Pain in the feet is a common problem that is seen at our office, especially in the summer months when unsupportive shoes like flip-flops are worn more by people for a longer period of time. As the summer months are now in full swing, Teaching about foot structure, function, and pain can help avoid painful conditions like plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is when the thick band of tissue called fascia, that connects the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed or irritated. This can cause pain on the bottom of the foot, usually near the heel. (1) It typically only affects one foot but can affect both. Pain is usually felt for the first few steps upon getting out of bed in the morning, but it can also be triggered by getting up after sitting for a long time or by prolonged activity like being on your feet all day, especially if unsupportive shoes are worn. (2) However, people with plantar fasciitis usually don’t have pain during activities, but rather just after stopping. (3) If plantar fasciitis goes untreated, it increases the likelihood of developing bone spurs where the fascia meets the heel or developing chronic heel pain. (3) And if your heel is painful, it tends to change how you walk, which can trigger problems all the way up the spine.
As a Chiropractor, I always start by adjusting the restricted joints in the ankle and foot. These adjustments help restore motion in those joints and normalize your walk, which takes stress off of the heel. (1) I do this by encouraging the bones to support the three points of contact your foot has with the earth. The heel, the base of the great toe and the base of the pinky toe are the points that contact the earth while walking.
Our physical therapist, Dr. Dureece Lingwall uses techniques like deep tissue mobilization/IASTM, dry-needling, stretching and strengthening of the lower leg muscles as well as ice massage to help decrease pain and inflammation. Additional use of tools to help break up the fascial adhesions in the bottom of the foot and heel has shown to be very effective in our clinic.
Specific taping techniques can be used to help temporarily support the arches of the foot. (2)
Supportive footwear and/or shoe inserts can also be extremely helpful to minimize foot pain and stress to the fascia. (2) Simple things such as rolling a golf ball on the bottom of your foot at the end of the day can be helpful, especially if it is frozen.
Massage therapy can help by reducing muscle tension and increasing range of motion in the whole back of the body, allowing less stress on the heel. (1)
If you are suffering from heel pain, there are things we can do to help! At Solutions, we have Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, dry needling, or Massage to fit whatever your needs might be.
Call today to set up an appointment! 605-348-2116
- Yelverton, C., Rama, S., & Zipfel, B. (2019). Manual therapy interventions in the treatment of plantar fasciitis: A comparison of three approaches. Health SA = SA Gesondheid, 24, 1244. https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v24i0.1244
- Physical Therapy Guide to Plantar Fasciitis.” American Physical Therapy Association, 21 Oct. 2019, www.choosept.com/symptomsconditionsdetail/physical-therapy-guide-to-plantar-fasciitis#.
- Case-lo, Christine. Everything you want to know about Plantar Fasciitis. 2019. Healthline. available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/plantar-fasciitis