Keeping You on Your Feet
People who use their feet a lot are at risk of developing plantar fasciitis, a painful condition wherein the fascial tissue of the underside of the foot becomes inflamed and loses elasticity. It is seen often in athletes and those with occupations which keep them on their feet: runners, dancers, wait staff, even acupuncturists. The degree of pain ranges broadly and is often worst at the start of the day.
Conventional treatments include:
- rest (which workers can’t afford and athletes can’t imagine)
- massage (there’s even a subspecialty called reflexology, which focuses on the feet)
- steroid injection (which carries potential drug side effects and is a potentially temporary and painful solution which can rupture the fascia, an even worse condition)
- icing (which can stop pain temporarily but in the process also stops the flow of qi, which according to East Asian Medicine actually lengthens recovery time and/or causes future damage)
- surgery (which carries risks such as bad reactions to anesthesia, infection, potential for nerve injury, rupture of the fascia, and it isn’t even guaranteed to resolve your pain)
- orthotics (custom ones can be pricey, though there are affordable options; it’s not a guaranteed fix, however)
- stretching (free and carries additional health benefits of its own)
Luckily, there are alternatives. East Asian Medicine can treat the pain of plantar fasciitis through many different approaches, including traditional acupuncture, e-stim (whereby a gentle electrical current is run through acupuncture needles), moxibustion, and tuina.
To read more about acupuncture and plantar fasciitis, try some of the following links:
- Runner’s World article on e-stim (electro-acupuncture) treatment
- Acupuncture Today article on e-stim treatment
- Medical Acupuncture online journal article on e-stim treatment
- Livestrong article links
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