Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain in many individuals. There is usually severe pain with the first few steps taken in the morning.  It can resolve on its own, however, the faster you start treatment the quicker it can resolve. Generally, it will resolve within six to eighteen months (1).  The good news is that 90% of individuals recover with non-surgical treatments. There are treatment options available to help heal faster!

Plantar fasciitis is a collagen degeneration of the plantar fascia. Repetitive microtears in the plantar fascia cause the degeneration. The plantar fascia runs along the bottom of your foot. This fascia provides support for the arch in your foot and shock absorption. Individuals with flat feet, fallen arches, and even high arches are at increased risk for developing plantar fasciitis. Since the feet are the base of the bodies support, plantar fasciitis can lead to an altered gait pattern and places the rest of the body in misalignment. This altered gait can affect the hips, pelvis, back, and neck. Other risk factors include tight/weak calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and intrinsic foot muscles.

In athletes, plantar fasciitis is generally caused by overuse. The constant, repetitive microtrauma exceeds the body’s ability to heal. It can also result in an increase in weight-bearing activities or structural insufficiencies as mentioned above.

Treatment

There are treatment options available. Getting adjusted is very important. Chiropractors can evaluate your posture/gait and give corrective exercises to help rehab the weak areas. By getting adjustments you are correcting the biomechanical risk factors and decreasing the stress on the feet. Successful treatments must focus not only on pain relief, but must also address the underlying causes such as: muscular imbalances; biomechanical deficiencies; improper sporting techniques; and improper conditioning, to name a few.

Orthotics are also important. By supporting the arches in the foot orthotics will place the foot in an anatomically correct position, relaxing the stress on the plantar fascia and calf muscles. I personally wear and recommend Foot-levelers. This type of orthotic uses a 3D scanner and makes a custom orthotic based on your scan. They make a moveable orthotic that builds up the arch support where you need it. I wear mine every day and they are life changing!

K-laser therapy is a non-drug, non-invasive option for healing. A study in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery demonstrated promising results using laser therapy. Patients with chronic plantar fasciitis were split into two groups. One group was treated with low-level 635 nm lasers and the other patients received placebo treatments. Patients received treatments twice a week over a three-week period. At the final follow-up visit, the laser patients demonstrated a mean improvement in heel pain with a Visual Analog Scale score of 29.6 in comparison with a mean improvement of 5.4 in the placebo patients (2). In addition to being non-invasive, low-level laser therapy is a form of regenerative medicine as the modality’s mitochondrial stimulation initiates a low-grade inflammatory cascade of events that can stimulate revascularization of the thickened fascial tissue, according to study co-author Kerry Zang, DPM, FACFAS.

Supplements

Supplements can also be added to help facilitate healing. Magnesium has a lot of beneficial use in the body including: the production of glutathione (an antioxidant); improving nerve function; relaxing tight muscles; and decreasing anxiety. Soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath is a great way to get magnesium to relieve pain and inflammation.

Proteolytic enzymes help decrease inflammation and swelling. Proteolytic enzymes actually reduce healing times by blocking metabolites that cause swelling. For many individuals reducing inflammation helps reduce the pain they feel from plantar fasciitis.

Colostrum comes from the breast of humans and other mammals after giving birth, before true milk appears. Colostrum contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, growth hormone, and specific proteins that can fight diseases such as bacteria and viruses. Athletes use bovine colostrum to improve athletic performance. Medically it is used to boost the immune system, heal injuries, repair nervous system damage, improve mood, slowing/reversing aging, kill bacteria, and fungus. The source of colostrum is important! The colostrum needs to come from organic cows on organic farms, eat natural grass, and never receive any antibiotics.

Stretch/Strengthen

Stretching/Strengthening the muscles in your legs (calf and Achilles tendon) and intrinsic foot muscles are very important! Even with treatment, you can perform stretching/strengthening exercises at home to help with healing. After stretching, one thing I like to do is massage the plantar fascia with essential oils such as lavender or peppermint.

 

Turmeric Latte Love

When my eczema was really bad I was bathing in turmeric in addition to drinking it. I was a walking human orange. Turmeric has significant anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Curcumin which is found in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and has amazing health benefits. Curcumin is great for reducing inflammation, helping regulate blood sugar levels, and reducing pain.

In China turmeric is used to treat abdominal pain. Research has found that turmeric increases mucin secretion and may act as a protective layer in the stomach against irritants. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties patients who received turmeric/curcumin showed significant improvement in their symptoms (1).

In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study with patients who had ulcerative colitis. The patients who received a turmeric/curcumin supplements had a relapse rate much lower than those who took the placebo (2).

Turmeric/curcumin supplementation in clinical studies has also shown improvment in lipid profiles.

There are currently many studies investigating the possible beneficial effects of turmeric/curcumin in a wide variety of illnesses. Turmeric has been used in Asia for many remedies and it may prove to be a great preventative tool for illnesses including cancer, obesity, type-2 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, bacterial infections, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and end-stage renal disease (23).

So why not make a turmeric latte part of your routine? It is simple to make and you can drink it during any part of your day. You do not have to be a walking human orange like I was to reap the benefits of turmeric. Below is one of my favorite recipes for a turmeric latte

  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

Add ingredients, heat over the stove until melted and warm. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and enjoy!

📷 credit: Dr. Axe

Chiropractic and Chronic Pain

Every day more than 115 people in the United States die from overdosing on opioids. Deaths involving opioids have quadrupled since 1999. The CDC estimates an economic burden of prescription opioid misuse in the US alone is $78.5 billion per year.

According to the CDC 1 in 5 patients who receive prescription opioids long-term struggle with addiction. However, the pain reported by Americans has not changed.

In 2014 2 million people abused or were dependent on opioids. Opioids numb the patient’s pain and may convince patients that their condition is less severe of has healed which is not the case.

What has been proven in scientific research is that chiropractic care is effective in treating low back and neck pain.

One study found that individuals with low back pain who utilized chiropractic care were 55% less likely to fill prescriptions for opioids when compared to those who did not. They are currently completing a second study on a much larger scale.

In 2017 the American College of Physicians updated their guidelines for treatment of acute and chronic low back pain to recommend first using non-invasive, non-drug treatment before resorting to drug therapies.

The ACP based their recommendation on randomized controlled trials that stated heat therapy, massage, acupuncture and spinal manipulation as possible options for non-invasive, non-drug therapies for low back pain.

Two weeks ago the governor of West Virginia signed a bill into effect that medical doctors must refer their pain patients to either a chiropractor or physical therapist before they can prescribe opioids. This is the first law like this in the country and hopefully other states will join in.

I believe chiropractic can be a force in the fight against the opioid crisis.

Palmer’s Gallup results showed that 80% of people were willing to try an alternative to pain medication. Chiropractic is a great alternative.

Before you decide to take drugs consider chiropractic first and experience the wonderful benefits chiropractic gives. If you have had a good experience with your chiropractor let me know!  Help share the benefits of chiropractic and the difference it can make in your life! Chiropractic is the reason I did not take pain medication my whole life to combat the pain I was experiencing.

If you do not have a chiropractor ask your friends who they see or go to http://www.palmer.edu/alumni/find-a-chiropractor/ to locate a Palmer graduate.

Live well y’all!