“Is that what you meant to say?” Plantar Fasciitis is what active adults are “wearing?” Yes, it’s true. More and more people are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis and it’s keeping them out of the game; off walks or even everyday walking, working, enjoying social activities, sports or necessary errands and shopping. If you have foot pain in your heel or the length of one or both of your feet that can be anything from an ache to an excruciating, debilitating pain in which you might not even be able to stand, you may be suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Plantar Fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. As you get up and move, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting. (Mayo Clinic, 2019)
How did I get Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners and athletes although, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support also have an increased risk. If you spend a lot of time on your feet like factory workers or medical personnel you can also contract this disorder. Your plantar fascia is in the shape of a bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot and absorbing shock when you walk. If tension and stress on this bowstring become too great, small tears can occur in the fascia. Repeated stretching and tearing can irritate or inflame the fascia, although the cause remains unclear in many cases of plantar fasciitis. (Mayo Clinic, 2019)
What is the Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis?
Treatment for plantar fasciitis can be treated medically in many ways. Some of these treatments are stretches and strengthening, corticosteroids injections, anti-inflammatory agents, night-splints, arch supports and orthotics and shoes with supportive qualities.
Stretches and strengthening involve use of a slant board stretching the calf. Dynamic stretches such as rolling the foot arch over a 15-oz size can or a tennis ball, cross-friction massage and towel stretching may be done before getting out of bed to stretch the plantar fascia. Corticosteroid injections are usually reserved for recalcitrant cases. Potential risks include rupture of the plantar fascia and fat pad atrophy. Anti-inflammatory agents include ice and NSAIDs. Night splints usually are designed to keep a person’s ankle in a neutral position overnight. Most individuals naturally sleep with the feet plantar-flexed, a position that causes the plantar fascia to be in a foreshortened position. A night dorsiflexion splint allows passive stretching of the calf and the plantar fascia during sleep. Theoretically, it also allows any healing to take place while the plantar fascia is in an elongated position, thus creating less tension with the first step in the morning. Over-the-counter arch supports may be useful in patients with acute plantar fasciitis and mild pes planus. The support provided by over-the-counter arch supports is highly variable and depends on the material used to make the support. Custom orthotics are usually made by taking a plaster cast or an impression of the individual’s foot and then constructing an insert. (Young, Rutherford, Niedfeldt, 2019) While these remedies may or may not give relief for plantar fasciitis, the results are not immediate or even felt within a short period of time. They are often long-term remedies although some like stretching, supportive footwear and orthotics are good to keep plantar fasciitis at bay post-treatment.
Functional Medicine is a relationship between a patient and their physician looking at more than just the symptoms of a given disorder but discovering the core reasoning for the condition and what can be done to reduce or elieviate symptoms. This could be through testing to check for other related disorders such as peripheral neuropathy, diabetes and more. Blood and other tests, medical history, review of lifestyle, environmental factors and diet are reviewed before a treatment plan is devised. Then, the patient and the doctor develop that treatment plan to possibly include not only therapy but supplementation, diet and lifestyle changes. This would also include post-treatment care of the feet including rest from hard surfaces and long-term standing, supportive footwear and appropriate exercise.
Shockwave or Pressure Wave therapy is also known as extracorporeal therapy. Benefits can often be experienced after only 1-2 treatments! Shockwave uses high energy soundwaves delivered to the injury site. The treatment works by helping to improve the regenerative potential enhancing blood circulation to regenerate damaged tissue. Shockwave pressure interacts with these painful spots accelerating tissue repair, relieving pain and restoring mobility*.
Cold Laser Therapy
In Cold Laser therapy the lasers emit coherent light that is applied to the affected area. This low-level laser light initiates increased micro circulation and enhanced tissue regeneration reducing pain and inflammation and increasing range of motion*.
PEMF therapy loosens tight muscles and fascia that cause pain. PEMF improves the flow of red blood cells, increases oxygen, reduces inflammation and pain and aids in tissue regeneration*.
To learn more call Michigan Health and Wellness for a FREE consultation. Functional Medicine, Functional Neurology, and their relation to the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis are managed by our clinical director, Dr. Tony Aboudib, DC. Dr. Aboudib attended post-graduate studies at Carrick Institute for graduate studies in clinical neuroscience, American Functional Neurology Institute, Functional Medicine University, Institute of Functional Medicine and Kharrazian Institute for graduate studies. For more information call 231-421-5213 or go to our website www.michiganhealthandwellness.com
*All therapies for Plantar Fasciitis are non-invasive, require no anesthesia and no down time.
Plantar Fasciitis. Mayo Clinic. (2019, n.a.) Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354846
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis. Young, Craig, Rutherford, Darin, Niedfeldt, Mark. (2019). American Family Physician. Retrieved from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0201/p467.html.