How to Treat the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis with Acupuncture, Active Release Techniques (ART), and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Plantar fasciitis is characterized by heel pain, which may vary depending on your daily activities. It involves inflammation of a thick tissue that runs across your foot’s bottom, connecting your heel bone to your toes – the plantar fascia.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic issues. Too much pressure on your feet may lead to inflammation, causing pain and stiffness. Most people with plantar fasciitis pain often recover within several months with self-care measures, including resting, icing the painful parts, and stretching.
Long-term improvements can be accomplished by a holistic approach consisting of acupuncture for plantar fasciitis, herbs, and alternative treatments. These therapies may relieve heel pain and improve the patient’s ability to walk and stand more comfortably. When used together, alternative remedies for plantar fasciitis deliver noticeable results, ensuring a seamless foot function that allows you to perform your daily activities without pain or discomfort.
Does Acupuncture Help Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms? At Makari Wellness, Yes!
Mike Woodworth from Makari Wellness has found a valuable connection between acupuncture and plantar fasciitis. His acupuncture treatments will bring instant pain relief to patients with plantar fasciitis while improving their foot function and the ability to stand and walk properly.
Mike’s alternative treatment for plantar fasciitis is entirely based on a holistic approach, which strengthens the person’s overall health while relieving pain, stiffness, and reduced foot mobility due to injuries or too much pressure.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia (a thick band of tissue) located at the bottom of your foot. This orthopedic complaint often causes stabbing pain and heel stiffness, preventing you from walking or standing comfortably.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
People with plantar fasciitis usually feel pain at the bottom heel or the bottom mid-foot area. Pain resulting from this issue may develop gradually, and most people describe it as dull, sharp, or burning. It is often worse in the morning when you step out of bed or after you’ve been sitting or lying down for a while.
You may also feel difficulties when climbing stairs or after prolonged activities. Although the pain is usually not present during the activity, it may begin right after stopping.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is often caused by tension and stress on the plantar fascia. Repeated pressure may lead to tearing, irritation, and inflammation of the fascia, resulting in pain and decreased foot function.
Although there is no apparent plantar fasciitis cause, some factors may increase the ligament wear and tear risk. For example:
- Age: People between 40 and 60 are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
- Exercise: Particular activities, including long-distance running, ballet dancing, or aerobic, may place a lot of stress on your heel and attached tissue, contributing to the onset of this condition.
- Foot mechanics: The way you walk, a high arch, or flat feet may put a lot of stress on the plantar fascia.
- Overweight: Obesity and excess pounds may put extra pressure on the plantar fascia, causing stabbing pain and stiffness.
- Prolonged standing: Teachers, factory workers, and other people who stand on hard surfaces a lot during the day are more likely to experience damage to the plantar fascia.
Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis
It is essential to visit a licensed practitioner if you notice any symptoms of plantar fasciitis. You might need to go for a physical exam to check for tenderness in your foot and the specific location of the pain.
Your practitioner may assess your muscle strength and your nerve health by checking your:
- Sense of touch
- Muscle tone.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with this orthopedic issue, you should begin your plantar fasciitis treatment to relieve pain and restore the normal function of your feet.
Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis
Acupuncture is the most popular treatment that originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It’s characterized by the use of small and thin acupuncture needles gently placed into specific points (acupoints) on the patient’s body. By stimulating these points, a licensed acupuncturist encourages energy flow and blood circulation, vital for establishing general well-being.
Acupuncture has been in use for over 2,000 years. It’s based on a holistic approach that addresses your symptoms and the spheres that have a vital role in your organism. That way, acupuncture strengthens your immune system while easing the symptoms you’re feeling.
Acupuncture is primarily used for treating pain resulting from different conditions, including orthopedic complaints. It is more efficient when used in combination with other therapies, including foot baths, herbal formulas, Active Release Techniques (ART), physical therapies, and lifestyle changes that involve a balanced diet, active lifestyle, and stress management.
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How Can Acupuncture Help Plantar Fasciitis?
When it comes to plantar fasciitis, acupuncture has provided significant outcomes in relieving pain and discomfort caused by this orthopedic issue. Acupuncture improves plantar fasciitis symptoms by encouraging the body to produce its own opioids, which act as the body’s natural painkillers.
The needle insertion causes local effects on nerve endings, releasing substances that foster pain relief. Plantar fasciitis acupuncture uses the following acupoints to treat pain and discomfort and encourage tissue healing:
- Taixi (KD3) is located on the medial aspect of the foot, and its stimulation is vital for strengthening the low back, easing the heel and ankle pain, and alleviating heaviness and pain in the joints.
- Rangu (KD2) is another point located on the foot’s medial aspect, and it is essential for clearing heat from the meridian.
- Kunlun (BL60) is the acupressure point found in a depression midway between the external ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. Its stimulation may soothe the pain.
- Qui xu (GB40) is a local point used to reduce ankle weakness and pain.
The exact number of sessions and acupoint selection will depend on the patient’s general health and other individual factors that might impact the recovery and the treatment itself.
Acupuncture is an excellent complementary treatment that works well with other therapies, including herbs. Acupuncture and herbs are often used together to address different conditions and provide better and more noticeable outcomes to the patient.
When it comes to plantar fasciitis, a licensed Chinese herbalist might recommend a TCM foot bath, consisting of different Chinese herbs efficient for pain reduction. Combined with acupuncture, a foot bath increases positive patient outcome rates.
Active Release Techniques (ART): An Excellent Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Active Release Techniques (ART) is a soft tissue massage that treats injured muscles, ligaments, fascia, tendons, and nerves, using specific tension and depth. It is beneficial for headaches, back pain, frozen shoulder, plantar fasciitis, and similar conditions resulting from overused muscles.
ART breaks up the scar tissue located in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, allowing healthy tissue regeneration. Every session is a combination of examination and treatment. Certified ART providers use their hands to evaluate the texture, tightness, and movements of fascia, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and nerves.
An ART practitioner provides specific corrective exercises and stretches to improve movement patterns and postural imbalances, focusing on developing strength and flexibility. That way, a patient may experience a faster and full recovery that will keep the problem from recurring. Find out more about Active Release Techniques benefits in the video below:
Alternative Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
At-home treatments, including rest, icing, braces, and anti-inflammatory medicines, might be among the best plantar fasciitis relief solutions. Still, if your pain remains or gets worse even after you’ve tried these methods, you may some of the following remedies:
- The lavender essential oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties that may ease the pain. Dilute a drop or two into olive or coconut oil and massage it into your feet bottoms.
- Supportive shoes are recommended when you’re going to be on your feet for long hours. Try to avoid high heels but opt for low-heeled ones with good arch support.
- Orthotic shoe inserts or foot pads may help distribute your weight evenly, which is essential for those with high arches.
- Night splints stretch your arches and calves overnight, which may relieve pain significantly.
- Replace your old athletic shoes regularly to decrease the risk of plantar fasciitis. Worn shoes may cause blisters on your feet and cause pain in your legs and back, provoking severe health problems.
- Massage techniques that involve using the thumbs to massage your arches and heels can soothe pain in your heels.
- Lose a few pounds to reduce the pressure on your plantar fascia. Obesity is one of the most common causes of heel pain, so it’s recommended to stick with a balanced diet plan and regular exercise.