Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The pain is typically felt from the heel and stretches along the arch of the foot. Most people complain of the first few steps of the day being the most painful and report a reduction in pain during activity.
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury and mainly affects athletic and active people like runners, tennis players, and walkers. There can be an occupational association related to the onset of plantar fasciitis, affecting individuals who stand or walk on hard surfaces for long periods. Body weight can also play a significant role, as 40% of men and 90% of women affected with plantar fasciitis may also be obese.
From an Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine perspective plantar fasciitis often has a deeper root as well as a physical or biomechanical cause. Internal organ weakness and meridian blockage or deficiency is often diagnosed as an underlying cause.
From a Western Medical perspective plantar fasciitis is the inflammation and irritation of the thick fibrous connective tissue known as the plantar fascia found in the sole of the foot. The plantar fascia originates from the heel and travels the length of the sole to insert at the base of the toes. It functions to support the arch of the foot and aids in the development of push – off power during running and jumping.
In Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine the plantar fascia overlaps the pathways of the Kidney and Spleen meridians in the sole of the foot. Similar to the causes listed above the Kidney organ and its meridian from a Chinese Medical point of view is often injured from things such as over training for athletic pursuits, over working, and not receiving adequate rest and recovery. For this reason elite athletes, athletes that are prone to over training, and workaholics often show weakness in the Kidney organ and meridian and can experience pain in areas where the Kidney meridian innervates, such as the sole of the foot. Another cause of plantar fasciitis that we discussed above is obesity, which in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is related to a weakness in the Spleen organ and meridian. Chinese Medical theory views the Spleen as one of the main organs of digestion, governing the functions of chemical digestion and nutrient absorption. The Spleen and its meridian are weakened by a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. A weakness in the Spleen can result in obesity as well as pain or weakness along its associated meridian pathway.
My treatment approach to plantar fasciitis from an Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine perspective is individualized and systemic. Addressing not only local pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia and associated muscle imbalances but also internal organ and meridian blockages and weakness which can often be the underlying cause and a hindrance to recovery.
For more information or to book an appointment contact my office at (250) 860 – 2212 or visit my website www.klochiropractic.ca
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