Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that is due to inflammation of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot. While 75% of the population experiences foot pain at some point in their life, only 10% experiences plantar fasciitis and the discomfort that it brings. To better understand the condition itself, it is important to first understand the anatomy of the foot and how that plays a role. The bottom of the foot contains 3 arches: the medial, the lateral longitudinal, and the transverse. The 3 of these form a triangle of sorts, and their purpose is to provide shock absorption for the body to protect against the force that is transmitted through the feet with each movement. After all, the average American takes about 4000 steps per day, with people who are more active taking 7000-10,000 steps per day. That’s a lot of force for the feet to handle!

There are many different risk factors that predispose people to developing plantar fasciitis. First and foremost is weight. If you are overweight and have a BMI over 30, you are 6 times more likely to develop plantar fasciitis than if you were at a healthy BMI. Age is also a risk factor, with people 40-60 the most likely to develop this painful condition. Other risk factors are more activity or work-dependent, meaning populations are on their feet a lot, repeatedly stressing the heel pad and plantar fascia. Finally, foot mechanics can play a role in whether or not someone develops plantar fasciitis. For example, if your heel pronates inward naturally, you are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis due to a gradual breakdown of the arches on the bottom of the foot. These risk factors are taken into consideration by your healthcare provider when they are diagnosing your heel or foot pain.

If plantar fasciitis goes untreated, not only can the condition become very painful, but it can also cause problems in other areas such as the knees, hips, and back. Naturally, when there is pain in the feet it will make you want to change how you walk in order to feel less discomfort, but the problem is that changing your movement pattern creates stress on other parts of the body. For this reason, it is crucial to address your plantar fasciitis problem as quickly as possible. Chiropractors have gotten excellent results by combining chiropractic adjustments to the feet with soft tissue work and other treatment modalities to heal the source of the problem and restore optimum function.

How We Treat Plantar Fasciitis in Springfield, IL

Comprehensive Consultation and Exam

At the Springfield Wellness Center, we have helped countless people with their plantar fasciitis problems. Before that journey begins, though, our doctors must perform a detailed consultation and exam. In the consultation, our doctors want to hear YOUR story and how your problem has gotten to this point. They also want to hear what impact this has had on your life, and what aspects of life it has interfered with. Knowing this information can help them set goals with you so you and your provider can be aligned in your mission and set you up for success.

During the exam, the doctor will assess your foot through palpation and motion testing. These are designed to help them identify the cause of your problem in your foot. They will also check your spine to make sure it is balanced and in alignment. All of the information gathered will be utilized to come up with the best recommendations for care available to ensure that you get the best results possible. The Springfield Wellness Center is well-equipped to provide the highest standard of care for plantar fasciitis, and we are eagerly waiting to serve you.

Specific Chiropractic Care in Springfield, IL

With plantar fasciitis, it is important to first identify what is causing the plantar fascia to be irritated and inflamed. Is it a gait issue? A health issue? An alignment issue? In many cases, misalignments in the bones of the feet (tarsal bones) cause the arches to shift and ultimately drop. When this happens, it can put stress on the tissue and over time become inflamed. For this reason, our chiropractors use chiropractic adjustments to the feet as part of the treatment process. Chiropractic adjustments feel great on the feet, and help restore motion and function to the joints of the foot. This can help restore proper foot mechanics, which can ease the pressure being placed on the plantar fascia and heel. When utilized in conjunction with other treatment modalities, foot adjustments can prove very effective in helping to combat plantar fasciitis.

Soft Tissue Work and Graston Technique

When the plantar fascia is irritated and inflamed, it tends to develop more adhesions, or knots, in the tissue itself. These knots can be painful when tension is applied to the plantar fascia, which happens to occur with every step that we take! This is why this condition can be so painful and debilitating for people. Addressing the soft tissue itself is a major component to fully and properly treating plantar fasciitis.

At The Springfield Wellness Center, the primary way in which this is done is through Graston technique. This soft tissue technique involves using a metal tool to ‘scrape’ along the tissue to help release the adhesions and kickstart the healing process. Not only is it effective in breaking up adhesions, but it also provides the blueprint for the direction in which we want the new tissue to regrow. This helps to ensure that adhesions are less likely to develop in the future. Sometimes this technique can cause some discomfort during treatment due to sensitivity in the feet, but the results that it gets for people are outstanding. In fact, it is common for people to get off the table and instantly feel relief!

Deep Tissue Laser

Perhaps the most important treatment modality used for plantar fasciitis at the Springfield Wellness Center is Deep Tissue Laser. This hi-tech device uses red light energy to penetrate deep into the plantar fascia tissue all the way down to the cellular level. At this level, it stimulates energy production in the cells, which is put towards healing the tissue more rapidly, as well as combating any excessive inflammation in the body. This process is known as photobiomodulation, and it is extremely effective for soft tissue injuries like plantar fasciitis.

Deep Tissue Laser does not only get fantastic results for patients, but it is also extremely patient-friendly. It is a quick treatment, with sessions usually lasting only 3-5 minutes long. It is completely painless, and at times can feel soothing as it provides gentle warmth to the area being treated. All of this contributes to a very positive patient experience that above all gets results. When combined with chiropractic and Graston technique, the problem gets addressed from a 360º angle.

Corrective Exercise

Another element of treatment at the Springfield Wellness Center that is commonly utilized is corrective exercise. For plantar fasciitis, it is common to go through various stretches for the bottom of the foot, the Achilles tendon, and the calf and soleus muscles. Decreasing the tension in these muscles and tissues can help improve ankle mobility and decrease pressure on the heel and plantar fascia. This can provide pain relief and improved function in the long run.

The other important aspect of corrective exercise is improving our posture. By improving posture, we create more balance in the spine and, therefore, the body. This means that weight will be more evenly distributed into our feet so they can equally share the load and not lose function as a result of one side being overloaded with stress. Achieving better posture can also help with other aches and pains that can stem from plantar fasciitis such as lower back or hip problems. In all, exercise has an important role to play in the long-term well-being of the plantar fasciitis patient.

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Who Plantar Fasciitis Affects in Springfield, IL

Runners

Perhaps it’s obvious, but runners are among the most likely to develop plantar fasciitis. This is simply due to the amount of repetitive stress they put on their feet with the frequency and distance of which they run. The more miles they clock, the more stress and tension is being applied to the bones, joints, and tissues of the feet. For this reason, it is incredibly important to have good running mechanics that ensure the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis is as low as possible. For example, trying to land on the balls of your feet as opposed to your heels (heel strike) can ensure that the heel doesn’t take as much weight load and lead to heel pain over time.

Mild to moderate cases of plantar fasciitis should not keep someone from running. These can be properly managed with appropriate footwear that provides proper support for the heel, as well as dedicated stretching and appropriate treatment therapies such as those listed above. If you have a severe case that is impacting your ability to walk, it goes without saying that running must be paused until healing has had a chance to occur.

Overweight and Obese Individuals

It is estimated that 60-70% of the American population is overweight. While this is indeed an alarming statistic, the reality is the majority of our population is at risk for many different types of musculoskeletal conditions in addition to the various general health conditions that this can lead to. One of these musculoskeletal conditions is plantar fasciitis. In a person of normal weight, there is already a great deal of stress applied to the feet with everyday movements, but in an overweight person, this force is greatly amplified.

Exercise and stretching are certainly beneficial for plantar fasciitis, but with increased weight, these movements can sometimes cause even more stress that can prevent the problem from being corrected. Ultimately, one of the best ways to improve the problem is by losing weight. This decreases the amount of pressure on the feet and allows for healing to occur over time. It is recommended that you seek treatment at a facility such as the Springfield Wellness Center to provide as much relief as possible from your plantar fasciitis pain, while also making lifestyle changes that can help you lose weight and prevent the problem from happening again.

Pregnant Women

Another group of people affected by plantar fasciitis, due to the weight gain, is pregnant women. This especially occurs in the 3rd trimester when weight gain is at its most rapid, and can also be caused gradually throughout the pregnancy as the walking mechanics slowly shift due to increased size in the mother. For these people, treatments such as chiropractic care, soft tissue work, and deep tissue laser can be very effective in providing relief. It is also important that expecting mothers rest and relax their feet as time allows.

For pregnant women, it is especially important to have any kind of foot pain evaluated by a medical professional. Foot pain, especially when present with swelling, can also be a sign of pre-eclampsia in the late stages of pregnancy. This can be dangerous to both mom and baby. Having your foot correctly diagnosed is important to ensure the health and well-being of both mother and child, and if treatment can go forward, it can provide relief for the mother.

Certain Occupations

Similar to runners, people who are on their feet a lot for work have an increased chance of developing plantar fasciitis. Being on your feet simply means putting more stress on and having more force transmitted through your feet. This is what develops into irritation of this tissue over time. Occupations such as waiters and waitresses, factory workers, laborers, hospital workers, etc. are common jobs that require a lot of time on their feet, and there are countless others as well.

One of the best ways to combat plantar fasciitis in the workplace is wearing supportive footwear. This ensures that your feet have enough support to handle the stress being placed on them without suffering damage over time. However, if plantar fasciitis does develop, it is critical that treatment is sought out as soon as possible. By pursuing treatment earlier on, the problem can be more quickly resolved and it can help keep your productivity high and the amount of missed work time very low.

People with Certain Foot Structures

A simple reality is that there are many different types of foot structures out there that can all lead to plantar fasciitis occurring in one way or another. For example, people with flat feet don’t absorb force and pressure as well because the arches have dropped. This means that the foot transmits A LOT more force through its joints and tissues, making it very easy for plantar fasciitis to develop. Another example would be people whose arches are too high, which means that there is more pressure being placed on the joints, which can be uncomfortable on the joints and can cause tension to develop more in the heel. Regardless of which type of foot structure, utilizing treatments such as chiropractic adjustments, deep tissue laser, and soft tissue work can help alleviate your pain and improve your function.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can chiropractors in Springfield, IL help with plantar fasciitis?

Yes! The chiropractors at The Springfield Wellness Center have helped many patients overcome plantar fasciitis, even severe cases that were keeping individuals from being able to walk. Having the right balance of treatment methods is key, and the Wellness Center has several treatments available to ensure you get the care you need.

What exercises can you do when you have plantar fasciitis?

One of the best things you can do is calf stretches. This is going to stretch the calf muscles, the Achilles tendon, and the tissue wrapping around the heel into the plantar fascia. It decreases the pressure and tension on these tissues, which is a contributing factor to the pain and why the condition can sometimes be so persistent.

Is a foot massage good for plantar fasciitis?

It certainly can be! Soft tissue work such as massage is good for eliminating knots that can develop in the fascia that can lead to pain and discomfort with movements like walking, running, and going up or down stairs. Our massage therapists at the Springfield Wellness Center would be happy to work with you to help eliminate your plantar fasciitis pain.

Is walking safe with plantar fasciitis?

Yes, walking is safe with plantar fasciitis, but it could hurt depending on how severe your case is. The reality is, we need to walk for a whole host of reasons in everyday life. It is best to receive prompt treatment for your plantar fasciitis so you can get back to walking as much as you want with little to no pain.

Are cortisone shots good for plantar fasciitis?

Cortisone shots are steroid medicine shots that are designed to help with inflammation that causes pain in plantar fasciitis. They can certainly be effective in accomplishing their goal, but the reality is they do nothing to address the actual cause of the problem in the first place. Once the shot wears off, it is common for the pain, inflammation, and problem to persist. It is better to pursue treatment methods that will address the root cause of the problem so that it can be fixed.

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