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What You Need to Know About Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis is caused from inflammation in the thick band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot. This tissue, which is called the plantar fascia, connects your heel bone to your toes.

If you experience stabbing pains along the bottom of your feet when taking your first steps in the morning, then you may have plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis pain may decrease with more steps. However, it may return after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting.

Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. It’s also common in people who or overweight and people who wear shoes with inadequate support.

Today, we’re explaining what you need to know about plantar fasciitis, including what it is, its symptoms, and its treatment options.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel.

Most plantar fasciitis sufferers notice the issue primarily during the first few steps of the day – say, just after getting out of bed. However, you may also notice it after long periods of inactivity, like if you were sitting at your desk for 2-3 hours with minimal movement.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation in the plantar fascia, which is the thick band of tissue that runs from your toes to your heel across the bottom of your foot.

When this tissue becomes irritated or inflamed, it causes pain.

The plantar fascia is in the shape of a bowstring. The tissue supports your foot and absorbs shock as you walk and run.

A healthy plantar fascia can absorb tension and stress. When tension becomes too great, however, it can cause small tears in the tissue. When you repeatedly stretch and tear the plantar fascia, it can lead to irritation and inflammation.

We know that plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation and irritation in the plantar fascia. However, the cause of this inflammation isn’t always clear.

Risk Factors of Plantar Fasciitis

Some people develop plantar fasciitis due to excessive wear and tear in the region – like too much running or walking, improper shoe support, and obesity, or a combination of all three.

For others, however, the cause of plantar fasciitis remains unclear.

We do know, however, that certain factors put you more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis, including:

  • Age: Plantar fasciitis is most common between ages 40 and 60.
  • Certain Types of Exercise: Some types of exercise place stress on your heel and attached tissue. Long-distance running, ballet dancing, aerobic dance, and similar foot-intensive activities can all increase the risk of plantar fasciitis.
  • Foot Mechanics: Having flat feet, a high arch, or an abnormal walking pattern can affect the way weight is distributed when standing, putting added stress on the plantar fascia tissue and increasing the chance of developing plantar fasciitis.
  • Obesity: People who are obese or overweight naturally put more pressure on their feet during normal activities, increasing the risk of plantar fasciitis.
  • Occupational Hazards: Some people spend all day on their feet during work. People in certain professions – like cashiers or factory workers – may have increased risk of plantar fasciitis.

How to Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis

A doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor can diagnose plantar fasciitis with a physical examination and other tests.

The specialist may ask about your medical history, for example, and check areas of tenderness in your foot.

If your foot is tender in certain areas but not others, then it’s a sign you have plantar fasciitis.

Typically, specialists can diagnose plantar fasciitis without an imaging test. However, some may recommend an X-ray or MRI to verify a diagnosis.

How Do Chiropractors Treat Plantar Fasciitis?

Chiropractors, physical therapists, and physicians may treat plantar fasciitis using medications, therapies, manipulations, or injections. Severe cases of plantar fasciitis may require surgery, although surgery is rare.

Common treatments for plantar fasciitis include:

  • Pain Relief Drugs: Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may reduce the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapists can stretch the plantar fascia tendon and Achilles, reducing the risk of injury, strengthening the leg muscles, and supporting the bottom of your feet.
  • Night Splints: A splint may stretch your calf and the arch of your foot, holding your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight to stretch it.
  • Orthotics: Doctors might prescribe arch supports (orthotics) to reduce symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Some can treat their condition with on-the-shelf orthotics, while others with more serious cases may want to buy custom-fitted orthotics.
  • Steroid Injections: Injecting steroid medication into the tender area of the foot can provide temporary pain relief from plantar fasciitis.
  • Plasma Injections: Some specialists also recommend platelet-rich plasma injections, which can promote tissue healing in the region.
  • Shock Wave Therapy: Shock wave therapy directs sound waves at the affected area to stimulate healing.
  • Ultrasonic Tissue Repair: Ultrasonic tissue repair is a minimally invasive procedure where doctors use ultrasound imaging to guide a needle-like probe into the damaged plantar fascia tissue. This probe vibrates rapidly, breaking up damaged tissue and suctioning it out, kickstarting your body’s natural healing processes.
  • Surgery: Most plantar fasciitis cases can be addressed with the treatment methods above, and few people require surgery. However, if pain is severe and all other treatments have failed, then a doctor may recommend surgery. During plantar fasciitis surgery, the plantar fascia tissue is detached from the heel bone.
Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis

A chiropractor or other plantar fasciitis specialist may recommend home treatments to supplement care. Popular home remedies for plantar fasciitis include:

  • Lose Weight: Losing weight puts less strain on your feet and plantar fascia tendon.
  • Buying Better Shoes: Supportive shoes with a low to moderate heel, thick soles, good arch support, and extra cushioning can reduce inflammation in the plantar fascia tendon.
  • Replace Old Running Shoes: If you run or walk using an old, worn-out pair of shoes, then you may be at-risk for developing plantar fasciitis.
  • Reduce High-Impact Physical Activity: Take a break from high-impact sports or contact sports. Try low-impact exercises like swimming or biking instead.
  • Apply Ice: Applying ice to the bottom of your feet can reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Stretch your Arches: Ask your chiropractor about at-home exercises to stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles.
Schedule a Free Chiropractic Plantar Fasciitis Appointment in Lakewood, Colorado Today

Dr. Jason Jumper and the team at Renew Chiropractic can treat symptoms of plantar fasciitis, putting patients on the path towards recovery.

With decades of proven chiropractic experience, Dr. Jumper is one of the most-trusted chiropractors in the greater Denver area.

Schedule a free plantar fasciitis consultation with Renew Chiropractic in Lakewood, Colorado today.

Top 9 Myths About Whiplash

3 million Americans are diagnosed with whiplash every year.

Approximately 50% of whiplash cases lead to chronic pain. Some people deal with whiplash pain for the rest of their lives.

Despite the prevalence of whiplash, there are still many myths about whiplash. Whiplash doesn’t have to come from a car accident, for example, and you don’t have to apply significant force to develop whiplash.

Today, we’re debunking some of the most common myths about whiplash.

Myth #1: You’ll Notice Whiplash Symptoms Within 24 Hours of Injury

Most whiplash symptoms occur soon after a car accident or other traumatic event. However, some people don’t notice symptoms of whiplash for days or even weeks.

As the Cleveland Clinic explains, “you may feel signs and symptoms immediately after the injury or they may not show up for several days”.

Myth #2: Whiplash Injuries Are More Common Among Elderly Drivers

You might assume that older adults are more likely to experience whiplash than younger adults.

In fact, statistics show that whiplash is most common in people between ages 30 and 50.

However, it is true that whiplash injuries become more severe with age. As people get older, they become less flexible. The discs and ligaments in your neck aren’t as elastic, which can increase the severity of injury when your neck moves whips back and forth.

Myth #3: You Must Be in a Car Accident to Experience Whiplash

Most whiplash injuries are caused by front or rear-end car accidents. However, you don’t need to be in a vehicle to experience whiplash.

Whiplash can occur at any time. Some people experience whiplash after a fall, for example. Others get whiplash from high impact sports – like snowboarding, skiing, or football.

Myth #4: Men and Women Are Equally At Risk for Whiplash

You might assume that men and women have an equal risk of experiencing whiplash. In fact, there’s a significant gender difference in whiplash cases.

One study from 1999 found that females had 3 times the risk of developing whiplash compared to men. That study analyzed rear-end collision data from Folksam, a Swedish insurance company. After controlling for male and female positions within the vehicle (i.e. driver and passenger positions), researchers found that women were still 3 times as likely as men to suffer from whiplash.

Females not only had a higher risk of whiplash injury than men, but they also had increased disability rates compared to males.

A study from Volvo’s accident database reinforced these results, finding that females were 2x to 3x more likely to suffer from whiplash in an accident.

Myth #5: Passengers and Drivers Are Equally as Likely to Get Whiplash

The same 1999 study linked above found that drivers were more at risk for whiplash than passengers.

Specifically, the driver position had twice the relative risk of whiplash as the front passenger position – at least for whiplash cases involving rear-end impacts.

Researchers analyzed Volvo’s data to find similar results: drivers were more likely to get whiplash than passengers, although this difference was less significant with crashes involving male drivers and passengers.

Myth #6: You Have to Be Driving Faster than 10mph to Get Whiplash

When you think of whiplash, you might think of high-speed collisions. However, it doesn’t take a lot of force for whiplash to occur.

In fact, many whiplash injuries from vehicle accidents occur at speeds between 5mph and 10mph.

A minor parking lot collision may not seem serious – but it can often lead to whiplash for all parties involved.

Myth #7: Rest is Always the Best Way to Treat Whiplash Injuries

You might assume that rest is the best way to treat a whiplash injury. Rest can lead to temporary pain relief.

However, rest can actually be bad for certain whiplash injuries. Prolonged rest – say, for more than 2-3 days – can stiffen the muscles in your neck, shoulders and back. This makes your muscles weak and could lengthen whiplash pain.

In many whiplash cases, the best way to recover is to return to normal activity as soon as your doctor approves it.

Myth #8: All Whiplash Injuries Are Mostly the Same

Whiplash injuries vary widely in severity. Some whiplash injuries go away on their own after a few days. Other injuries last weeks, months, or even years. Some patients deal with whiplash pain for life.

Physicians grade whiplash injuries on a scale from 0 to 3:

  • Grade 0: No physical signs of injury or patient complaints.
  • Grade 1: No physical signs of injury, but neck pain is present.
  • Grade 2: There are physical signs of a musculoskeletal injury and the patient is experiencing neck pain.
  • Grade 3: There are neurological signs of whiplash and the patient is experiencing neck pain.
Myth #9: Whiplash Injuries Will Go Away On Their Own

Unfortunately, whiplash injuries may not heal themselves.

In fact, researchers have found that up to 50% of people who experience a whiplash injury will never fully recover. Up to 30% of whiplash victims will remain “moderately to severely disabled by their condition”.

Whiplash Chiropractic Care in Lakewood, Colorado

If you are experiencing symptoms of whiplash, then consider visiting a chiropractor.

Renew Chiropractic offers free consultations for new patients.

Call 720-493-5885 and discover how Lakewood’s leading chiropractor can help you recover from whiplash.