One of the most frequent causes of heel pain is a condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis affects millions of Americans annually.
The name “plantar fasciitis” refers to the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue spanning across the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis indicates a painful inflammation of this tissue, often caused by high-impact activities such as running or jumping. It is commonly experienced by athletes, as well as those who engage in jobs or activities that require a lot of standing or walking.
It is important to note that plantar fasciitis also commonly affects people who suffer from flat feet, as well as older individuals. This is because the plantar fascia loses elasticity with age.
Without proper treatment, plantar fasciitis can last anywhere from 6 to 18 months. However, Mid-County Physical Therapy is excited to offer solutions for those looking to reduce their pain, speed up their recovery, and return to their former quality of life: therapeutic dry needling.
Dry Needling vs. Acupuncture
Oftentimes people confuse dry needling with acupuncture. However, the two treatments are very different. Acupuncture originated from Eastern medicine traditions, which seek to relieve foot and ankle pain through stimulation of the central nervous system.
Dry needling, on the other hand, works to target trigger points in the foot and ankle. Trigger points are discrete but palpable focal points of hyperirritability located in a taut, shock-absorbing bow-string of skeletal muscle known as the plantar fascia.
It is these trigger points that produce much of the pain experienced in plantar fasciitis. Dry needling helps to heal these trigger points by loosening them, increasing blood flower to the area, and activating the body’s natural healing process.
How Dry Needling For Plantar Fasciitis Works
The tissues of our bodies respond to two primary methods of treatment. The first is chemical; the second is mechanical. Dry needling activates mechanical stimuli within the foot tissue using extremely thin needles to puncture the skin.
This approach is a hands-on physical therapy method. The filiform needles used in dry needling carefully penetrate the skin with minimal pain. Dry needling is highly effective because the deepest parts of the muscle can be treated. This provides a high level of relief that most patients have never experienced before.
Once inserted, these needles will target certain trigger points, such as the heel, the Achilles tendon, and the fat tissue located on either side of the plantar fascia. Once the needles are removed, a heating modality is applied over the foot to provide relief. A hot bath can also be helpful post-treatment.
After the heat pad is applied, your physical therapist may perform a foot adjustment. This is a series of exercises designed to further relieve pain and tension.
After two to three sessions, you will see noticeable improvements in your muscles. After a few trigger point dry needling treatments, your muscles will begin to retrain themselves and provoke an alternate neuro-muscular response.
Plantar fasciitis is just one of many conditions related to trigger points. Other conditions that may benefit from dry needling include the following.
- Carpal Tunnel
- Strains in the groin, muscle, and hamstring
- Migraines and headaches
- Tennis elbow
Are You Ready to Take the First Step Towards Relief?
The health experts at Mid-County Physical Therapy have the expertise, tools, and training needed to perform the dry needling treatments you need to rid yourself of plantar fasciitis pain. Our team of dedicated staff members is committed to getting you back to your former level of fitness as quickly and safely as possible.
There’s no reason to let pain stop you from living life to the fullest. We can identify and treat your plantar fasciitis. To learn more, make an appointment with Mid-County Physical Therapy today.