On Oct. 6, 2014, a case study was published in the journal Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documenting the case of a patient with plantar fasciitis being helped with chiropractic care. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.”
The study authors note how common this issue is by reporting that in the United States, 2 million people are affected by this disorder, and it accounts for more than one million visits to foot specialists and primary care physicians each year. They also report that there is discussion about whether this condition is inflammation or degeneration in nature. In either case, the authors consider this issue to be biomechanical in nature and therefore well within the chiropractic area.
This case involved a 23-year-old woman who went to the chiropractor complaining of bilateral foot pain. She had been medically diagnosed previously with plantar fasciitis. The pain was severe and was determined to be between a 7 and 8 out of 10 (ten being worst) on many days. Her podiatrist prescribed orthotics, and gave her foot stretching exercises to do each morning. She was also taking ibuprofen daily to deal with the pain.
The woman described her pain as worse in the morning with the right foot being more painful than her left. She also reported that although she had been a jogger, she was no longer able to jog due to the pain. Other daily activities were also being affected by her condition. She was even forced to wear only tennis shoes in order to minimize the pain when walking.
A chiropractic and orthopedic examination was performed. The results of the orthopedics test did not reveal any results. However, the chiropractic examination did show multiple issues related to the spine and pelvis. Based on the history and the results of the chiropractic examination, it was determined that multiple areas of subluxations were present, and a course of chiropractic care was begun. The patient was also given exercises to perform at home.
After only one chiropractic visit, the patient reported significant relief and stated, “The pain is less and I can walk with significant less pain.” After 10 visits, an update was done on the patient to check her progress. In that update she proclaimed that she “…has not had any exacerbations, her feet feel strong, more stable and great.” Shortly thereafter the patient was able to resume light jogging and wear any shoe she wanted.