Plantar Fasciitis–Stubborn, Stabbing Pain and How Acupuncture Comes to the Rescue

It hurts when you climb out of bed and stand up, often like a stabbing pain in the heel. Or frustratingly, after you put on your running shoes and start your workout. Or simply when you are standing in line at the grocery store or bank. The pain is stubborn. You wish you could sit down, but you can’t. Maybe your job won’t allow you to. Or you really do not want to miss your workout. Acupuncture can help you, and here is how.

plantar fasciitis

Look at this illustration. You will see the plantar fascia, a thick band of fibrous tissue, and the most common cause of heel pain. It gets inflamed and painful by repeated micro-trauma, especially where it attaches near the heel bone. Sometimes it is not inflamed, but the chronic micro-trauma causes degeneration of the fascial fibers, which creates pain.

Often, a heel spur forms at the insertion of the plantar fascia on the medial aspect of the heel bone. It may seem as though acupuncture could not possibly help resolve pain caused by hard, bony tissue, but studies have shown that the pain of plantar fasciitis does not necessarily come from the spur but from the tendinous attachment itself. Fifty percent of people who have had surgery to remove the spur continues to have the same pain after surgery(1). In any case, acupuncture is quite effective at helping this condition.

How does it respond to acupuncture?

In my experience, quite well, sometimes with an encouraging reduction of pain after the first treatment, and usually with a significant or total reduction after a series of treatments. It is better to rest during the course of therapy, but some patients cannot because their work does not allow it, or they will not because they are competitive athletes. Acupuncture still works. Take the case of Jeffery J., for example, an ultra-marathoner I treated, who was in a lot of pain from his training, but who was able to continue training due to the acupuncture, and went on to complete a 100-mile race.

Read Jeffery’s and other testimonials from patients who had plantar fasciitis treated by acupuncture. You can search all testimonials using “Search Testimonials”.

(1) Matt Callison, L.Ac., Sports Medicine Acupuncture, San Diego, CA. Acusport Education, 2019, p 968

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