Do you wake up in the morning, and as you go to take your first steps off your bed to start your day, experience sharp pain in your heel?
Or perhaps you experience heel pain after sitting for an extended period of time. . . .
These are both everyday experiences of those the many people that live with Plantar Fasciitis. And Did you know that, on average, heal pain is a complaint and ailment that impacts the lives of 11-15% of adults?
Can acupuncture help you and be a part of your treatment plan for Plantar Fasciitis?
In this article, we will look at what Plantar Fasciitis is, what research there is for Plantar Fasciitis for acupuncture, how it works, how many sessions to expect, costs, FAQ, acupuncture points for Plantar Fasciitis, and so much more.
Let’s get started . . .
What is Planar Fascitis?
What is it? Plantar Fasciitis has been described as “…painful heel syndrome, chronic plantar heel pain, heel spur syndrome, runner’s heel, and calcaneal periostitis.”
Plantar Fasciitis is a health condition that affects two types of populations:
4 causes of Planar Fascitis
Here is a list of four common types of causes of Plantar Fascitis:
- Excessive foot pronation
- Excessive running
- Prolonged standing
Does it Work?
How acupuncture works is not fully understood. In an acupuncture treatment, the acupuncturist inserts and manipulates fine needles at specific points or combinations of points on your body that relate to the energy flow in your body based on the traditional East Asian meridians and energy channels.
This energy is also known as chi or qi. There is a relationship between these points and channels with your organs and health, and with the symptoms of disease and dysfunction you may experience, including pain or Plantar Fasciitis.
How Effective is Acupuncture for Plantar Fascitis?
Over time, there have been many studies that evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis.
As more studies have been conducted around acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis and the effectiveness of acupuncture for a treatment option of conditions, new findings, and evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture are emerging.
Anandan Gerard Thiagarajah evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis through three different studies.
He found that “… acupuncture significantly reduced pain levels in patients with plantar fasciitis, [and] these benefits were noted between four and eight weeks of treatment, with no further significant reduction in pain beyond this duration. Side effects were found to be minimal.”
How Many Sessions?
In a randomized control trial published in 2011, participants received acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis. The number of sessions the trial suggests is treatment was administered five times a week for 2 weeks can be helpful for treating heel pain.
You may need more or less number of acupuncture sessions at a different frequency between acupuncture sessions.
Asking and communicating with your acupuncturist about the best number of sessions for your individual needs when treating Plantar Fasciitis is highly recommended.
Acupuncture costs vary by area and practitioner. With an average cost of $75 per treatment, you may expect to pay up to $300 a month for weekly acupuncture treatments. Utilizing community acupuncture may lessen the cost and improve your ability to experience acupuncture on a regular basis.
Frequently asked questions
Does acupuncture work for Plantar Fasciitis?
Yes, studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating Plantar Fasciitis.
Does Medicare cover Plantar Fascitis?
No, Medicare doesn’t cover acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis. The only condition Medicare will cover acupuncture for is chronic low back pain.
How often should I get acupuncture for Plantar Fascitis?
It is advisable to discuss the frequency of your acupuncture treatments for neuropathy with a professional acupuncturist in your area.
Acupuncture Points for Plantar Fascitis
It is important to remember that acupuncture treatment is often an individualized and personalized treatment based on your needs. The points selected by an acupuncturist to treat Plantar Fascitis for one patient may be different than another.
Through studies, though, different acupuncture points have been shown through research to be effective and helpful for Plantar Fasitis.
Zhang et al. found that the most effective acupuncture point for Plantar Fascitis is: Daling (PC7)
There are many complementary and alternative therapies that may help with Plantar Fascitis, including:
- physical therapy
- foot orthotics
- night splinting
- Guided imagery and visualization
- Massage Therapy
- Yoga Therapy
Before getting started with acupuncture for Plantar Fascitis, be sure to talk with your physician or medical professional about getting a proper medical diagnosis and what treatment recommendations are appropriate for your condition.
Work with a professional acupuncturist in your area to determine how acupuncture may best help you and the frequency of treatment that’s right for you.
Goff, J. D., & Crawford, R. (2011, September 15). Diagnosis and Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis. Retrieved March 1, 2019, from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0915/p676.html
Zhang, S. P., Yip, T. P., & Li, Q. S. (2011). Acupuncture treatment for plantar fasciitis: a randomized controlled trial with six months follow-up. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2011, 154108. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nep186
Thiagarajah A. G. (2017). How effective is acupuncture for reducing pain due to plantar fasciitis?. Singapore medical journal, 58(2), 92–97. https://doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2016143
Tahririan, M. A., Motififard, M., Tahmasebi, M. N., & Siavashi, B. (2012). Plantar fasciitis. Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 17(8), 799–804. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3687890/
U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Acupuncture. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/acupuncture