The pain and inflammation of Plantar Fasciitis is actually a symptom of a full-body pattern of muscle tension originating in the lower back. No amount of icing, rest, or arch supports will relieve plantar fasciitis if the larger pattern of tension that’s causing the problem is not addressed. I combine two holistic treatments, chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy, to resolve plantar fasciitis in New York City.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition producing heel pain, particularly for those finding themselves frequently standing or walking or standing.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick band of fibrous tissue (plantar fascia) extending along the bottom of your foot connecting the heel bone to the toes and providing support to the arch of the foot. When this plantar fascia is weak, it can emit pain when you get up and onto your feet or perhaps when you’re walking uphill. The pain may gradually build or it may strike at once sharply.
How Did I Get Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis typically reflects overuse or repetitive strain of the foot, but can also result from improper footwear, high arches or flat feet, a tight calf muscles or achilles tendon, excessive running or even obesity. A common cause of plantar fasciitis is simply ‘pronation’ of the foot, which by some estimates to varying measures is a condition shared by 77% of the population.
When the foot is subject to increased pronation, your ankle and arch rolling slightly inwards, producing shock absorption as the foot strikes the ground.
This pronation forces overstretching of the plantar fascia and stress on the joints of the ankle. More granularly, pressure is applied to the fibers of the plantar fascia, extending across the foot as you move forward walking.
This repeated stressing of the plantar fascia can result in small tears in the fascia of the heel producing inflammation, pain and the accumulation of fluid known as perifascial edema. Perifascial means around the fascia. Edema means swelling. Consequently walking becomes challenging if not painful. Beyond the Inflammation pain, left untreated plantar fasciitis can produce heel spurs, soft tissue protrusions formed when cells that specialize in bone development gather in areas of inflammation and start compiling calcium deposits.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis with Chiropractic Care
It’s surprising for many to learn plantar fasciitis is directly tied to improper spinal alignment – but this is the case. Researchprobing the connection between lower back pain dysfunction and plantar fasciitis concluded treatment to address lower back pain (Vertebre L4, L5, S1-S4 below) is advisable to successfully improve plantar heel pain. In fact the nomenclature, anatomy and function of certain nerves responsible for the build-up of plantar heel pain has long been misunderstood as the same nerve goes by 3 different names (first branch of the lateral plantar nerve, nerve to the abductor digiti quinti, and lastly Baxter’s nerve). It’s important to note up to 20% of pain on the bottom of the heel is a version of plantar fasciitis called Baxter’s Nerve Entrapment.
The body is a complex interconnected musculoskeletal system and any issue with your spine can throw off and cause a malfunction in another part of the body. Stay mindful, the spinal cord and brain make up the central nervous system. The brain is the body’s command center, and the spinal cord is the pathway for messages sent from the brain to the body and vice versa. Chiropractic care is one of the most effective treatments for healing inflammation in any part of the body – including the feet.
Chiropractic care leverages and highlights the body’s natural ability and inclination to self heal. For this idea to be realized, proper alignment of the spine is achieved through chiropractic adjustments to repair any subluxations in the spine. Subluxations can emerge from a variety of conditions such as poor posture, poor posture, injury, repetitive actions, stress, birth trauma, and more. A chiropractic subluxation is a partial dislocation of a joint, particularly in the spine, where two vertebrae are not properly aligned – or more simply put, a ‘misalignment’. This misalignment can cause abnormal pressure on the critical area of the spring responsible for the nerves associated with plantar fasciitis. I correct subluxations by making gentle spinal adjustments, using my hands and applying manual pressure to realign the vertebrae to their proper position, simultaneously correcting imbalances in the skeletal and nervous systems.
Underlying Cause of Plantar Fasciitis
With plantar fasciitis, tight lower back muscles (quadratus lumborum) and the erector spinae group of muscles—pull forcing the top of the pelvis and lumbar vertebrae to move closer together. This generally causes the pelvis to forward tilt. Tight hip flexors muscles also pull and tilt the pelvis forward, playing a role in plantar fasciitis. This doesn’t necessarily cause back pain, although in many instances there is back pain and plantar fasciitis.
An even slight of tension across the lower back can result in plantar fasciitis pain, sometimes in both feet. What’s happening is imbalances in tightness in the lower back muscles can produce plantar fasciitis pain. Muscle tightness is often the result of muscle memory (repeating the same movement to the point of overuse) and can happen so gradually we’re unaware of slowly tightening up until we suddenly feel pain. Not many health professionals see how full-body patterns of tension can produce pain or localized symptoms. Consequently they apply spot treatments focused on the pain leaving the underlying cause untreated. Treating plantar fasciitis requires addressing the entire pattern of tension that’s straining and inflaming the plantar fascia.
A chiropractic adjustment aligns the spine targeting the nerves in your feet. The arches of the foot are soft connective tissue which responds to nerve signals arriving from the spine. Therefore, it’s imperative for the spine to not have any disruptions (misalignments / subluxations) affecting alleviation signals sent from the central nervous system. Undergoing a chiropractic adjustment regimen can be sufficient to remedy the symptoms of plantar fasciitis because it revitalizes the functioning of the spine and resets the communication between the nerves and the tissue in the body.
Mindful plantar fasciitis is basically a symptom of an issue in the lower back, the way you lay aligns your spine while you sleep. Thus when you’re sleeping on your stomach, you’re actually inverting your spine and basically erasing all the positive effects of a Chiropractic adjustment. But sleeping on your back or on your side puts your spine in a better position, which can help prevent a return of the pain.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis with Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy involves applying a light touch to gently manipulate the joints of the skull, cranium and spine to treat nearly every system of the body including its fascia.Gentle hand (finger) palpitations targeted precisely at the right spot can release any blockages or restrictions of the craniosacral system thereby improving circulation, pressure, and flow of the cranial system’s cerebrospinal fluid. When the hydraulics of the cranial system are functioning optimally, cerebrospinal fluid fluctuates in pressure causing a subtle rhythmic motion that yields a kind of wellness blueprint of the body. This rhythm is known as the cranial rhythm and when palpated by hand can assess and remove fascia restrictions throughout the body.
Robust uninhibited flow of cerebrospinal in and around the hollow spaces of the brain and spinal cord is vital as it provides them both with protection, nourishment, and waste removal. In sum, craniosacral therapy reinvigorates the craniosacral system which in turn supports the central nervous system’s optimal functioning, achieving balance (homeostasis) within the body to heal itself – including the revitalization of the body’s fascia.
My craniosacral therapy treatment promotes healthy fascia, which is at the very core of resolving plantar fasciitis. Fascia, the gel-like sheath casing of connective tissue made with protein fibers like collagen and elastin enveloping every cell, blood vessel, organ, bone, nerve fiber and muscle of the body, winds through the body connecting everything together. Fascia provides internal structure; has nerves making it nearly as sensitive as skin and if stressed, tightens up. In fact rigid areas of fascia develop inflammation and emit pain – as is the case with plantar fasciitis.
However fascia can change in response to sustained non-harmful pressure and I often include myofascial release therapy in the treatment protocol in resolving plantar fasciitis, in addition to the well targeted gentle touch of craniosacral therapy. Myofascial release therapy can resolve unhealthy fascia (rotated, twisted, stick, & rigid) improving its tone and relaxed balance.
A multi-holistic approach often delivers the quickest results in reducing inflammation, revitalizing the foot’s fascia to soft and suppleness which in turn facilitates pain-free and comfortable movement when standing, walking and running. The body is designed for movement and depends on it to circulate fluids delivering nutrients and oxygen while removing carbon dioxide and waste products. By evaluating the expression of the craniosacral rhythm, patterns of imbalance affecting fascia, including areas of tight fascia, all over your body can be identified, treated, returning unrestricted pain free movement to stand, walk and run.
Be mindful fascia contains stretch receptors and the more fascia can facilitate movement (and the triggering of more receptors) the greater the brain – fascia connection is strengthened. The reverse is true as well as fascia also contains pain receptors that are triggered by tense rigid fascia. In fact a large body of medical science believes chronic pain, mental health, fibromyalgia and other complex conditions ultimately are tethered to fascial health as Research has shown direct connections between fascia and the autonomous (automatic) nervous system. Tight, rigid fascia triggers the stress response while fluid, mobile fascia triggers our rest and digest calming response.
About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy
Having a Chiropractic background since the year 2000, Dr. Kaminsky offers many methods of treatment with an emphasis on Craniosacral Therapy and Pranic Healing in NYC.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a method focusing on the link between the cranium (head) and sacrum (the second to last bone at the base of your spine), scientifically proven to work in unison to pump fluid throughout the body, an unknown disruption of which can cause many health issues. The craniosacral mechanism pumps vital fluid called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) through the body and in a sense energetically lubricates the joints, tissues, organs; basically all cells of the body. It is the driving force of all your body’s systems of function; including maintaining the tone of your muscles.
The Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) are surrounded with CSF generating energetic rhythmic impulses of fluid delicately pumping throughout your body’s parts “breathing” the movement of life. This measurable rhythm of moving fluid, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rhythm is the foundational “blueprint” and primary principle of our real-time state of our health.
Compromises of our rhythmic movements of fluid flow correlates to the impulse restrictions in the system which the body is unable to overcome or self-correct. This is the reason why we have “dis-ease”, symptoms, conditions, basically all ailments. This is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body the practitioner can feel, detect, evaluate, and facilitate correction of these restrictive arrhythmic impulses.
The craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm restore and renew in compromised areas allowing for healing to take place of sensory, motor, musculoskeletal, neurological disorders, symptoms, conditions and pain. To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your healing treatment with Dr. Kaminsky.