Effective Pain Relief Treatments For Plantar Facsiitis
How Chiropractic Care and Active Release Technique can help with Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel and foot pain. The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel to the toes. When this band becomes inflamed, people experience a stabbing pain when they take their first steps in the morning. The pain generally improves as the day goes on.
Who gets plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is quite a common problem, but there are some factors that can increase the risk of it occurring, such as:
running - people who run, especially those who run on flat surfaces, are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis
being overweight or obese - carrying extra weight can put more pressure on the plantar fascia
being in the late stages of pregnancy
working a job that involves standing up for very long periods
having structural foot problems, such as high arches or flat feet
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
The most common treatments of plantar fasciitis include:
strengthening exercises for the lower leg muscles
orthotics, such as special shoe supports
In some cases, plantar fasciitis does not go away even after these treatments, and in these cases, people are often referred for drug therapy and in some cases surgery.
Active Release Technique and plantar fasciitis
Of course, most people who are dealing with plantar fasciitis will want to avoid the need for drugs or surgery if they possibly can. One reason that the usual treatments may not work in treating plantar fasciitis is that they may not be treating the root cause of the pain and inflammation.
When connective tissue such as the plantar fascia gets damaged, scar tissue is created in order for it to heal. Over time, this scar tissue can bundle together to cause adhesions. Adhesions can restrict the function of the connective tissue, reduce oxygen flow to the area, and trap nerves. All of which can cause pain and restricted movement.
Active Release Technique (ART) is a form of active soft tissue massage used in chiropractic care that aims to break down these adhesions and restore proper movement and functioning to the plantar fascia, reducing pain and inflammation in the long term.
During treatment, the physician will apply deep tension to the plantar fascia while the patient moves it from a shortened to a lengthened position. The movement combined with the tension physically breaks up the adhesions and allows the fascia to freely move again, allows oxygen to flow back to the area, and frees any nerves that have become trapped.
One study that looked at patients with plantar fasciitis found that treatment with ART reduced pain and improved the functionality of the foot (https://www.physiotherapyjournal.com/article/S0031-9406(15)03585-3/fulltext).
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel and foot pain, with a number of risk factors that are quite common in the population. Standard treatments include stretching and strengthening, splinting, and wearing special shoes. These treatments may not be able to get to the root cause of the pain, and so could be ineffective, if that pain is caused by adhesions that have formed on the plantar fascia. Active Release Technique (ART) can help to break up these adhesions, eliminating the inflammation of plantar fasciitis in the long term.