Plantar Faciitis, Heel Pain & Sore Feet
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What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis (pronounced fah-SHEE-i-tus) is an inflammation and irritation of plantar fascia, which connects the heel bone to the toes and supports the arch of the foot.
The most common complaint of plantar fasciitis is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel, especially when you take your first steps after getting out of bed in the morning or sitting for a while.
The causes include foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches), long-distance running, overweight, tight Achilles tendon and wearing shoes with poor arch support or soft soles. I always hear people say that plantar fasciitis is caused by a heel spur, but patients I have seen are either with or without heel spur.
Common Treatment Methods
When the symptom first developed, the common nonsurgical methods such as rest, ice, arch-supporting insoles, and stretching exercises help relieve the heel pain. If the symptoms continue, your doctor may recommend further treatment methods such as a custom-made shoe inserts with prescription and night splints. For a small percentage of PF suffers, they may consider surgery. Patients usually take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. However, the industrial-strength ibuprofen addresses the pain without dealing with the problem.
Plantar Fasciitis in Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM)
Plantar fasciitis is simply called heel pain in TCM and is believed to relate to blockage of Qi and Blood, as well as the deficiency of Kidney and Liver. Studies demonstrate that acupuncture is effective in treating patients with plantar fasciitis. On the one hand, acupuncture treatment increase microcirculation through the tissues near calcaneus by removing qi stagnation and blood stasis; on the other hand, with acupuncture and herbal treatments, the practitioner helps patients to improve their liver and kidney function.
How We help You?
In my clinic, by using Trigger Point acupuncture, Tui Na, acupressure, Qi Gong and electroacupuncture, I already sent many runners back to their running schedules. Moreover, I stress to remove the reason of plantar fasciitis individually, such as relaxing tight muscles and tendons, using correct insoles weight management. After each acupuncture session, I teach patient to do self-exercise and self-massage to prevent pain. The goal is to relieve inflammation and pain in the heel and allow you to go back to your normal activities, and I work with you to achieve this goal.
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