Plantar fasciitis is a common condition, caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick, supportive band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes. Flat feet, high arches, improper footwear, and, of course, overuse, can all contribute to plantar fasciitis. If you’re struggling to deal with this chronic condition, you may wonder if acupuncture for plantar fasciitis is worth a shot.
Acupuncture is tremendously effective at managing pain associated with plantar fasciitis, and is a wonderful, all-natural supportive measure that can finally provide you with relief.
Does acupuncture treat plantar fasciitis pain?
If you have plantar fasciitis, you know what a pain it can be — and not just metaphorically, but literally, too. Plantar fasciitis can be downright debilitating at times and can make simple tasks, like climbing a set of stairs or walking uphill incredibly painful.
The good news is that acupuncture can help treat your plantar fasciitis symptoms, and is particularly effective for managing pain. One study found that patients who received acupuncture for plantar fasciitis 5 times a week for 2 weeks saw a significant reduction in pain compared to the control group.
In mild cases, acupuncture alone may be enough to manage your plantar fasciitis pain. This is especially true if you suffer from plantar fasciitis flare-ups, rather than chronic symptoms. But even in severe cases, acupuncture can be used as a supportive measure to provide you with all-natural pain management.
That’s because acupuncture triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Endorphins are feel-good hormones that promote a sense of well-being, and latch onto the opioid receptors in the brain, making it easier for you to cope with pain without the use of prescription medications.
How does acupuncture for plantar fasciitis work?
Acupuncture works by identifying the underlying cause of your pain, and inserting sterile needles into various acupuncture points across the body. This process stimulates the flow of blood and oxygen to injured tissues, which, in turn, reduces inflammation and supports the healing process.
The key benefit that acupuncture offers plantar fasciitis patients is that it can significantly reduce pain. But it also provides patients with improved strength and flexibility. As sterile needles are inserted, they create microtears in the muscle fibers, stimulating the body’s natural healing response. The increase in blood and oxygen to the injury site has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
The plantar fascia absorbs shock. Over time, this band may develop tears and inflammation as a result of recurrent trauma. But because acupuncture stimulates healing, it can help this band heal, allowing you to use your feet more comfortably.
Using acupuncture as a supportive therapy for your plantar fasciitis strengthens the plantar fascia over time, so you can stay on your feet for longer. It also improves the flexibility of the band giving you a better range of motion so you can get back to doing all of the things you love.
What can you expect during your acupuncture for plantar fasciitis session?
During your acupuncture session, your acupuncturist will first ask you about your symptoms to gain a better understanding of the underlying cause of your plantar fasciitis. They may also ask you to perform a strength test, so be sure to wear comfortable clothing to your session. This will allow them to choose the most effective strategy for your treatment.
Your acupuncturist will then insert sterile, dry needles into various points across your body. Acupuncture is not painful. Patients often report feeling a slight sense of pressure, followed immediately by relief as the needles release tension.
Once the needles have been inserted, your acupuncturist will advise you to rest for 30 to 45 minutes or so. When your session is over, the needles are removed, and you can get back to your everyday life. Your acupuncturist may advise you to get a massage or to rest before engaging in exercise. They may also give you a series of stretches to perform to maximize the effects of your treatment.
How long will you need acupuncture to manage your plantar fasciitis?
Acute plantar fasciitis tends to be the easiest to manage. Studies show that the effects of acupuncture for plantar fasciitis peak between 4 to 8 weeks. So your acupuncturist will likely advise regular treatments for a while to enable you to experience the maximum benefits of the therapy.
Chronic cases of plantar fasciitis usually require ongoing acupuncture therapy. An acupuncture session can be especially useful for helping you overcome your most severe symptoms. But regular sessions can help improve your pain threshold in the long run thanks to the mitigating effects of endorphins.
Your acupuncturist will be able to give you a better idea of how often you’ll need to be treated.
Can acupuncture alone be used to treat plantar fasciitis?
If your plantar fasciitis symptoms are mild, then acupuncture may be enough to ameliorate your symptoms. But in severe and/or chronic cases, acupuncture may not be enough to help you tackle your symptoms completely.
Your acupuncturist may recommend additional therapies to help you overcome your symptoms. Dry needling and electrostimulation may be advised to improve your results. Corrective exercise programming to learn how to use your muscles in a synergistic way may also be recommended to help you reduce inflammation and improve your range of motion.
Booking an acupuncture appointment
Ready to find out what acupuncture has got in store for you? If you’re tired of dealing with your plantar fasciitis pain — or your rhomboid pain, or your facet joint pain, or anything else — contact Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture today.
From your very first visit, we will work with you to get to the root cause of your pain so it can finally be treated effectively. When you book an appointment at one of our offices, you can rest easy knowing you’ll receive quality, compassionate care. We want you to get back on your feet (literally!), and we’re willing to go above and beyond to help you feel better.
Unlock the healing benefits of acupuncture and discover why this centuries-old treatment method is going mainstream in medicine. Get in touch with us today so you can finally get back to living the life you’ve always dreamed of.