Watching the Boston Marathon today has me thinking about feet. I like feet. They are complicated structures but most foot problems can be cured using simple methods. One of the most common causes of foot pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs from your heel bone to the toes. It is partially responsible for maintaining the arch of your foot. Some things that can strain the plantar fascia include:
- Sudden increase in activity level
- Being overweight
- Having flat feet or tight calf muscles
- Wearing unsupportive shoes or high heels
- Prolonged standing
When the plantar fascia is strained, it develops microscopic tears. Scar tissue then forms, making the fascia even less flexible. If not corrected, a vicious cycle of tear-heal-tear occurs which results in pain in the arch and heel of the foot, aka plantar fasciitis. Eventually the tension of the fascia pulling on the bone can cause heel spurs as the body lays down bone to protect itself. One thing that can mimic or accompany plantar fasciitis is a trigger point in the quadratus plantae, a thick little muscle right in front of your heel.
Things to try at home:
- Wear supportive shoes/orthotic inserts
- Lose weight
- Stretch your calf muscles
- Roll your foot on a frozen golf ball
- Reduce walking/running until it heals, then gradually increase
If it is still bothering you…
Give me a call! I have successfully treated many cases of plantar fasciitis with a combination of Graston Technique to the foot and calf and chiropractic adjustments to the arch of the foot. The Graston Technique works by breaking down the scar tissue and bringing blood and nutrients to the area so that it can heal. It also will get rid of any trigger points in the quadratus plantae or calf muscles. The adjustments help push the arch of the foot up so that there is less pressure on the fascia. So far, most of my patients have had complete recovery from their foot pain. All have had significant relief. I recommend trying this first before going to get a cortisone shot, since cortisone tends to degenerate ligaments and tendons.