When you step out of bed in the morning, do you feel a burning, stabbing or aching pain in the heel of your foot? Does the bottom of your foot hurt after running or climbing stairs? Then, you may be suffering with plantar fasciitis, a cumulative trauma disorder that affects over two million Americans.

What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a flat band of tissue along the bottom of the foot, which connects the heel bone to the toes. The plantar fascia ligament is like a rubber band that loosens and contracts with movement of the foot. Think of it as the body’s shock absorber, supporting the arch of the foot when carrying the weight of the body. If you strain your plantar fascia, it may ache, become swollen and inflamed. Tiny tears can appear in the tissue, causing the heel or bottom of the foot to hurt while standing or walking.

What causes plantar fasciitis?
Pain associated with plantar fasciitis stems from inflammation. The source of the inflammation must be addressed, in order to achieve complete recovery and prevent another episode. Factors associated with plantar fasciitis symptoms include:

  • Standing for long periods of time.
  • Shoes/sneakers that lack arch support, a raised heel or cushioning; do not bend at the ball of the foot or are simply worn out.
  • Overload of physical activity and exercise.
  • Faulty foot mechanics.
  • Sudden changes in weight distribution (playing certain sports).
  • Health conditions – Arthritis, Diabetes, Obesity, Hormonal Deficiencies, Pregnancy, etc.
  • Poor diet – dehydration and nutritional deficiencies (vitamin C).

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?
At the AIMS Clinic of NJ, a diagnosis is based upon a patient’s history, description of the pain, observation and physical examination – including the biomechanics of the feet and legs. It is vital to consider a patient’s participation in a training or exercise program, type of footwear worn, body weight, and of course, any injuries sustained. Typically, there is tenderness of the bottom of the inner heel at the point of attachment of the plantar fascia. X-rays may be necessary to rule out bone fracture or arthritis, and can reveal bone spurs, common to patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.

If you want to cure plantar fasciitis, an effective treatment plan may include Pain Management, Physical Therapy and Plantar Fasciitis Exercises, Chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine and/or Nutritional Support. Options may include:

  • Stretching and Strengthening Exercises
  • Ultrasound (high-pitched sound waves to create heat and reduce pain and inflammation)
  • Galvanic (intermittent muscular stimulation to the heel and calf which helps reduce pain and relax muscle spasm)
  • Assistive devices and orthotics (tape, braces, splints, heel pads and medial wedges)
  • Home exercise program
  • Soft tissue techniques
  • Physical manipulation
  • Heat Therapy
  • Cold Therapy
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation which stimulates pain-inhibiting chemicals in the body)
  • Acupuncture, herbal medicine and therapeutic massage

If you are suffering with plantar fasciitis, there are numerous treatment options and therapies to help. Don’t suffer, help is available.

To read more about Foot pain, click here.

Call New Jersey’s own Alternative Integrated Medical Services today at 732-254-5553 and receive a FREE Initial Consultation. Our goal is to provide the most advanced and compassionate pain relief. Our Team of Experts and friendly staff at your local East Brunswick, NJ AIMS Clinic, will help you reduce or eliminate pain and improve function. As our patient, we will teach you how to regain your health with our revolutionary new treatment program.