Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!
Do you have foot pain that won’t go away? Does it prevent you from participating in your favourite activities or from wearing your favourite shoes?
The first thing you need to do when you have foot pain is to determine what it is that is causing the problem. I know that Google can sometimes be helpful and is easy and available 24/7 to answer your questions, but, it can lead you down a rabbit hole of more information than you can process and can often be scary when it comes to questions about the body. To get a proper diagnosis of your foot pain you can see your medical doctor or other healthcare practitioners such as your Registered Acupuncturist in Calgary for a full assessment. Another practitioner I recommend especially for foot issues are pedorthists, these are lower leg specialists and the use specialized footwear to support the lower leg and thus the whole body. I work with Samar Assaf at Optimum Wellness Centres who offers this service.
The most common causes of foot pain that I see in my Calgary and Airdrie Acupuncture clinics are:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Morton’s Neuroma
- Muscle spasms
- Heel spurs
The first three are very easily addressed with acupuncture and patients often get relief within a few treatments, though it can take more time to completely eliminate the issue depending on the severity of the problem and how long it has been going on. The final two are much more difficult to treat as they are bony/structural problems and though acupuncture can help to alleviate some of the pain, it does not eliminate the problem.
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammatory condition of the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. Tension in the arch of the foot, the calf muscles and sometimes even the hamstrings cause a pull on the connective tissues of the foot which leads to inflammation and pain at the attachment site of that connective tissue in the heel. Acupuncture addresses the inflammation, the muscle tension in the foot, calf, and hamstring, improves circulation and removes scar tissue and this will eliminate the problem.
Morton’s Neuroma involves a swelling or thickening of the tissues around one of the nerves leading to your toes, most often between the third and fourth toe. The swelling pinches the nerve and causes an intense burning or prickling pain. I see this problem mostly in runners and in women who wear tight fitting, high heeled shoes. The acupuncture addresses the inflammation, loosens the space between the toes and relieves the pinching of the nerve.
Muscle spasms on the foot are the same as muscle spasms anywhere else. Tension builds in a muscle and it stays, or it cramps “for no good reason”. Acupuncture addresses the tension in the foot, calf and hamstring, improves circulation to the foot and I recommend regular stretching and magnesium to prevent future problems.
A bunion is a bony bump on the joint at the base of your big toe. It forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out. The cause could be genetic or tight footwear. Once bony changes have developed it is very difficult to change without surgery and many of my patients who have had surgery to correct their bunions have not been satisfied with the results.
Heel spurs occur when the bone of the heel grows an extra point, often at the attachment site of a tendon. This bony outgrowth can cause immense pain when pressure is applied and forms due to excess strain and tension on the tendons and ligaments that attach to it. It is reversible however it is a long and slow process.