What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is an irritation and swelling of the thick tissue (plantar fascia) on the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the calcaneus (heel bone) and extending along the sole of the foot toward the five toes. The plantar fascia helps hold up the bones on the bottom of the foot, creating the arch. When this fascia becomes inflamed, it makes walking painful and difficult. The pain is usually felt on the underside of the heel and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. Plantar Fasciitis is commonly thought of as being caused by a heel spur, but research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel spurs are seen in people with and without Plantar Fasciitis.
Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include:
- Foot arch problems (both flat foot and high arches)
- History of low back pain or sciatica
- Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
- Running, extended amounts of driving or repetitive stress to the foot or leg
- Sudden weight gain
What treatments are available for Plantar Fasciitis
Western medicine typically treats Plantar Fasciitis with oral and/or injectable anti-inflammatories. These may temporarily reduce the pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis but they do not treat the cause of the problem, and by no means heal it.
Long term correction of Plantar Fasciitis is a two step process.
First: Heal the Damaged Fascia
Ending the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis requires stopping the cycle of inflammation. Class IV laser therapy is an excellent method for this, because it is presently the only modality that can both reduceinflammation and heal tissue simultaneously. Laser treatments at Align Healing Center are done with the K-laser 1200 a Class IV Laser. This laser does not cut or burn but is gently absorbed by the tissue. During Laser Therapy the infrared laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level, increasing metabolic activity and improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. This initiates the production of cellular energy (ATP) that leads to a cascade of beneficial effects, increasing cellular function and health. This creates an optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.
Second: Correct the Foot and Gait Mechanics
This involves rehabilitation ofspine as well as the arch of the foot. Arch rehabilitation is achieved by utilizing specific insoles and/or specific taping of the foot in order to re-establish proper motion of the arch while walking, then specificstrengthening and stretching exercises are used to rehabilitate of the musculature of the foot and lower leg to ensure lasting results.
At Align Healing Center we are having great success treating plantar fasciitis, sciatica, shoulder and neck pain, migraines, arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, post surgical pain, sports injuries and more; even if it’s long-term residual pain. Even arthritis and degenerative disc disease sufferers can see long term benefits from this treatment without any of the negative side effects experienced with the long term use of medications.
Dr. Niele Maimone, DC is the founder of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA. To set up a complimentary consult call 925.362.8283 or visit www.alignhealingcenter.com for more information.