Many cases of plantar fasciitis improve with relatively conservative treatment, including stretching, rest, and massage, but when these approaches don’t work, other therapies are often recommended. Concerns over the safety of taking over-the-counter painkillers have increased in recent years, so many look for more natural, alternative treatments.
ACUPUNCTURE FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Treatment of plantar fasciitis is designed to reduce the strain on the plantar fascia by treating local muscles and improving the blood flow to the affected tissue, allowing it to heal. Several acupuncture points used target a region known as the tarsal tunnel, the region in the ankle where nerves and blood flow. Tension in this region can impede blood flow and is thought to be an underlying contributor to the development of plantar fasciitis. Acupuncture improves plantar heel pain through several pathways. First, inserting needles at the source of the pain produces a local effect on nerve endings that reduces pain. The body responds to acupuncture by producing a substance called adenosine which has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. So, in this way, the needles stimulate the body to self-heal. Acupuncture also boosts blood flow to the area and stimulates fibroblasts, a special type of cell that promotes tissue healing. It also relieves pressure on the calf muscles and the foot muscles that attach near or at the attachments of the plantar fascia.