Plantar Fasciitis- A Case Study

Condition: Plantar Fasciitis

Symptoms: 38-year old female presents with frequent, sharp and burning pain in the bottom of both feet for 6-7 months. She rates the pain on an 8 out of 10 on the pain scale. She attributes this to a very intense workout program she has been attending Monday through Friday for a few months. She is on her feet most of the day, and it feels worse at night. This pain has made her stop working out completely, as this makes the pain worse. In the past several months, she has been treated with 7 cortisone shots, anti-inflammatory medications, orthotics, deep heat laser therapy, all with little to no results.

Findings: It is noted that this patient has been working out 5 days a week for a few months which includes several jumping, sprinting, and lifting exercises. She is also a mother who spends hours a day on her feet, as well as carrying her children around. After examination, it was found that both of her heel bones were misaligned and not moving properly from the repetitive jumping, sprinting, lifting, and carrying she does every day.

It was also found that both Achilles tendons were tight and spastic, both arches of her feet were slightly flattened and fallen inward. This is also due to the misalignment in the heel as the plantar fascia that is continuous with the Achilles, and connected to the heel can cause this. She also mentioned that she had been wearing her current pair of shoes for several months. Over time, her shoes did not support her feet as they did when they were brand new, also contributing to the misalignments in her feet. Muscle testing in the leg muscles revealed weakness in her adductor muscles bilaterally, her right quadriceps, and both popliteus muscles bilaterally. These muscles control actions such as bringing the legs together, kicking or squatting motions, supporting the knee and ankle, and foot mobility.

Her pelvis showed misalignment and improper biomechanics as well, due to the chronic misalignments of the feet. Chronic misalignment of the foot leads to decreased ability for the ankle joint to absorb shock, so the shock travels up the leg to the knee. When the knee becomes fatigued and over worked, the shock from walking and running moves up into the hip joint. It is common that foot/ankle dysfunction leads to knee and hip dysfunction over the course of time. The muscular involvement includes shin splints, calf cramping, tight hamstrings, and tight IT bands. This led to both of plantar fascia being tight, sensitive, and very painful.

Treatment: She began Chiropractic treatments to realign the bones in her feet, knees, hips, and pelvis two days a week in conjunction with 1 sound wave therapy treatment a week for 6 weeks. Specific Chiropractic adjustments using quick, short thrusts with the hands and a Chiropractic drop table in the opposite direction of the misalignment was utilized to restore proper biomechanics to the extremities and spine. The sound wave technology is used to break up scar tissue at the cellular level and promote soft tissue healing. Along with the Chiropractic and sound wave treatments, muscle work was done to the bottom of the feet, along with muscles surrounding the knee and hip in order to break up scar tissue. Breaking up scar tissue helps to release short, tight muscles to help restore proper biomechanics so the body will not continue to move in compensation patterns.

Balance and stabilizing exercises were recommended for her feet in order to help strengthen the muscles in the ankle and knee. This stabilization will aid in holding her newly realigned joints. She then received 1 sound wave treatment per week and 1 Chiropractic treatment every other week for 6 weeks. In total, she received 12 sound wave treatments, and 15 Chiropractic treatments, and after that time, she has seen a 90% improvement in her symptoms, has returned to working out, and feels much better all around.


Does this sound familiar? Want to find out more about how Integrative Wellness Group can help? Call us at (732) 359-8263 to set up a free 15 minute consultation to learn more about our full body chiropractic care and sound wave therapy!