Dr. Andrea Toppin, DC
At Wash Park Chiro, we see a lot of patients that come in with pesky, sharp heel or arch pain that never seems to go away. This pain is referred to as plantar fasciitis. Anyone can get plantar fasciitis, it is probably one of the most common injuries we treat at the office. We find that all athletes/active humans are prone to it, but it is the most common in runners. In fact, plantar fasciitis is so common in running that it is nicknamed “Runner’s Heel.”
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is defined as the irritation of the plantar fascia, where there is sharp pain in the heel and the arch of your foot. This is where the fascia attaches directly to the heel bone running along the bottom of the foot. Pain at the bottom of the inside of your heel with tenderness while walking, running, or simply stepping (especially in the morning) is most likely plantar fasciitis. The pain is often felt right in the morning after you wake up because overnight the fascia will have stiffened and shortened. It’s kind of like spaghetti noodles – if you leave it out for too long it gets stiff. The fascia is like a coil that needs to be worked to make it “springy” again. If it sits for too long it will stiffen up, therefore the more you walk around on your feet, the plantar fascia pain will often tend to subside or get better throughout the day.
The pain is often felt in athletes (or very active individuals) at the insertion point of the heel, where the plantar fascia is the thickest, which also causes the collagen fibers to degenerate or weaken. Plantar fasciitis may lead to tearing and stress in the soft tissue which can sideline an athlete from their sport/training for a long time.
Don’t tuck your bed sheets in! Tucking in your sheets at the end of your bed can cause unnatural compression and shortening of the achilles tendon and plantar fascia while you sleep making it extra difficult to stretch out throughout the day.
How do our sports chiropractors treat plantar fasciitis at Wash Park Chiro?
Between chiropractic adjustments, infrared laser, Graston/scraping, myofascial release, taping, and foot rehab exercises, our doctors are more than equipped to help you!
Fixing Plantar Fasciitis
All three of our sports docs specialize in lower extremity adjustments and are experts of the foot and ankle. They evaluate the mobility of your ankle and foot, using specific adjustments to restore movement and mobility. If your ankle and foot are too stiff, the plantar fascia (as well as the calf or even the Achilles tendon) becomes stiff – resulting in pain. Chiropractic adjustments of the foot, ankle, and even the lower back/sacral/pelvis can all help restore proper motion to the feet and help give you a more efficient gait pattern.
We also have a Class IV therapeutic laser that helps deliver physiological effects including increased circulation, reduced inflammation, pain reduction, and enhanced tissue healing. This pain free treatment increases circulation, drawing in water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. This creates the optimal healing environment that reduces inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, stiffness, and pain - PERFECT for treating plantar fasciitis!
Graston Technique is also so great for the healing and prevention of plantar fasciitis. All of our doctors specialize in the Graston Technique. Graston is an Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) that helps with the management of adhesions and scar tissue formation. Many repetitive stress or chronic injuries respond to the Graston Technique positively within just a few treatments, and plantar fasciitis has an especially high success rate with this form of soft tissue work.
Kinesiology tape can also be very helpful for plantar fasciitis! At our office, we use RockTape and KT tape to support muscles and ligaments after injury, during rehab or when returning to sport. Kinesiology tape provides compression and support, pain relief, swelling reduction, muscle retraining, and de-loads the injured area. The tape is easy to apply and can stay in place for up to 3-5 days!
Home Care for Plantar Fasciitis
Lastly, home care/rehab for your plantar fasciitis is just as important as the treatment you receive in our clinic! Strengthening the intrinsic foot musculature, calves, and the rest of the posterior chain of muscles is essential to overcoming or preventing plantar fasciitis.
Some of our favorites include:
Eccentric calf raises either flat on the floor or on the stairs
Towel grabs to strengthen your arch
Walking around the house in correct toes also helps strengthen the feet.
Ask our docs about home care/rehab strategies at your next appointment.
At Wash Park Chiro, we have many other ways of treating and alleviating your plantar fasciitis pain – as every patient’s body is different. Our treatment plans for our patients are unique and well thought out by our well trained sports doctors. If you are dealing with plantar fasciitis make an appointment with any of our chiropractors today!
Call/text us at 303-744-7100 or book online!
Andrea Toppin, DC, FRC, SFMA is a sports chiropractor with an emphasis in women’s health (prenatal and postpartum) and pediatrics. As a former division 1 collegiate runner and a current elite marathoner, she uses her own experience as an athlete to help patients get out of pain and get back to their active lifestyles. Areas of special interest include running injuries, prenatal and postpartum care, pediatric care, instrument assisted soft tissue techniques, and rehab/strength training. Stay connected with Dr. Toppin on Instagram @washparkchiro or @doctordre____.