So, you might wonder if chiropractic can help with plantar fasciitis. That’s reasonable given that the feet are as far from the spine as you can get.
You might be surprised at the relationship between the feet, plantar fasciitis, and chiropractic. Plantar Fasciitis like most neurological and skeletal issues is due to a combination imbalance and improper mechanics causing significant stress, in this case to the lower leg and foot.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that affects the heel of the foot. This pain usually feels like a dull ache but can be more intense, like a throbbing pain. The pain is experienced at the base of the heel and is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia. This is the ligament on the bottom of your foot that stretches from your heel to your toes. This pain is frustrating to say the least as it can often be very resistant to improvement. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to correct this imbalance and resolve the symptoms.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
We’ve already covered what plantar fasciitis is but what causes it? There are a number of possible causes ranging from trauma to the foot and ankle to an alteration in how you walk due to imbalances in the foot, knee, hip, pelvis or low back.
Regardless of what initiates the process the result is always very similar. The calf muscles tighten up and pull on the heel bone or calcaneus. Or, the calcaneus moves back and in response the calf muscles tight.
This results in increased tension in the bottom of the foot in the plantar fascia. Over time this pulls on the heel and can result in a heel spur. The fascia gets inflamed and begins a cycle of pain that can be very challenging to stop.
3 Ways Chiropractic Can Help Solve Plantar Fasciitis
#1 Adjust the Foot: Almost universally the heel bone or calcaneus needs to be adjusted to restore proper motion when you walk and to take tension off the plantar fascia. Often this adjustment should be supported by short term taping of the foot with special tape to keep the calcaneus from shifting backward. Often other joints in the foot and ankle as well as knee need to be adjusted as well to restore proper motion.
#2 Balance the Hips, Pelvis, and Lumbar Spine: Since this is an issue tied intimately with your gait or walking mechanics we can’t stop at adjusting the foot and ankle. Whether the problem originated in the pelvis and lower back or in the foot doesn’t matter. The biomechanics of all those joints involved in walking need to be addressed and corrected.
#3 Stretch Your Feet and lower legs: As noted previously plantar fasciitis creates a constellation of imbalances and solving this problem involves restoring proper function to the joints and muscles of the lower back, pelvis, legs, and feet.
Since plantar fasciitis involves the calf muscles tightening up, even after proper joint function is restored it is essential to stretch and massage the muscles and fascia of the calves and feet.
You can roll a tennis ball under the arch of your foot, being careful not to put too much pressure on the heel. Stretching the calves is also essential. Start slowly as it is impossible to stretch the calves without putting the plantar fascia under tension. .
What Else Can You Do?
Plantar fasciitis pain tends to be particularly painful when getting up out of bed in the morning or after sitting for a while. Avoid standing and walking barefoot. Get a pair of well cushioned athletic shoes that you can either remove the laces or loosen them enough to easily slip in. When standing up first in the morning make sure to have something with a lot of cushion under your feet.
Plantar Fasciitis is an excellent example of a condition that you need to address all the underlying imbalances. If you focus solely on pain relief, whether with oral pain relievers or a cortisone shot, the problem will continue to worsen. This underscores how critical it is to have pain free feet in order to do even the simplest of tasks.
Bill Berkowitz, DC
Bringing more than 3 decades of practice experience, Dr. Bill Berkowitz focuses on balancing and corrective care, applying his expertise to provide patients with predictable, repeatable and measurable results.
Dr. Bill consistently strives to enhance the well-being of his patients by addressing the root imbalances of their problems and promoting optimal balance, alignment, and function of the spine and nervous system. His commitment to delivering corrective chiropractic care has earned him a reputation for excellence among both colleagues and patients alike.
Bill’s wealth of knowledge and experience has allowed him to develop a nuanced understanding of the human body and its intricate connections. With each adjustment, he supports the body in returning to a state of balance that goes beyond mere symptom relief, focusing instead on long-term correction for his patients’ well-being.
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