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Posts Tagged: Heel pain

“Don’t Tread on Me!” Plantar Fasciitis – Acupuncture Puts Your Best Foot Forward

 
Happy Feet with Acupuncture!

Happy Feet with Acupuncture!

Does the thought of your feet hitting the floor in the morning have you cringing in pain? 

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overused or overstretched. When stress placed on the plantar fascia ligament,  it is stretched irregularly, and it can cause small tears and inflammation. This can be painful and make walking more difficult. The pain is often most severe when first stepping out of bed onto the floor in the morning.

The most common complaint is pain, burning and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. The heel pain may be dull or sharp. Another symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain when lifting the foot towards the shin (dorsiflexion).

Who gets it? Plantar fasciitis is most often seen in people who have suddenly gained weight or are obese, and persons whose jobs require a lot of walking or standing, especially on hard surfaces. Plantar fasciitis is also seen in athletes, especially long-distance runners, and those who often run downhill or on uneven surfaces.

It is seen in both men and women, however, it most often affects active men ages 40 – 70. It is one of the most common foot-related orthopedic complaints.

The pain is usually worse after standing or sitting for a while, when climbing stairs, and after intense activity. The pain may develop slowly over time, or suddenly after intense activity.

You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you have foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches), tight Achilles tendon, and shoes with poor arch support or soft soles.

Turn those hurting heels into happy feet with acupuncture! Acupuncture has been used successfully for many musculoskeletal pain conditions, including heel pain. Acupuncture relieves pain and also stimulates circulation. And now, new research concludes that acupuncture is effective for treating plantar fasciitis. 

In a controlled clinical investigation, an acupuncture group demonstrated a significant reduction in foot pain while the control group showed only minimal changes. The control group received five weeks of analgesic medications, stretching exercises and shoe modifications. The acupuncture group received the same therapies plus electro-acupuncture treatments. The researchers concluded that, “Electro-acupuncture coupled with conventional treatments provided a success rate of 80% in chronic plantar fasciitis which was more effective than conventional treatments alone.”

That’s great news indeed!

Stretching and exercises (as well as proper shoes, and shoe inserts) can also really make a difference, especially first thing in the morning, when the pain and stiffness can be at its worst.

Here’s a few stretches that can help!

  • Hold a wide belt with one end in each hand. Place the center of the belt over the ball of the foot. With your knee straight, pull your ankle back toward you using the belt and the muscle on the front of your leg. Think about reverse stretching your arch. Pull back and hold for ten seconds. Relax and repeat for five to ten minutes.

  • Use the wall!  To stretch the fascia, prop your toes up against a wall, keeping your arch and heel flat so the toes stretch. Hold for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times three or four times per day.

  • Roll a frozen water bottle under the arch. Stretch first then roll out the arch for 10 minutes; you don’t want to stretch the tendon when it’s ice cold.

  • Freeze a golf ball and massage the fascia. Roll the frozen golf ball under the foot, starting from the front and working your way back. Put good pressure on each spot—the medial, center and lateral positions—for 15 seconds before moving to the next area. Then, roll the ball back and forth over the entire foot.

And try Acupuncture!

References:

The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, An International Journal of Comparative Medicine East and West. Efficacy of Electro-Acupuncture in Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Wipoo Kumnerddee and Nitsara Pattapong. Volume 40, Issue 06, 2012.

Photos: Google Images

Interested in how acupuncture can help you or a loved one? Please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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Why Haven’t You Tried Acupuncture? Let’s Explain the Fears Away…

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Curious about Acupuncture?

Acupuncture. You’re been reading about it. Some of your friends and family may have tried it. You’ve been thinking about picking up the phone…but there’s something keeping you back. Are you interested in trying acupuncture but really want some questions answered? Problem solved! Read on…

First and most pressing…Does it hurt?

Here’s the initial caveat — every person is different, and can have different reactions. The actual sensations caused by the needles vary. Some people feel a little pain as needles are inserted, but most patients feel no pain at all. The needles are tiny, just a bit larger than a cat’s whisker or human hair.

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Acupuncture needle, third from the top. Surprisingly small!

The depth of needle insertion varies depending on the area of the body to be treated. For example, a fleshier area of the body may require a different needling technique. Typically, needles are inserted at depths ranging from 1/8” to 1 ½”. Many people find the treatment very relaxing, and often fall asleep!  Sometimes a little soreness in the treatment area can happen but generally dissipates within 24 hours of treatment. Proper rest and hydration is also recommended.

How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a safe, all-natural, drug free therapy which yields no side effects. There is little danger of infection from the needles, which are sterile, used once and then discarded.

Here’s some of the benefits of acupuncture — less pain, better sleep, more energy, mental clarity, a stronger immune system, better digestion, less stress, less pain, and did we mention less pain?

How May Treatments Will I Need?

Acupuncture awakens your self-healing capabilities. The number of treatments varies from person to person. For some, relief will be immediate; others may take months or years to achieve results. Chronic conditions often take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month of treatments to see significant change. 

What Conditions Can Be Treated by Acupuncture? Can you help me?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize acupuncture as an effective method of treatment for the following conditions: 

Allergies, addiction, ankle pain, anxiety, appetite control, arthritis, asthma, Bell’s palsy, blood pressure, bronchitis, cancer, carpal tunnel, chronic fatigue, cluster headaches, colitis, common cold, constipation, dental pain, depression, diarrhea, digestive trouble, ear aches, emotional problems, eye problems, food allergies, facial palsy/tics, fatigue, fertility, fibromyalgia, fibroids, frozen shoulder, gastritis, GERD, gout, headache, heartburn, high blood pressure, hot flashes, heel pain, incontinence, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, jaw pain, joint pain, low back pain, Lyme disease, knee pain, menstrual problems, menopause, migraine, morning sickness, Morten’s neuroma, muscle pain, nausea, neck pain, osteoarthritis, pain, PMS, rheumatoid arthritis, reproductive problems, rhinitis, sciatica, shingles, shoulder pain, sinusitis, sleep disturbances, smoke cessation, sore throat, sports injuries, stiff neck, stress, tennis elbow, tendonitis, tooth pain, torticollis, trigeminal neuralgia, tmj, urinary tract, vomiting, weight loss, and wrist pain.

See yourself somewhere on that list? Wouldn’t it be nice to feel less stress, less pain? 

For more information, visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com

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