rest; the first couple of steps is extremely painful.
Plantar fasciitis is commonly seen in runners, overweight individuals, jobs that require long durations of standing and walking, as well as individuals with arthritic conditions.
Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis
If conservative treatments such as massage, rest, stretching, and orthotics is unsuccessful, most often patients will seek alternative methods of treatment, such as Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Reflexology.
Acupuncture treatments for plantar fasciitis can help by reducing pain and inflammation. An acupuncturist's treatment may involve needling, Tui Na, gua sha, cupping. The treatment will vary from patient to patient based on presenting symptoms and contributing factors that may have led to the condition. Lifestyle, diet, constitution, environment, and mental stress can all be factors that lead to the progression or development of plantar fasciitis.
For chronic plantar fasciitis (more than 3-6 months), it is recommended to have Acupuncture treatment twice a week.