Plantar fasciitis (pronounced “plantar fash-ee-itis”) sometimes referred to as “Runners Heel,” is an inflammation of the plantar fascia – the long, flat ligament that runs along the sole of the foot. The plantar fascia extends from the toes, all the way down to the heel. It is one of the most painful foot problems that people deal with, and can make it very difficult to even walk without severe pain.
Plantar fasciitis is usually caused from repetitive strain to the heel area, and is a common, and very persistent injury afflicting runners, walkers and hikers, and many people who stand on hard surfaces like concrete for a living, i.e., waitresses, cashiers, and anyone standing or walking a lot on hard surfaces. It creates a debilitating pain that is usually at its worst first thing in the morning.
What most people don't realize, is that even though the pain is felt in the foot, plantar fasciitis pain actually originates in the muscles of the lower legs and calf. When these muscles are tight and overstretched, it puts strain on the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot. This is why only treating the foot is not effective.
After seeing several patients over the years suffering with plantar fasciitis, I always hear the same story. Patients with this condition are usually treated by a podiatrist using cortisone injections, and are told to immobilize their foot and leg by putting it in a orthopedic boot.
Treating the foot locally may only provide temporary relief (if any) but does not address the underlying problem in the muscles of the leg. Once the cortisone has worn off, many times the pain comes right back. Cortisone also suppresses inflammation in the body but does this by lowering your immune system. Cortisone injections over time can also cause a weaking and deterioration of joints, muscles and ligaments.
Immobilizing your foot and leg muscles in an orthopedic boot can also further excacerbate plantar fasciitis because you are forcing your body to be in a position that causes more tension in these already tense and overstretched muscles, which is the cause of the condition in the first place.
Acupuncture is one of the most effective forms of treatment for plantar fasciitis. Studies have shown a 97% improvement from this extremely painful condition, with regular acupuncture treatments. This is far more successful than conventional treatments alone.
With acupuncture treatments, we address not only the foot pain but also the tight muscles causing the foot pain. By treating the cause, acupuncture provides long-lasting results and often times immediate pain relief.
The researchers from Guangzhou Dongsheng Hospital and Guangzhou Social Welfare House examined several clinical investigations and discovered in one investigation carried out by Xu Xuemeng et al., 66 patients were randomly divided into an acupuncture group and a control group. The acupuncture group received filiform acupuncture needle method treatment and the control group received triamcinolone acetonide acetate injections and local blocking therapy. The results were assessed six months following the treatment. The acupuncture group achieved an effective rate of 97% and the drug therapy group had a 76% effective rate.
The best part of this fantastic news, is that there are no adverse side effects to acupuncture treatments. It does not involve putting dangerous drugs into your body. It is a safe, natural, and highly effective way to help treat those who are suffering with plantar fasciitis.