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Plantar Fasciitis

This is a condition affecting the sole of the bottom of the foot. Plantar means “sole of the foot.” Fasciitis is “inflammation of the fascia.” The fascia is a fibrous membrane covering, supporting and separating muscles. Think of it as cellophane wrapping for muscles.

Plantar fasciitis is a common diagnosis for foot pain. You might ask where the inflammation causing pain in the fascia of the sole of the foot comes from. Get rid of the inflammation and you get rid of the pain.

The sole of the foot has an arch in it that is easily visible and varies from person to person. This arch has a bony structure, which is made up of 10 bones. If any one of these bones “drops” or fixates you have what is called a “dropped arch.” The arch provides “spring” when you walk.

If one of these bones drops, ever so slightly,  joints stiffen and the spring is reduced. The lessened spring in the arch causes irritation in the joints and muscles of the sole of the feet when you walk. When the spring of the arch is reduced by fixated bones and joints, the resulting irritation causes inflammation in the muscles and soft tissues resulting in pain and discomfort. By the way, inflammation is an immune response to an unhappy part of the body. Pain is one of 4 main symptoms of inflammation.

Usually, a few chiropractic adjustments to the stuck bones of the feet return the spring, then the pain, and other inflammatory symptoms resolve. A bit of muscle release may also be needed.

Surgery for plantar fasciitis is probably a ridiculous idea. Where surgery of the foot could be a good idea is with major big toe bunions. All you have to do is see one of these to agree with me on this point. Most foot pain though, resolves with chiropractic adjusting of the foot, and often the knee, hips and/or low back also need adjusting to fully address the plantar fasciitis.   

Dr. Mike Spearman

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