If your first few steps out of bed in the morning cause severe pain in the heel of your foot, you may have plantar fasciitis, an overuse injury that affects the sole of the foot. A diagnosis of plantar fasciitis means you have inflamed the tough, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) connecting your heel bone to the base of your toes.
The condition typically starts gradually with mild pain at the heel bone often referred to as a stone bruise. You’re more likely to feel it after (not during) exercise. The pain classically occurs right after getting up in the morning and after a period of sitting.
You’re more likely to develop the condition if you’re female, overweight or have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You’re also at risk if you walk or run for exercise, especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles. People with very flat feet or very high arches also are more prone to plantar fasciitis.
If you don’t treat plantar fasciitis, it may become a chronic condition. You may not be able to keep up your level of activity, and you may develop tendonitis of achilles, bone spurs, even sciatica or lower back pain because plantar fasciitis can change the way you walk.
Your foot is an extremely complex part of your body. A single foot is made up of 38 bones. Which makes both feet hosts to 76 bones!! This multitude of bones is connected by joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, making just one foot even more complex than just the 38 bones! Your foot is subject to many debilitating stresses throughout any given day.
Foot pain and ankle pain account for almost 5 million doctor’s office visits every year. That’s a staggering amount of pain, which can become debilitating in that it will limit your range of normal motion, and seriously limit your quality of life.
What Is Foot and Ankle Pain Caused By?
A wide variety of conditions can cause foot and ankle pain. The quest for fashion, and improper footwear, such as high heeled shoes, can cause much pain. Tight shoes or improperly fitting shoes are the usual culprits responsible for pressure, friction and stress.
Exercise and sports can cause very painful foot and ankle injuries, some of which are temporary, some of which stay with you and end up causing you chronic pain. Improper warm up techniques, improper footwear when exercising, or improper foot usage during sports or exercising are just a few of the most common examples.
Other causes of foot pain are less dependent on outside factors such as those noted above. The more inherent foot problems which involve foot joints, ligaments, nerves, tendons, toes and heels which can cause severe or chronic foot and ankle pain are:
Abnormal Pronation – your foot does not meet with the ground or leave the ground properly
Bunions – bone or tissue that protrudes from a foot joint
Corns – callous growths on top of your toes0
Hammertoes – middle joint of any given toe pops out
Heel spurs – abnormal growths attached to the heel bone
Neuromas – tissue buildup on the nerves of the long bones of the foot
Who Is Most Affected By Foot and Ankle Pain?
Almost everyone is affected by foot and ankle pain at some point in their lifetime, be it simply stepping down wrong, leaning wrong, bad posture or by subjecting their feet to undue stress.
Foot and ankle pain affects two segments of the population mainly. Those whose feet are brand new such as babies and toddlers who are learning to walk, and individuals over the age of 50. Once you are over the age of 50, things start to wear down and feet are no exception.
So How Does Acupuncture Help Foot And Ankle Pain?
Acupuncture is a pain management treatment that has been around for thousands of years. Acupuncture treats the pain both locally and systemically, with acute and chronic pain responding well to the treatment, especially where conventional medicine did not provide an effective treatment.
Acupuncture as a foot and ankle pain treatment can stimulate blood flow to your feet, ankles and lower legs. Different acupuncturists use varying techniques when working to provide pain relief to your ankles, ball of your foot and your heels as well as when working to provide you with chronic foot and ankle pain relief.
Always discuss your particular condition first with your acupuncturist before beginning any treatment. Not everyone responds the same to all treatments. Your acupuncturist will create a customized plan of foot and ankle pain relief with you before treatment is initiated.
Understanding Pain in Relation to Traditional Chinese Medicine
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, pain and it’s relation to acupuncture is relatively simple and straightforward.
Pain is considered to be a stagnation or blockage of Qi, (energy). Qi runs in what is known as energy channels and meridians throughout your body. When an energy channel or meridian is blocked, Qi is then blocked, and pain will be experienced.
Acupuncture helps to break up the blockages and to establish or re-establish the smooth balanced flow of Qi.
Contact us today at Allendale Acupuncture and Nutrition Center for more information on how we can help you with your foot and ankle pain. Give us a call – 201.760.8811!