Acupuncture for plantar fasciitis: What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). It’s often painful.

Case study: Female, 47 years old, active and fit

Started to suffer pain in her foot shortly after completing a 21km cross country run in October 2015. She had been doing a lot of running including completing four 21km runs plus a number of 15km runs during the same year. The pain became most noticeable on the Melbourne Cup weekend.

A couple of weeks after that she had an x-ray and an ultrasound and received a medical diagnosis of plantar fasciitis. She experienced significant pain and could hardly walk; at home she had to keep shoes on inside because walking barefoot was too painful. She had to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication on several occasions so that she could continue to go to work.

She started acupuncture treatments in late November 2015 and had three sessions over several weeks. She chose not to take up any other treatment modalities. A short time after her third treatment, she felt that she improved enough to go for a run. She then participated in the Inverloch Parkrun on Christmas Day 25 December 2015. This is a 5km run on concrete footpath.

She completed the run with no pain, in a good time considering she had not run for 8 weeks, and had no pain in the days after that. She has completed further runs since, including another two 21km cross country runs. She has not had any further pain in her foot whatsoever.

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