Does acupuncture work for plantar fasciitus?
Heel pain is becoming more and more common and Plantar fasciitus is the most common cause. As millions of people search for relief from plantar fasciitus and heal pain the question of acupuncture’s effectiveness inevitably arises. Can acupuncture heal plantar fasciitus? Does acupuncture offer pain management that is applicable to heel pain and plantar fasciitus?
Acupuncture, or using needles insterted into specific points on the body, has been used in China for thousands of years. The Neiching, or “Yellow Emporor’s Classic of Internal Medicine” was one of the first known books about Chinese medicine. The Yellow Emporor “Huang Ti” lived around 2700 B.C. Acupuncture is still widely used today across the globe in both Chinese and Western cultures to treat a variety of ailments. For a medical system to survive thousands of years requires that it be effective and applicable.
There was a scientific study done to specificaly find out if plantar fasciitus can be relieved and healed with acupuncture treatment. Two groups of plantars fasciitus patients were assigned. The first group recieved plantar fasciitus acupuncture treatment on the PC 7 (pericardium 7) point while the control group received acupunture needling on an unrelated point (LI4) for analgesic effects. The plantars fasciitus acunpuncture treatment was given for two weeks, five times each week with the control group following the same schedule. The results were clear and showed significant differences between the control group and the test group. There were no adverse symptoms observed in either group. The test group displayed large decrease in pain in both the short term and and the long term, while the control group obeserved no change. These test results indicate that acupuncture treatment for plantar fasciitus is extremely effective and safe. They also confirm the exact point that is most effective in treating plantar fasciiutus related heel pain.
Another plantar fasciitus acupuncture treatment study was done using a wider variety of points. This study used an electrostimulator to increase the effectiveness, often moxibustion is used in this same way. This study also clearly shows that acupuncture is effective in treating plantar fasciitus and heel pain. The study was setup a little different, but the results point to the same conclusion.
My opinion is that acupuncture is a great way to treat plantar fasciitus and offers effective pain management. I do strongly advise that patients also deal with the root cause and make long term changes in their daily and nightly habits. A splint, or other device to help stretch the right muscles while you sleep, good shoes, and correct posture are still important aspects of plantar fasciitus treatment. Pain is there for a reason, it is a warning sign to us that we need to take action. The pain needs to be treated, but don’t forget to examine and resolve the cause of any heel pain or plantar fasciitus.