For anyone suffering from plantar fasciitis, or heel spurs you know what it is like and what the limited treatment options are. For anyone who has never had or is not sure if they have had this condition, please let me assure you it is not comfortable, and the conventional treatment options leave something to be desired.
Prior to practicing acupuncture, I was practicing yoga one day. Unfortunately I was doing so in a competitive mindset, and was determined to nail downward facing dog with proper form. I did get the pose, but the next morning I woke, and as soon as my heel hit the floor I lit up with pain. Throughout the day and the subsequent months I was greeted with an indescribable discomfort in my heel area as I walked. It was certainly most severe in the morning when my heel would hit the floor. As the day progressed the pain would become less severe and I would more be aware that something was wrong than experiencing strong discomfort. In later experience I realized I had a minor case of what turned out to be plantar fasciitis.
The condition itself is due to micro tears on the plantar fascia. This is the thick tough connective tissue on the bottom of the foot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantar_fascia. It provides strength stability and protection to the foot. Since it is fascia, it is not supplied with good blood flow, and when there are the micro tears. This condition is often associated with heel spurs – protuberances o bone that place excess stress on the plantar fascia. Treatment options, as I have said, are limited and vary in efficacy.
My first case of plantar fasciitis that I had in my office was very interesting. A woman came in severely limping. I had just completed my training in Sujok acupuncture, and being that I knew this to be a difficult condition, I decided to test out what I had learned. I found the most tender spots on her heels and would press them for a baseline on the level of pain that she experienced. I located the points on her fingers that significantly reduced the pain when I pressed on her heels. I then placed small needles in the finger points. I did this with all of the tender spots on her feet. Once I had completed the placing of the needles, I had her walk the hallway of my office. She was amazed at the reduction of pain. After several minutes of needle retention, I removed the pins, and placed small metal beads where the pins were and asked her to leave them on for a day.
At the second treatment she had maintained a 40% improvement. I repeated the process. On the third treatment I had my office manager call to confirm and she was going to cancel her appointment because it hadn’t been working. I was shocked, as I thought she had been making great progress. It ends up she thought that I was her podiatrist, and it was her conventional treatments that had not been getting results. After 2 more visits she was completely pain free, and 4 years later continues to be.
Since that time I have seen many more patients suffering from this condition, and the vast majorities have had rapid and dramatic improvement in their pain while getting great improvement in function. This is all without any drugs or pain killers.