Relieving Plantar Fasciitis Pain with Dry Needling: A Comprehensive Guide
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that affects the heel and foot. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia (or by a lack of blood flow to the plantar fascia, according to some interesting new research), a thick band of connective tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot. This condition can cause significant discomfort and can make it difficult to walk or stand for extended periods. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to help manage the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, including dry needling.
Dry needling is a therapeutic technique that involves the insertion of small needles into the skin to target trigger points in the muscles. This technique is similar to acupuncture, but the focus is on treating muscle pain and trigger points and not acupuncture points and meridians. Dry needling is a phenomenal tool to relieve pain and improve muscle function. Dry Needling works by releasing trigger point tension and increasing blood flow to the affected area.
The history of dry needling can be traced back to the early 20th century when Dr. Janet Travell, a physician and researcher, began using trigger point injections to treat muscle pain. In the 1980s, Dr. Karel Lewit, a Czech physician, further developed the technique of dry needling and published several studies on its effectiveness in treating musculoskeletal pain.
Today, dry needling is widely used by acupuncturists, physical therapists, chiropractors, and other healthcare professionals to treat a variety of conditions, including plantar fasciitis.
So, how does dry needling work to treat plantar fasciitis? The insertion of needles into the muscles triggers a local twitch response in the muscles, which helps release tension and improve blood flow to the affected area. This can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Clinically we find a lot of trigger points and dysfunction in the muscles of the lower leg. Many of these muscles attach to the ankle and foot and the tension creates a lot of pain in the plantar fascia.
In fact, most patients who present with foot pain as their main concern, never even get treated directly on the foot! The hip and leg dysfunction create a lot of the foot pain conditions we see in our clinic. We use orthopedic assessment and dry needling with electro-acupuncture to find the true root cause of each individual case and treat the root cause to ensure pain relief long term.
One of the main reasons people choose dry needling over other pain relief options is because it is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment. It is also a targeted therapy that can be focused on specific trigger points in the muscles. Dry needling is generally considered safe when performed by a trained healthcare professional.
Plantar fasciitis is typically characterized by pain and tenderness in the heel and bottom of the foot. The pain is usually worse in the morning or after prolonged periods of standing or walking. Other symptoms can include stiffness, swelling, and difficulty walking or standing on the affected foot.
In addition to dry needling, other treatment options for plantar fasciitis may include physical therapy, massage therapy, and anti-inflammatory medication. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Acupuncture and dry needling are often able to help patients avoid surgery. Almost all patients that come to Summit for treatment of this condition do not require surgery.
The length of time it takes to resolve plantar fasciitis can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the treatment approach used. Mild cases of plantar fasciitis can often be resolved within a few weeks. More severe cases may take several months or longer to heal.
In conclusion, dry needling is a safe and effective treatment option for plantar fasciitis. It works by releasing tension in the muscles and increasing blood flow to the affected area, which can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. While there are several natural treatment options available for plantar fasciitis, dry needling is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment that will provide targeted pain relief.
If you are experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment approach for your individual needs. With the right treatment and care, most cases of plantar fasciitis can be resolved within a reasonable amount of time. Schedule your appointment at Summit Acupuncture TODAY and start resolving your foot pain condition!
ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WITH FOOT PAIN
Foot pain can be a debilitating condition that affects your quality of life. Whether it's plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, or another type of foot pain, it's important to make lifestyle changes that can help alleviate the pain and prevent further injury. Here are some lifestyle changes that people with foot pain should consider making:
Stretch regularly: Stretching your feet and legs regularly can help improve flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. Incorporate stretches into your daily routine, especially before and after exercise.
Avoid high-impact activities: High-impact activities such as running and jumping can put a lot of stress on your feet and exacerbate foot pain. Consider low-impact activities such as swimming, cycling, or yoga instead.
Heat and gentle movement: When experiencing foot pain you must work with your body to keep gently moving. Heat your feet in hot water with epsom salt and try gentle long walks to keep blood flowing to the affected area. Listen to your body and do not do anything that makes your pain worse.
Use orthotics or insoles: Orthotics and insoles can provide additional support and cushioning to your feet. They can help distribute weight more evenly and reduce the risk of injury. We recommend these only short term as they may further worsen the problem if you use them long term. Always consult your podiatrist regarding inserts.
Get regular foot massages: Massaging your feet can help increase blood flow and alleviate pain. Consider getting regular foot massages or using a massage ball or roller to massage your feet at home.
By making these lifestyle changes, people with foot pain can help alleviate their symptoms and prevent further injury. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you experience persistent or severe foot pain, as it may require medical treatment. In addition to making lifestyle changes, a Acupuncturist can provide treatment options.