Plantar fasciitis is a condition of the foot seen mostly in adults. It is a condition where the tissue that runs under the sole of the foot, called the plantar fascia, is inflamed and may have tiny tears. These tears are very painful and create a lot of discomfort. If this condition is left untreated, it can lead to larger (more painful) tears.
It is astonishing how much work feet have to do day in day out without getting much special attention! Being constantly on your feet, wearing shoes with heels (even as high as 2cms can have an effect if you are wearing them all the time, including men with heels on their shoes!) or slides and thongs which do not give much support so your feet are doing all the work trying to keep them on!
Plantar fasciitis can develop due to over exercising, an injury, wearing unsupportive shoes, standing for long periods of time or from arthritis in the foot. As a result of the pain in the foot, you may start to limp and compensate for the injury. This can lead to further problems in other areas of the body too.
The muscles and ligaments of the feet are like any other muscle in the body, they need to be used to keep them strong. The problem is with feet, not many people spend enough time walking around barefoot. When you are constantly in shoes, especially with a thick sole, there is very little stimulation to the sole of the foot. As the result, the brain is not getting any signals to say that the muscles and ligaments of the feet are being used. This causes the muscles to become weaker and weaker, leading to injuries in the feet.
How Chiropractic Care Helps:
Our Chiropractors are trained to assess the body as a whole and not just to look at the sight of pain and symptom. When the pelvis and lower back are out of alignment, which can come from stresses building up overtime, the body will often compensate by contracting one calf to keep you standing up against gravity. The calf muscle runs down into the Achilles and then under the foot into the plantar fascia. From this understanding, it makes sense that if the hips/pelvis are out of alignment, this could lead to a compensating pattern in the body which may contribute to the underlying cause. Poor posture and uneven weight bearing through your legs may also contribute to the plantar fasciitis. This is where our Chiropractors can help.
The nerves from the lower back come down the leg to supply the muscles and tissues of the foot. Therefore, as Chiropractic removes irritation to the nerves, balancing the pelvis and lower back will improve nerve function down the leg to the foot to help the muscles and ligaments relax.
Chiropractors are also trained to assess and correct any misalignments in the bones of the foot. Obviously it is important to make sure the bones of the foot are mobile for correct movement of the foot. If you do not have full movement this can lead to compensating patterns of the foot and hence plantar fasciitis if they are not dealt with.
The role of Massage
Massage works to lengthen the muscles and to increase blood flow to the area. It is really important, for the reasons mentioned above, that your massage therapist works from the lower back, hips and legs as well as the feet. The gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (the calf) as well as the tibialis anterior and the plantar fascia definitely need to be addressed. By increasing blood flow to the area, you are providing the body with the ability to heal and recover.
Keep an eye out for next week’s blog post which will be providing useful tips that you can do at home to reduce pain and inflammation under the foot.
If you have any specific questions regarding your individual situation or you would love further information please contact us here at Global Chiropractic on 54443388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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