Plantar Fasciitis affects people that spend much of their time on their feet, whether that person is a waiter, professional dog walker or athlete. It is the most common cause of chronic pain beneath the heel in adults and is often treated by chiropractors. Middle-aged non-sporty women are often affected.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
In the literature, plantar fasciitis has multiple causes. This condition is usually due to long-term irritation to the Plantar Fascia directly in front of the heel on the inside of the foot caused by: unsuitable footwear, foot pronation (particularly Forefoot Varus), muscular imbalance, reduced flexibility, treading on hard surfaces, aging or obesity.
The condition may be painful for several days or several months and can re-occur and last even longer. The cause can often be unclear. Pain increases when first standing or after rest, then eases with activity, only getting worse at the end of the day. It often improves with rest (or the stopping of high-impact activities).
Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together and it mediates how our bodies are both stable and yet flows in movement. The Plantar Fascia forms part of a fascial line that starts at the big toe, passes under the foot, up the back the legs, up the back and over the head. In reality, it is connected to everything. Plantar fasciitis one of those conditions where the cause may not be where the pain is. It is important to consider the bio-mechanics of the whole body when thinking about treatment.
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
Rolling a golf ball under the affected area gently and slowly before sleep and on waking can reduce pain but permanent improvement may require getting the bio-mechanics sorted.
Treatment often involves starting with rest/ice to reduce inflammation. A chiropractor will assess the whole body and correct alignment of joints through the system. This is amazing because it promotes the flow of information through the nerves so the body can heal itself. The nerves that come from the lower back supply the groin, pelvis, legs and feet. Pelvic, knee, ankle and foot alignment is essential. Correction of muscular tension and weakness is always important. The chiropractor may also use tape or ultrasound as part of their treatment. After the initial phase of the problem, or if someone presents with a chronic or repetitive history Plantar Fasciitis then foot
orthotics may be considered. Wider lifestyle improvements such as body weight and reducing the intake of inflammatory foods may also be involved. A programme of rehab can then be used to stretch and strength the relevant muscles.
There are various aids that can assist people with plantar fasciitis. A soft pad or donut may help those with severe pain.
A chiropractor will often encourage a whole body approach that includes considerations of how we live day-to-day. Plantar fasciitis can be frustrating because it is often difficult to allow our feet the rest they need due to our busy lives. Our feet are figuratively and literally the furthest things from our minds. They deserve respect and care for carrying us about so faithfully. The persistent pain of plantar fasciitis may force us to consider what they go through and encourage us look again at how we live our lives.