Sore heels?

Sore heel? You might have plantar fasciitis, and I can correct it.

The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed).

There are many causes of plantar fasciitis. Running, exercise, obesity, fallen arches, and age. Pain is created in the bottom of the foot within the arch and heel when you you stand and/or walk.

This condition can progress into the formation of heel spurs if the plantar fascia (ligament) swelling is not reduced. This is known as Wolff’s Law: “Bone adheres to areas where there is more stress”. The thickening of the ligament at it’s insertion site will become calcified at the location of the heel = heel spur.

Treatment considerations will vary per your physicians. First and foremost, treat yourself. Put ice on your arch. Icing for at least 20 minutes per session and at least 3x per day will help to reduce pain and inflammation. Use a frozen water bottle and roll the bottom of the foot over the bottle, this will help reduce inflammation. You should feel the following sensations (Cold, Ache, Burn, and finally Numbness). Numbness is the desired effect.

Orthotics / Custom Arch Supports
Orthotics will support your arches and relieve stress on the plantar fascia ligament. You can purchase the OTC (over-the-counter) orthotics or have custom made and more effective orthotics made by your Chiropractor or Podiatrist. There are 2 types of custom orthotics, Rigid and Functional. Most podiatrists make rigid orthotics.

Chiropractors make Functional Orthotics
Functional Orthotics move with every step you take and spring back to support your arches and they help to create ankle, knee, hip and spinal alignment. Just as the frequent stress being applied to areas of the foot creating the breakdown of the tissues, the same holds true to the other surrounding joints of the lower extremity when they are not aligned correctly. It is in my professional opinion, functional orthotics are superior to the rigid form of orthotics.

Golf Ball Treatments
Golf ball treatments on the bottom of the foot can help break up pockets of inflammation near the insertion sites of the heel. Place the golf ball on the ground and put your foot on the golf ball while in a seated posture. Apply pressure down on the ball for 5-7 seconds. You are looking for a deep hot pain sensation when the pressure is applied. After 7 seconds move slightly following the areas of irritation (burning). If you apply pressure down into a area and it is not creating the “hot” pain, do not work this area. This type of trigger point work should only be done for approx. 3-5 minutes per foot and only 2-3x per week. Following treatment, use the ice water bottle to help remove the swelling to the foot.

Last but not least, see a Chiropractor who excels in extremity adjustments.
Biomechanical evaluation and adjustments to dysfunctional joints within your feet can be a huge cause and/or complication of the plantar fasciitis and compensation of your gait due to pain. Better motion creates less pain, better gait, and will help you return back to your activities with confidence.

Dr. John Bouma of Premier Chiropractic Center is the author of this article. He is passionate about providing excellent Chiropractic Care and empowering people to change their lives with his unique hands on approach, expertise, and philosophy. If you have a similar condition as this article describes or any other condition that you would like him to evaluate, please contact the office to schedule an appointment.

Yours in Health,
Dr. John Nolan Bouma
Premier Chiropractic Center