3 Ways To Treat Plantar Fasciitis

3 Ways To Treat Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a real pain to say the very least, it is one of those conditions that both really really hurts and is really really inconvenient.

Plantar fasciitis is a painful and common foot condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. The condition is often characterised by sharp pain and stiffness in the heel and arch of the foot, especially in the morning or after extended periods of inactivity. In this blog, we will discuss three ways to treat plantar fasciitis.

1. Stretching and Strengthening Exercises

Stretching and strengthening exercises can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis. Simple exercises, such as calf stretches and toe curls, can help stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, reducing the strain on the plantar fascia.

Other exercises that may be helpful include heel raises and toe taps. These exercises help to improve the strength and flexibility of the foot and ankle muscles, which can reduce the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis in the future.

Here are some tricks you can try at home:

Plantar fasciitis trick 1 – Roll an ice bottle – Fill a plastic bottle with water, freeze it and roll the sore part of your foot back and forth for 15 minutes to reduce inflammation and slow down nerve impulses from the painful area.

Plantar fasciitis trick 2 – use a shakti mat – Buy yourself a shakti mat ( don’t be scared ) . You can start just by resting your foot gently on the mat while you sit on the sofa if it’s too sore to put pressure on it. Repeat every day for 5 minutes at whatever level of pressure you can handle and gradually increase pressure over time

Plantar fasciitis trick 3 – stretch your toes up – Point your toes firmly up towards the tip of your nose hold them stretch down through your heel ( like trying to make your leg longer between the hip & your heel ) hold the toes and heel stretch for 30 seconds then relax x 10 reps – repeat OFTEN.

2. Footwear Modifications

Wearing the right footwear can also help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Shoes that offer good arch support and cushioning can help reduce the pressure on the plantar fascia, reducing pain and discomfort.

Orthotic inserts, which are custom-made to fit the shape of your foot, can also provide additional support and cushioning, reducing the strain on the plantar fascia. Night splints, which keep the foot in a stretched position while you sleep, can also help to alleviate pain and stiffness in the morning.

3. Rest and Ice

Rest and ice are two simple and effective treatments for plantar fasciitis. Resting the foot and avoiding activities that aggravate the condition can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Icing the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can help reduce pain and inflammation. Ice can be applied using a cold pack, a bag of frozen peas, or a cold water bottle.


Plantar fasciitis can be a debilitating condition that affects your quality of life. However, with the right treatment, it is possible to reduce pain and discomfort and prevent the condition from worsening.

Stretching and strengthening exercises, footwear modifications, and rest and ice are three effective ways to treat plantar fasciitis. If you are experiencing persistent or severe pain, it is important to seek medical attention to rule out other potential causes of foot pain and to receive proper treatment. By taking care of your feet and using these treatments, you can reduce pain and discomfort and enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle.

If you want to look deeper into this issue and try to figure out what is causing your plantar  fasciitis or heel pain please feel free to get in touch. We take people through a process that starts with looking at the foot and how it is functioning when you walk and run. We aim to find preventative measures that can help with your pain both now and in the future.. we are in for the long haul.

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What Is Better – Taping vs Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis ?

What Is Better – Taping vs Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis ?

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Prefer to listen to the audio? Click below: Link to original article if you like to read it: What Is Better – Taping vs Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis ?

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3 Potential Benefits Of Wearing Custom Orthotics

3 Potential Benefits Of Wearing Custom Orthotics

custom orthotics

Data from the US estimates that they spend 1.2 billion dollars per year on orthotics. With this many people using orthotics there must be a range of benefits to their use, but what are the main ones?

Well, there are a huge number of specific benefits that people report once they start wearing orthotics that range from improvements in pain from plantar fasciitis to bursitis and even osteoarthritis.

We live in a time where there is an epidemic of lower body pain in the developed world. If we were to combine the social impact of all the back pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain and lower body osteoarthritis we would see that it is a modern healthcare disaster.

We live far longer lives than our ancestors did and we do so on extremely hard unnatural surfaces. Concrete, tarmac and paving stones put horrendous amounts of strain on the soft tissues in the lower body. The flatness of our urban and domestic surfaces also contributes to the problem because it requires no balance, our stabilising muscles don’t get the kind of workout nature imposes on them.

We are probably less than 70% less active than our great grandparents were as of now, they lead far more physical lives on average. Who knows how we stack up against our hunter gatherer ancestors… not great is the broad answer. This inactivity leads to weakness and the weakness leads to pain.

The Benefits Of Wearing Custom Orthotics

There are 3 basic mechanisms that form the basis of all the more tangible and specific help with symptoms that foot orthotics offer.

1- Orthotics Reduce Strain in the Foot & Ankle Joints

As a species we simply did not evolve to walk on hard flat surfaces…admittedly we did not evolve to use orthotics or shoes either, so there is no getting around these facts.

Your ancestors walked on soft, uneven ground with a constantly shifting incline and camber. Orthotics take strain off the ankle and foot joints by mimicking some of the qualities of natural terrain.

If you picture walking along the beach in bare feet, no shoes and no orthotics. Consider the range of textures depending on the wetness of the sand, consider the shifting angle depending on whether there are dunes and how fast the tide went out.

Now picture barefoot in the forest. The terrain changes constantly in many forests, that leaf litter squashes up under your arch, you have to walk along fallen limbs.

Now consider walking to work in the city. Complete hard flat homogeneous terrain, the occasional flight of stairs where each step is completely flat also. Try to picture how much more movement there would have been in your feet, and how much more support they would have had from surfaces that hug the contour of the foot.

The hard flat terrain causes huge amount of stress in the ankle joint because there is no shock absorption. Orthotics provide shock absorption and bring that stresses in the ankle joint down to slightly more normal levels.

Hard flat urban terrain does not hug the sole of the foot the same way that the majority of natural surfaces do, Orthotics make up for this by hugging the foot and providing a contoured ‘base’ for the arch.

2- Orthotics Reduce Strain in the Knee Joints

People who specialise in the study of human bones down the ages can easily spot the ‘evolutionary moment’ where we started walking upright full time just by looking at leg bones.

The ‘moment’ we started walking upright full time our knee joints essentially doubled in size due to the fact that the massive increase in stress and strain that caused. This is probably the best illustration of what our knees go through and what it means for the skeleton I can offer you. The transition from hunting on all 4’s to walking upright was a mammoth task in more ways than one for the human knee joint.

By supporting the arch orthotics reduce ‘torsional stress’ in the knee joint because the knee twists inwards if the arch drops.

By providing control to the position of the calcaneus (heel bone) orthotics can also help prevent with the slight collapse that happens in the knees of people with flat feet who live on hard flat surfaces. These reductions in small but persistent unnatural movements during weight bearing are the basis of all the benefits that Orthotics provide to the hard working human knee.

3- Orthotics reduce strain in the hip & pelvic tissues.

The hip and its associated muscles play a key role in maintaining foot alignment during weight bearing activities. When the arch collapses there are ‘internal rotations’ of the hip joint. The hip and the associated hips muscles have no issues with a moderate amount of internal rotation at the hip joint during weight bearing but like so many things too much is not healthy and the body can struggle to cope.

The hip and gluteal muscles play such a massive role in preventing the arch from collapsing under your body weight that if they can become the first area to experience pain in many people who are struggling with a need for custom orthotics. People who experience tight, sore hips and ‘lower backs’ after long walks and runs are just starting to notice the first signs that their hips are struggling with foot alignment.

So there you have it – 3 of the many potential benefits that may come from caring for your feet with custom orthotics.

So there you have it – 3 of the many potential benefits that may come from caring for your feet with custom orthotics.

Give City Chiropractic a call on 04 385 6446 to make an appointment now!

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How Do I Know If I Have Plantar Fasciitis – 4 Signs

How Do I Know If I Have Plantar Fasciitis – 4 Signs

foot with Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is not the same as a blood-borne disease – in the sense that we have no ‘lab test’ to confirm it. X rays and MRI don’t show up plantar fasciitis although they may in badly neglected cases eventually show signs of strain and adaptation in the tissue that run alongside particularly bad cases of plantar fasciitis.

Fortunately your chiropractor or physiotherapist can usually figure out whether you have plantar fasciitis pretty quickly though.  Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is generally guided by symptom and a basic physical exam / health history combo. This is usually enough to make sure your symptoms are not being caused by anything more sinister.

The following is a list of classic plantar fasciitis signs and symptoms and is not designed to replace a consult with a qualified professional like your chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist. 

Sign 1 – Arch pain or heel pain first thing in the morning.

This is the most classic symptom of plantar fasciitis you could ever have the misfortune to experience. The first few steps of the day are excruciatingly painful until your feet have ‘warmed up’ – at which point thankfully most people find weight bearing becomes more comfortable.

arch and heel pain

Sign 2 – You are a very active person or a very inactive person.

If you are a runner or badminton player for example this increases the likelihood of your foot pain being plantar fasciitis. At the other end of the spectrum if you consider yourself to be very unfit you are at increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis also. Plantar fasciitis tends to occupy the extremes of the human activity spectrum.

** a recent increase in the type or amount of exercise you do or an increase in time spent on your feet can trigger the onset of plantar fasciitis.

woman running

Sign 3 – Your pain is worsened either during or a short time after exercising.

For some mysterious reason not all plantar fasciitis sufferers experience pain during exercise – but most will find there is an increase in pain after  exercise – possibly even finding that they are consistently worse the next day. 

sore feet in morning

Sign 4 – Your pain eases when you point your toes downward.

Pointing your toes downward takes some of the stretch out of your plantar fascia, if it feels slightly relieving it may indicate that your pain is in fact plantar fasciitis. Painful tissues under a stretch usually complain – and the plantar fascia is no different.

toes pointing down

That covers 4 classic signs of plantar fasciitis. There is no substitute for a proper consultation and exam with your chiropractor or physiotherapist though. Especially if your pain is persistent or you really want to understand the underlying causes of your case of plantar fasciitis – figuring that stuff out does get a little more involved. 

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The best treatment for ankle pain depends on what the underlying cause of the ankle pain is. For this reason all good treatment plans start with correct diagnosis. 

By far the most common changes we see underpinning ankle pains are combinations of tendinopathies, micro-tears, weakness, poor alignment and scar tissue.

Depending on which specific physical issues you have some of the following treatments may help your ankle pain. 

Acupuncture / Dry Needling 

Acupuncture can be helpful in many cases of ankle pain. Acupuncture aims to promote blood flow, release pressure points in muscle and reduce pain signals.

Needles are inserted very superficially in and around the area of pain and we generally leave them in for around 10 minutes or so. With acupuncture treatment for ankle pain it’s often necessary to their acupuncturist or chiropractor twice per week for 1-3 weeks before you get a consistent response.

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Many people find the use of ice for their ankle pain can be extremely beneficial. Ice works by interrupting pain signals and stimulated activity of blood vessels – thus reducing both inflammation and pain chemistry in the ankle tissues. 

Scar Tissue Release ( Graston Technique / Guasha )

Many people who tend a chiropractors office suffer with stubborn ankle pain that relates to historical sprain injuries that didn’t heal properly. Gentle scraping around the connective tissue of joints using a massage tool is a useful way to manage scar tissue in thee instances.

Guasha is the old fashioned Chinese name for this method but there are many others – like Graston Technique. The idea is to break up  microscopic scar tissue adhesions.

Custom orthotics provide the support necessary to enable more natural foot positions

Concrete and tarmac are very hard and very flat, they impose unnatural foot positions upon us millions of times per year as we move around the urban environment.

Custom orthotics provide the support necessary to enable more natural foot positions during walking and running. Orthotics ability to support the ankle make orthotics and insoles a vital part of managing ankle pain in the long term. Chiropractors are more then qualified to prescribe custom orthotics.

Deep Tissue Release

Many ankle pains are caused by myofascial trigger points (the painful spots we feel in muscles when we get a massage). It’s not the most fun to have done – but it can be great help for easing persistent ankle pains. 

Joint Mobilisation

Joints that have pain generally also lack  mobility. Restoring motion to the ankle joint is often an essential part of managing ankle pain. Joints are just as responsive to mobilisation as muscles are to stretching.

Balance & Proprioception Exercises

If you have ever sprained your ankle you will have suffered some loss of muscle tone and also motor control, hopefully just temporarily. Sadly though, many still exhibit measurable weakness in their ankles years after a bad sprain. This is a major cause of ankle pain. It’s never too late to experience the benefits of improved muscle functions through exercises carefully prescribed by your chiropractor.

Joints that have pain generally also lack  mobility


Most chiropractors patients with ankle pain to don’t show up asking for treatment for ankle pain. Our typical ankle pain sufferer comes to the chiropractors with some other primary complaint like shoulder pain or neck pain and they mention in passing that they also have some ankle pain that they had assumed wasn’t treatable.

Many chiropractic patients assume that an ankle sprain had not healed properly and never would. A good chiropractor looks at ankle pain the way most peoples look at dental pain, it’s just something to fix.  In terms of long term quality of life the rewards for taking the chiropractors can-do attitude to ankle pain can be very significant in the long term. 

Give us a call at City Chiropractic on 04 385 6446 to make an appointment now!

Prefer to listen to the audio version of the Blog Post? You can also listen to it on Spotify here: Spotify Podcast

plantar fasciitis foot

Why Chiropractic Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis is Not Enough !

plantar fasciitis foot

Why Chiropractic Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis is Not Enough !

Disclaimer – your body is your body and as your chiropractor I love the fact that no one gets to tell you what to do with it.  If you would rather use pills every day for the rest of your life than do boring exercises and spend money on custom orthotics and chiropractors – I get it. I am a chiropractor – but lord knows I am a human being too – and I have chosen the easy way out of a few situations in my time. This blog is not designed to tell anyone what they ‘should’ do, only what I have learned tends to bring better outcomes for people with plantar fasciitis heel pain & plantar fasciitis arch pain.

For me as a chiropractor, if I am caring for your stubborn pain – I want you to feel good again – and if at all possible I don’t want that outcome to be temporary. If there is any way I can show you how to make your outcomes last so that you stay feeling good that’s what I am about.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment & Fillings

If you have a cavity in your tooth there is no point in trying to floss your way out of that scenario, as you know. There are times in life where all our attempts to preserve our ‘wellness’ fall flat on their face, and when they do it’s time to pull out the scalpel, the drill or the pill.

When it comes to plantar fasciitis treatment at your chiropractors office you are pretty much in the same boat as toothache –  the good ship tooth cavity. Except, instead of drilling – going through the steps necessary to break up scar tissue and increase blood flow in the sole of the foot is the order of the day. The best way to do this is by finding someone like me who is willing to throw the kitchen sink at that process.

When it comes to plantar fasciitis treatment you want to look at some combination of deep tissue release, scar tissue scraping (guasha), acupuncture, icing, taping & stretching. Not all chiropractors are into this kind of work – but those who do it are generally very good at it.  The best policy with plantar fasciitis treatment is to get help –  but you can easily try some of these out yourself with a bit of research.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment & Preventing Tooth Decay

The problem with getting plantar fasciitis treatment from your chiropractor is the same as the problem with fillings.. they just aren’t enough. If you get your filling and head straight to the nearest grocery store and stock up with Coca-Cola and forget to buy toothpaste you know what to expect. By the same token if you saw your chiropractor for a month of plantar fasciitis treatment and you jump straight back on the basketball court with no custom orthotics, flat feet and no strength in your glutes – it amounts to the same thing as the ‘Coca Cola but no toothpaste’ scenario.

The equivalent to the sugar in this plantar fasciitis treatment scenario is concrete because it’s really hard on your soft tissues – in the same way that sugar is really hard on your teeth. The equivalent to the brushing and flossing in the plantar fasciitis scenario are exercises that strengthen the muscles of your legs and feet. This is because to a large degree it is all those muscles that help to maintain good alignment which reduces stress in the arch and the heel.

So plantar fasciitis exercises that strengthen you through the legs and feet are the equivalent of your dental hygiene regime. Plantar fasciitis exercises of this nature work preventatively by strengthening the muscles that maintain foot alignment.

The type of plantar fasciitis exercises involved are those that involve balance and stability, like those on a wobble board or lunges. There is a bit of work involved in getting the technique right for full benefit but once you know what you are doing you are good to go.

The inconvenient truth about plantar fasciitis exercises is similar to the inconvenient truth about looking after your teeth. You may never be done !! There is no officially sanctioned cure for tooth decay as long as you eat a modern western diet. There is no official cure for weaknesses of the legs and feet as long as you live on the terrain of the concrete jungle – no matter how good your chiropractor is.

The good news is though that there is a measure that can be taken which will enable you to be fairly slack and still live without plantar fasciitis heel pain & arch pain.

Custom Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis

Going back to the similarities between concrete on the feet and sugar on the teeth. Imagine there was a simple, invisible, non-toxic device that you could wear all the time and not even feel it, but it protected your teeth from 80% of the damage sugars can do to them ! Would you wear a device like that ? I know I would. That’s what custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis are for your feet.

You evolved to walk & run on soft, shock absorbing, contoured surfaces like those found  in nature. You didn’t evolve to walk & run on hard flat surfaces like the ones in towns and cities.  Custom Insoles for plantar fasciitis mould to your foot and give it shock absorption which mimics natural surfaces.

By mimicking what is more natural to the foot custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis dramatically reduce the amount of stress in your foot over the course of time. If there is less stress in the plantar fascia, there is less strain on the plantar fascia and less scar tissue build up in the plantar fascia. But perhaps more intriguingly you get to feel good and stay feeling good !!!!!!

It stands to reason that plantar fasciitis doesn’t just happen for no reason. If it doesn’t happen for no reason there must be an underlying cause or causes. Taking a pill or going to your chiropractor for ‘pain relief’ methods like acupuncture doesn’t work on those underlying causes.

For those who want to feel good and be active in the long term – a combination of chiropractors treatments (not the most traditional ones obviously), plantar fasciitis exercises & custom insoles for plantar fasciitis forms a far more comprehensive approach to managing their pain than most.

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A Chiropractors Perspective On Plantar Fasciitis Rehab


A Chiropractors Perspective On Plantar Fasciitis Rehab

We live in a world that has widely embraced the concept of rehabilitation and that is a beautiful thing indeed! A generation ago there was almost no rehab –  regardless of the severity of your injury.  All you did was get ‘healed up’ and resume normal activity, no chiropractor, no physio, no mobilisation, no strength training, no proprioceptive training. 

Having broadly understood the value of ‘rehabilitation’ as a concept we are only left to decide which exercises we should use to assist with the recovery of any given injury or pain complaint. This is more of an issue than one might think. I frequently meet people who have worked hard but not on the right exercises, and who’s result reflect that fact. They have done the work but still need to see a chiropractor regularly for pain.

The truth is that even with prefect willpower and a shiny halo if we aren’t doing ‘functional’ and ‘tissue specific’ exercises we might as well stick our toothbrush in our ear twice a day for 5 minutes in the hope of lasting pearly whites.

Rehabilitation for Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Pain

If you’ve been suffering from plantar fasciitis and you have had enough it’s treatment o’clock –  the first order of business is pain relief. People often seek out exercises to relieve their plantar fasciitis and foot pain, unfortunately for many of us exercises just don’t cut the mustard. Fortunately this is where treatments to manage the pain of plantar fasciitis come in and they have a very respectable hit rate! It isn’t the type of treatment most people associate with chiropractors but we do a lot of it. 

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that involves a build-up of microscopic scar tissue and collagen trauma in the sole of the foot. It’s understanding that this scar tissue is the primary pain mechanism that guides treatment choices. Breaking up the scar tissue and promoting blood flow is key to reducing the pain and without doing that we often struggle to get any traction with exercises for plantar fasciitis. Treatment options to precede exercises for plantar fasciitis include acupuncture, post isometric stretches, manual fascial release and vibration massage.

Once you have at least a good degree of relief from your foot pain or plantar fasciitis the topic of rehab should be the first thing your practitioner raises with you. For many of us custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis and foot pain are essential for a good longer term outcome,  but there is also of course the topic of which exercises to do. 

It is VERY useful to be clear on the fact that there are 2 types of exercise for us to consider when rehabilitation plantar fasciitis and foot pain. These 2 types of exercise are extremely different in terms of their intent and what they can potentially do for you.

Stretching Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Pain

Stretching exercises are by FAR the most common exercise choice for managing plantar fasciitis and foot pain and there are some good reasons why. Soft tissues that are under constant strain have a tendency to  tighten up reactively and the plantar fascia is no exception.

It is hard to believe what the plantar fascia puts up with. You take somewhere in the region of 3-5 million steps per year on surfaces that are many times harder than nature intended. Your plantar fascia is a thin membrane of fibrous tissue that gets ferociously compressed by your body weight with each and every step. It is worth acknowledging that the heel comes down so hard with each step that when we walk at a normal pace on concrete the bone sustains a shockwave that has been measured at up to 200mph.

The real miracle is not only that we don’t all have plantar fasciitis and foot pain ( although in a sense we probably all do at subclinical levels ) but that it doesn’t just completely break down in a matter of weeks. The miracle is as it stands that all a plantar fascia does under this gigantic dose of repetitive strain is tighten up. 

The value of stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis and foot pain is obviously that they can loosen up the plantar fascia and connective tissue of the foot. Restoring some elasticity to the plantar fascia can bring relief but also assist with healing of the tissue due to increased blood flow. A good metaphor that illustates the nature of stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis and foot pain is scaling plaque off the teeth. When we clean plaque off the teeth we are tidying up some of the mess that sugar has made of them. When your stretch your plantar fascia you are tidying up some of the mess that concrete, modern shoes and life has made of your foot. 

Strength Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Pain

If you want to be free of plantar fasciitis in the longer term it’s strength exercises that you will want to focus on – over and above stretching. Strength exercises for plantar fasciitis target the underlying misalignments and weakness that cause irritation of the plantar fascia in the first place.

The muscles that support the foot are actually the hip and glute muscles. Ther foot and ankle have very little muscle of their own. This means that alignment of the foot and ankle is sustained during weight bearing by the big muscles in the hip.

We take million of steps on hard concrete and tarmac surfaces every year of our lives. The muscles in our legs are absolutely vital for preventing physical trauma from building up in our feet and ankles. This is why strength and balance exercises are more beneficial than stretching in the long term. Strength exercises make the changes necessary to prevent the tightness occurring in the first place.

It can be valuable to seek the perspective of a chiropractor on issues like plantar fasciitis. The traditional route of podiatry is also a valid one – but chiropractors are more inclined to look at the foot pain in its broader biomechanical context. The hip is the key to a happy foot when it comes to rehab in the longer term.


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