What is plantar fasciitis? Anytime you see the word part “-itis”, it means inflammation. Fasciitis describes inflammation of the fascia, that is the structure or sheath that surrounds the tendons, which connect the muscles to the bones. Plantar refers to the foot. Therefore, plantar fasciitis is a condition where there is swelling and inflammation of the sheath that surrounds the plantar tendons which connect the muscles to the bones in the foot. Often, plantar fasciitis is associated with heel spurs, where a spur forms on the edge of the heel, and applies pressure to the tendons, thus creating the plantar fasciitis.
How can chiropractic help plantar fasciitis? We have great results with plantar fasciits in our office. If a heel spur is present, I use the Activator instrument to break the spur into smaller pieces. The body absorbs these smaller pieces, which are primarily composed of calcium. We also utilize ultrasound, which is a therapeutic modality that uses sound waves to decrease swelling and muscle spasms. By doing the ultrasound, the tendons are relaxed and the swelling is decreased. Ultrasound also increases blood circulation to the affected area, which allows the body to heal faster. I also recommend that patients with plantar fasciitis put a water bottle in the freezer and roll their foot on the frozen water pillow at least 3 times per day for approximately 20 minutes per time. This allows the swelling to decrease around the tendons and yet rolling the foot on the bottle, reinforces the arch of the foot.