Suffering from foot pain? It may be plantar fasciitis, a common cause of pain and inflammation in the bottom of the foot.

To understand what plantar fasciitis is, let’s begin with some anatomy: The plantar fascia is a piece of connective tissue that supports the arches on the bottom of your feet. It begins at the base of your calcaneus (heel bone) and then radiates and separates to attach to the base of each of your toes. It is also continuous with your Achilles tendon which attaches to the back of your heel from your calf muscle. The plantar fascia is also very important as we walk. In short, the plantar fascia acts to transfer energy from our contact phase, and then performs as a “spring” through our mid stance and propulsion phase.

Now, the plantar fascia can become irritated, injured, and painful when the bio-mechanics of the foot are disrupted. The most common way for this to occur is when the heel bone becomes either stuck or misaligned due to various reasons. When this happens, extra stress is put on the plantar fascia with each step you take. Over time, the irritation can inflame the fascia and begin to lay down small amounts of scar tissue. The cycle continues and the plantar fascia gets more and more injured and painful making it difficult to walk run, stand, or even stand up out of bed in the morning. So what can be done?

Traditionally, in the medical model, treatment has involved injections to attempt to mitigate the pain, or surgery to cut the plantar fascia. Unfortunately, neither of these techniques get to the root of the problem, and frequently come with side effects or complications. Injections can lead to more after their effects wear off, and surgically cutting the plantar fascia ruins the structural integrity of the entire foot causing flat arches, and arthritis down the road.

As stated earlier, the primary reason the plantar fascia becomes injured is because the heel bone where it attaches is stuck and misaligned. Chiropractors who address extremities such as those at Integrative Wellness Group, will evaluate the bio-mechanics of the foot and are able to determine if the heel bone is misaligned. By properly realigning this bone to restore proper bio-mechanics, the plantar fascia can begin to heal. It can be healed further using a few complimentary techniques: By contacting the bits of scar tissue in the fascia with our hands, and moving the foot through some active ranges of motion, the scar tissue can be worked out over time.

Another technique that has been found to be extremely helpful is sound wave therapy. Sound wave therapy is a piece of technology that uses sound waves to accurately locate areas of injured tissues, break down that damaged tissue, decrease inflammation, and increase blood flow to the area to actually heal tissue. This piece of technology used at Integrative Wellness Group is the only one in the Tri-state area. Implementing Chiropractic techniques, soft tissue release, and sound wave therapy has helped our practice members avoid surgery, and heal properly without unwanted side effects.