Over 2 million Americans suffer from a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The cause continues to be debated, although it said to be associated with inflammation of the plantar fascia and/or the result of degenerative changes in the connective tissue around a bone in the foot called the calcaneus (heel). Some of the contributing factors include: improper footwear, obesity, extensive standing, walking, and running in addition to other anatomical and biomechanical factors.
With so many people being affected by this disorder it is imperative that effective treatments are available. For example, evidence suggests that chiropractic care can provide great relief for patients.
Case Study: A 23-year old female with plantar fasciitis in the right foot sought chiropractic evaluation and intervention. Her primary complaint was severe bilateral foot pain that had been present for a month and a half prior to her consultation. More specifically, the patient experienced sharp pain at the base of her right foot that did not radiate, heel pain that was worse in the morning and aggravated with jogging, as well as the start of similar symptoms developing in her left foot. For temporary relief, the patient would use ice and rest with mild stretching. These symptoms made it incredibly difficult for her to complete activities throughout the day. She reported difficulty jogging due to the amount of pain she was experiencing and made several changes to her execution of exercises and choice of footwear to alleviate the pain.
Her chiropractic treatment involved 10, high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) adjustments that were completed over the course of 4 months. Concluding these sessions, the patient shared that she felt less pain and as though she had stronger and more stable feet. Furthermore, the patient was able to jog lightly and wear different kinds of footwear.
It is important to understand that depending on one’s condition(s), other instruments and interventions may be applied. In this scenario, the patient’s treatment consisted of chiropractic adjustments as well as ultrasound therapy, rock tape, and neuromuscular re-education. As suggested by this article, chiropractic adjustments combined with other forms of treatment may be effective in providing relief for patients with plantar fasciitis. An important outcome of this study was the patient’s return to completing activities of everyday living. However, additional research is required to further explore the relationship between chiropractic care and this condition.
Murphy, J., Floyd, R., Varnum, C., Alcantara, J. (2014). Resolution of Plantar Fasciitis Following Adjustment of Spinal & Extremity Subluxations. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research.