Do you have heel pain as soon as you step out of bed in the morning? If you do, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis. At our Indianapolis chiropractic clinic, we often treat patients for this ailment.
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes, creating the arch of the foot. A variety of factors can cause this tissue to become irritated and inflamed, such as:
1. Age. With maturity, typically ages ranging from 40 to 60 years old, this ailment becomes more dominant.
2. Physical activity. Overdue stress on the calves and feet can cause plantar fasciitis and heel pain.
3. Poor foot formation. Having high arches, or even being flat-footed, can cause heel pain.
4. Obesity. Increased weight creates increased demand on the plantar fascia, which in turn causes increased tissue irritability.
In most cases, patients experience their symptoms first thing in the morning, literally with the first step they take out of bed. The reason for this is that when you’re sleeping your feet fold forward, shortening the tissue. When you take your first step out of bed, you overstretch this plantar fascia creating micro lesions and micro tears which resets the inflammation process and hence creating the sharp pain.
This same phenomenon also happens after long durations of sitting. Where, again, the tissue shrinks, and as you stand up the increased force by your body weight lengthens the tissue and creates a pull on the plantar fascia, which will exacerbate this condition. If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can become a chronic ailment.
What can you do about it?
There are a number of things within your reach that can help:
1. Orthotic supports. You may need a shoe insert. If you arch calls for one, make sure you are properly fitted.
2. Soft tissue release. If exercise, or increased exercise density, is your goal, we recommend you do so gradually, and implement some soft tissue releases into your regiment. [youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs3JOwMWLZ4&list=UUywozp0WIbd3OU4N9KQlUag”]
3. Lose weight. By doing so, you will decrease the demand on the plantar fascia.
4. Gentle massages. Before getting out of bed in the mornings, gently massage and stretch your foot, focusing on the arch and plantar fascia.
5. Wear a night splint. This will keep your foot and the tissues straight while you sleep, and prevent them from shrinking and shortening.
6. Wear proper footwear. We encourage our patients to consult with their favorite local running store to make sure they are fitted for the proper shoe. If running is not your passion, consult with your doctor, who will also be able to advise you one what type of shoe is best for you, whether it’s a stabilizing shoe, cushioning shoe, or a neutral shoe.
Another option is to reach out for professional help. At our Indianapolis chiropractic clinic, we approach the treatment of plantar fasciitis in a holistic fashion. We analyze the entire body, in particular the lower extremity from the anatomical aspect to the functionality aspect, to see if either is contributing to your current symptoms. Based on the analysis, we develop a treatment plan individualized for your specific needs, incorporating soft tissue treatment, proper rehab exercises, kinesio taping for support, and a combination of acupuncture and drying needling.
If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment to see how we can help you find relief from your plantar fasciitis, contact our office today at 317.449.2020.
About Integrated Health Solutions
Dr. Charbel Harb is a licensed chiropractic physician and the Medical Director of Integrated Health Solutions. Our core belief is that each patient who walks through the doors is a person, not just a medical record or chart. Our greatest pleasure is bringing joy to our patients and helping them to fully embrace life, allowing them to enjoy each day: active, healthy and pain free.