Plantar Fasciitis is a condition which can cause severe pain in the bottom of the foot, around the arch and heel area. There is a thick ligament called the plantar fascia which links the heel to the toes, acting like a shock absorber to your foot. General wear and tear can lead to this ligament becoming inflamed, causing pain and stiffness in the foot.
A key symptom is pain in your foot first thing in the morning, for example when getting out of bed and placing your foot on the floor. Pain can also be worse with prolonged times standing or sitting.
How this affects daily life
Pain anywhere in the body can have a big impact on daily life. If you have an occupation that involves a lot of standing, then foot pain could prevent you from working. It can also inhibit normal activities, from sports to simply walking the dog.
When I see clients who have come along to me with foot pain, I will go through their medical history, medication and discuss the problems they are experiencing. My training as a Chinese Medicine Practitioner uses a holistic approach where I try to treat the root of the problem and not just the pain.
I may discuss footwear, as wearing shoes or boots that support the foot is important. Working with clients I find exercises that can be used to stretch the foot, calf and Achilles tendons: as with any exercise regime, “little and often” works best. Sometimes clients tell me that warmth helps to ease the pain so a warm foot soak before bed can be helpful.
Will I put a needle in where it hurts? It is not necessary to put a needle into an area that really hurts as traditional Chinese acupuncture works on pathways and there are always other options and other points that work well.
I will often use the Dr Tan Balance Method, where I use points on the opposite side of the body. In my experience I have found Balance method to be helpful for clients with Plantar Fasciitis.
In addition to my acupuncture degree, I also have a Diploma in Tui Na, a form of Chinese medical massage, which I use to loosen tight muscles. For Plantar Fasciitis I would look at areas around the Achilles tendons and calf muscles. Tui Na is a lovely relaxing treatment and I use it alongside acupuncture. Read more about Tui Na.