Types of Foot injuries
Pain in the foot can have many different causes, stemming from poor footwear, tight calves and even menopause. Below are the most common causes of foot and heel:
- Heel Spurs
- Plantar Fasciitis
- morton’s Neuroma
All of these above injuries can cause sharp pains and difficulty walking if left untreated. This is why I encourage all my clients to come in for Acupuncture as soon as they begin experiencing foot or heel pain. The danger is, because we are always on our feet, that the tissue becomes chronically inflamed.
Causes of Foot and Heel Pain
There can be many causes for developing Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain. Commonly in women it is caused by footwear which though fashionable, does not provide good support for your feet. In men its often causing by walking in flip-flops, which again provide no support for your arches or feet. Similarly work boots though necessary for safety, are quite heavy and restrictive in movement. This immobilisation of your ankle combined with the added pressure on your calves can be another cause of developing heel pain.
Sporting injuries from doing too much running or walking can cause the padding in the heel to become inflamed. If this inflammation goes on for too long, calcifications can develop on the heel bone causing painful spurs.
Menopause is a common cause for heel pain in middle aged women due the deficiency of yin causing the hot flushing. The lower body is considered yin, and therefore the most yin point (the foot) can become inflamed.
How I treat Heel and Foot Pain with Acupuncture
We first have to diagnose the root cause within Chinese Medicine, which is determined by the type of pain you are experiencing. Some feels a sharp, stabbing fixed pain, others feel a constant throb or ache. Both of this point to a slightly different pathology. I also investigate the root cause, which can occur anywhere in the posterior chain of muscles, as I find the heel is often a symptom of larger muscular problem. I then select points to help relieve the tension causing the pain and help provide pain relief.
As stated in the Acupuncture Evidence Report, there is what is classed as ‘medium quality’ data in scientific papers on Acupuncture and plantar heel pain. Meaning that there are signs of a positive effect, but more research is needed to provide conclusive results.
Preventing and Managing Foot/Heel Pain
The most common cause I see is poor footwear. Sadly fashionable footwear is rarely good for your feet. This type of footwear can be worn, but not for long periods nor should large amounts of walking be done in them. Flip-flops are another classic example. There are many manufacturers now, like Teva, who make the classic flip-flop with proper soles and arch support. There are similar advances in women’s footwear also. The lack of support puts excess strain on the tissue and ligament in your feet, which can go unnoticed until they become severely inflamed.
Soaking your sore feet in warm water with epsom salts may also help reduce the pain. Remember, from the moment you wake up, until you go to sleep, you are on your feet. So its important you look after them.
If you would like more information on whether Acupuncture may help, fee free to call the clinic on 9796 2388