What Causes Plantar Fasciitis and How to Treat It
Did you know that the human foot has 26 bones and 33 joints? That’s a lot of moving parts! And all those parts work together to take us where we need to go in life. With the average adult clocking about 10,000 steps per day, we need our feet to be in top condition! But all that motion and pressure on our bones and joints can knock things out of alignment and lead to foot pain. That’s why in today’s post, I want to talk to you about plantar fasciitis, one of the most common causes of foot pain, and how you can get natural relief from this condition with chiropractic care.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that happens when your plantar fascia, the long ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot, becomes inflamed. The plantar fascia is like a shock absorber for your feet, and you engage it every time you take a step. So if yours is inflamed, you’re likely to notice right away because it will be very painful.
Most often, this inflammation occurs when the bones in your feet move out of alignment and put pressure on the plantar fascia. But sometimes, when the bones move out of alignment, they can in turn move the tendons and make the pain worse. Misalignment can happen just from regular use, i.e., walking around all day, but it can also happen if you don’t have well-made, supportive shoes to keep your feet in the right position while you walk.
What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Most people can recognize they have plantar fasciitis because it causes pain in their feet. The pain is usually worse first thing in the morning when you get out of bed, but you can also experience it if you’ve been sitting for a long time and then get up to walk around. Where exactly you feel the pain may vary, but generally plantar fasciitis pain occurs:
- In the bottom or sides of the heel
- In the arch of the foot
- Up into the Achilles tendon (in some cases)
Keep in mind that this condition won’t go away on its own. The pain may lessen sometimes, and you may be able to alleviate it with ice packs, but without proper treatment, your plantar fascia will continue to be inflamed.
How can Chiropractic Care help?
At my clinic, I often see patients who are struggling with plantar fasciitis. And one of the best things I can do for them is give them a chiropractic adjustment. Plantar fasciitis is caused by the bones and tendons in your foot getting knocked out of alignment. Chiropractic adjustments help to gently move those parts back into their proper positions, which relieves the pressure on the plantar fascia and allows the inflammation to go down so it can heal.
Something I’ve noticed in my years of practice is that people who deal with plantar fasciitis for a long time tend to also have a spine that’s out of alignment. This is likely due to limping or otherwise trying to change the way they walk because their feet are in pain. This can throw your spine out of alignment and lead to even more trouble. So in treating plantar fasciitis, I always make sure the spine is properly aligned, as well.
As a side note, it is estimated that 70% of all knee problems stem from either low back/sacro-iliac misalignments or foot misalignments! So the bottom line is that limping due to back or foot problems is not good for your knees.
Custom Orthotics Can Prevent Plantar Fasciitis
In addition to chiropractic care, I often recommend my patients use custom shoe orthotics to relieve and prevent plantar fasciitis symptoms. Orthotics are devices that you insert into your shoes to support your feet. They help to realign your feet so that with every step you take, the pressure of your body weight is properly distributed across your foot. This extra support gives your plantar fascia a bit of a break and can prevent misalignment and inflammation.
The reason you want custom orthotics is to support the structure of your foot specifically. The ones in stores might help a little, but they won’t be as good at preventing plantar fasciitis as custom orthotics. I recommend Foot Leveler custom orthotics to my patients, which I sell right here in my clinic in St. Louis. These are comfortable custom orthotics that offer the right amount of support, no matter your activity level.
Visit Mattingly Chiropractic for Relief from Plantar Fasciitis Pain
I hope this post has helped you to understand more about plantar fasciitis and how chiropractic care can help. If you are experiencing any foot or heel pain, come into my clinic for a consultation and adjustment. And if you’re interested in custom orthotics to support your feet, I can help you with that, too.
Call us at (314) 310-8359 to schedule your appointment today.