Plantar fasciitis is a serious and oftentimes painful condition in the foot that can make it very difficult to walk and even enjoy basic everyday activities.
While there are a wide array of treatments available for such a condition, acupuncture is among the most effective. The following is a more detailed overview of plantar fasciitis and acupuncture as a treatment for it.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
As touched upon previously, plantar fasciitis is a common condition within the band of tissue that extends from the toes to the heel bone.
This condition is caused by inflammation in this band of tissue. The most common symptom of this inflammation is a stabbing pain right around the heel which is at its worst immediately after waking up.
This pain can also be brought on from lengthy periods of standing and can flare up following exercise.
This condition is essentially caused from too much stress and tension being placed on this area of the foot.
When this tension becomes too much, tiny tears will develop in the fascia. Too many tears will lead to the onset of inflammation.
There are many different risk factors for a condition like this, the most common of which include exercises that place stress on the heel, obesity, and being required to stand up for lengthy periods of time at work.
Diagnosis of the condition is simple, so you can begin treatment rather quickly.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a complementary medical therapy that was actually in use by the Chinese for hundreds of years before it began to see more popularity in the Western world.
This practice basically involves placing a large number of extremely thin needles in certain areas of the body.
The points where the needles are placed are stimulated in a way that can help to alleviate pain and treat a variety of conditions.
In essence, nerves are stimulated by these needles, which then sends signals to the brain. These signals tell the brain to release certain neural hormones. These specific hormones are known as beta-Endorphins and basically boost a persons pain threshold.
This means that the person undergoing acupuncture will feel less pain. With conditions like plantar fasciitis, this therapy can help the patient feel less pain until the inflammation has died down.
Using Acupuncture For Plantar Fasciitis
While acupuncture is used in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions, acupuncture for plantar fasciitis is known to be exceedingly beneficial in relieving the associated pain and assisting runners in getting back to their feet as quickly as possible.
Not only does acupuncture boost beta-Endorphins, therefore causing your pain to be heavily diminished, it also improves the blood flow in the immediate vicinity.
This improved blood flow can do wonders for reducing the inflammation in this portion of the foot. While the acupuncture treatment is always performed in a similar manner, it’s typically personalized in certain aspects to ensure that it’s as effective as possible.
Acupuncture for plantar fasciitis is at its most effective when combined with additional treatments, including:
- Night splints
- Physical therapy
- Use of a foot stretch board
- Pain relievers
During the treatment process, you will be asked to lie on a table while sterilized needles are placed in select points within the body.
While you might believe that needles would cause a lot of pain, the pain is minimal to non-existent.
These needles will remain within the skin for anywhere from 5-35 minutes.
To best alleviate plantar fasciitis for good with acupuncture, treatments should be provided at least twice per week for a few weeks.