Many patients book an appointment for their excruciating heel pain. We take many steps in a day, making it hard to ignore this issue!
Although not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis, I thought I would sum up some common findings and recommendations:
Typical presentation: Patient presents with heel pain, typically worse after some form of rest (i.e. waking up in the morning or sitting for long periods of time). Pain is localized more towards the inside of the heel.
Why does it occur? MOST, if not ALL, issues causing plantar fasciitis have to do with improper foot mechanics. If this is not addressed, you can book yourself in for the next 6 months, and we will see you again for this in the future. IMPROPER FOOTWEAR. I repeat, IMPROPER FOOTWEAR is the most common cause of this problem! By addressing this issue alone, you will see a significant improvement. This can mean through a CUSTOM foot orthotic (which is a service we provide at the office), and avoiding terrible shoes that have no support (you would be surprised at what people show me as “good shoes”… they are usually not!!).
Here is what to expect from treatment:
Gait and feet will be analyzed/assessed
Acupuncture to calves, Achilles, plantar fascia
Laser therapy to plantar fascia
Shockwave therapy to plantar fascia
Soft tissue release to arches and calves
Tape for arch support and to decrease forces to area
Other important recommendations and changes to make:
Don’t walk around bare foot! Always wear a supportive shoe in the house. I usually recommend something like a Croc. (Not so fashionable I know, but nobody has to see them).
Get custom orthotics (done at our office)
Wear supportive shoes
Insert gel heel cups in your shoes to help disperse forces
Self-massage your arches after you’ve been sitting or sleeping before you take your first step
Do calf and plantar fascia stretches
Rule out a bone spur via X-ray (we can send you for that!)
Potentially need to decrease weight (a lot of pressure through joints of feet)
One thing I can tell you is that you cannot solve this problem without the experienced hands of a professional therapist! The longer you wait, the increased chances it will become chronic and harder to treat. It can also lead to bone spurs in the heel.
About Dr. Daniela DiPaola
Dr. Daniela DiPaola graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, prior to which she received an Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology Degree from McMaster University. She has completed her certification in Contemporary Medical Acupuncture, with continued education in Functional Integrated Needling courses. Dr. DiPaola is a full-body Certified Active Release Technique® (ART) Provider. She also has her Personal Training Certification.
Dr. DiPaola utilizes a number of techniques including: Acupuncture, chiropractic joint manipulation, ART®, Class IV Laser Therapy, Shockwave Therapy and Kinesio-Taping techniques. Her treatment goal is to improve biomechanical and musculoskeletal dysfunction in order for her patients to return to activity and optimal function as quickly as possible. See SERVICES page for more info on each individual technique.