Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common and often painful condition affecting the heel and bottom of the foot. It occurs when the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue running along the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed. This article provides a comprehensive overview of plantar fasciitis, including the symptoms patients might experience, potential causes, available medical treatments, and alternative therapies such as massage. Additionally, we will explore the benefits of chiropractic care in managing plantar fasciitis and introduce the Zone Technique, a specialized chiropractic approach that may offer the best solution for addressing the root causes and alleviating symptoms.


Plantar fasciitis manifests primarily as pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. Common symptoms include:

  • Heel Pain: Sharp or stabbing pain in the heel, often worse with the first steps in the morning or after prolonged periods of inactivity.
  • Pain After Exercise: Increased pain following exercise or physical activity.
  • Tenderness: Tenderness and soreness in the bottom of the foot, especially near the heel.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the heel and foot, particularly after rest.
  • Swelling: Mild swelling or inflammation in the affected area.

These symptoms can vary in intensity and duration, often impacting a person’s ability to perform daily activities and reducing overall quality of life.


Plantar fasciitis can result from several factors that lead to inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia. Understanding these causes is crucial for effective treatment and prevention.

1. Overuse

  • Repetitive Strain: Activities that involve repetitive stress on the feet, such as running, dancing, or standing for long periods, can strain the plantar fascia.

2. Foot Structure

  • Flat Feet: Individuals with flat feet or low arches may be more prone to plantar fasciitis due to increased tension on the plantar fascia.
  • High Arches: Similarly, high arches can lead to improper weight distribution and strain on the plantar fascia.

3. Improper Footwear

  • Inadequate Support: Wearing shoes that lack proper arch support or cushioning can contribute to plantar fasciitis.
  • High Heels: Frequent use of high-heeled shoes can cause shortening and tightening of the plantar fascia.

4. Age

  • Aging: The risk of developing plantar fasciitis increases with age as the plantar fascia loses elasticity and flexibility.

5. Obesity

  • Excess Weight: Carrying extra weight puts additional stress on the plantar fascia, increasing the risk of inflammation and pain.

6. Occupational Factors

  • Prolonged Standing: Jobs that require long periods of standing or walking on hard surfaces can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.

Medical Treatments

The treatment for plantar fasciitis aims to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and improve the function of the plantar fascia. Here are some common medical interventions:

1. Medications

  • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen) can help manage mild to moderate pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Corticosteroids: Injections of corticosteroids into the affected area can reduce inflammation and provide temporary pain relief.

2. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy focuses on:

  • Stretching Exercises: Targeted stretches for the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles can help relieve tension and improve flexibility.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening the muscles of the foot and lower leg can provide better support and reduce strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Manual Therapy: Techniques such as myofascial release or deep tissue massage can help reduce muscle tightness and improve mobility.
  • Gait Training: Educating patients on proper walking and running mechanics to prevent recurrence.

3. Orthotics and Footwear

  • Orthotic Inserts: Custom-made or over-the-counter orthotic inserts can provide additional arch support and cushioning.
  • Supportive Footwear: Wearing shoes with proper arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption can help alleviate symptoms and prevent recurrence.

4. Night Splints

  • Night Splints: Wearing a splint at night can help keep the plantar fascia stretched and reduce morning pain.

5. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)

  • ESWT: This non-invasive procedure uses sound waves to stimulate healing and reduce pain in the plantar fascia.

6. Surgery

In severe or refractory cases, surgical interventions may be necessary to release tension in the plantar fascia or remove bone spurs.

Alternative Treatments

In addition to conventional medical treatments, several alternative therapies can help manage plantar fasciitis symptoms and improve quality of life.

1. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help alleviate symptoms by:

  • Improving Circulation: Enhanced blood flow can promote healing and reduce muscle tension.
  • Reducing Muscle Tension: Relaxing the muscles and tissues of the foot can decrease pressure on the plantar fascia.
  • Promoting Relaxation: Reducing stress and anxiety can help manage chronic pain.

2. Acupuncture

Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate nerves and muscles, potentially reducing pain and improving function.

3. Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care focuses on diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders, particularly those involving the spine and joints. Chiropractors use various techniques to adjust the spine and other joints to improve alignment, reduce nerve compression, and enhance overall health.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care

  • Non-Invasive: Chiropractic adjustments are a non-surgical treatment option.
  • Pain Relief: Many patients experience significant pain relief after chiropractic treatments.
  • Improved Function: Chiropractic care can improve mobility and function, reducing the impact of plantar fasciitis.
  • Holistic Approach: Chiropractors often address overall health, including nutrition and lifestyle factors, which can contribute to better outcomes.

The Zone Technique: A Specialized Chiropractic Approach

While typical chiropractic care offers numerous benefits for managing plantar fasciitis, there is a specialized technique known as the Zone Technique that may provide the best results for eliminating symptoms and addressing the root cause.

What is the Zone Technique?

The Zone Technique is a chiropractic method developed by Dr. Peter Goldman. It focuses on balancing six systems within the body, which Dr. Goldman refers to as “zones”: the glandular, eliminative, nervous, digestive, muscular, and circulatory systems. The theory is that imbalances in these zones can lead to various health issues, including plantar fasciitis.

How Does the Zone Technique Work?

  1. Assessment: The chiropractor assesses the patient’s zones by palpating specific points on the head.
  2. Zone Balancing: Based on the assessment, the chiropractor performs adjustments to specific areas of the spine and body to restore balance to the affected zones.
  3. Follow-Up: Regular follow-up sessions help maintain balance and address any recurring issues.

Why the Zone Technique is Effective

  • Holistic Approach: By addressing multiple systems in the body, the Zone Technique aims to treat the root cause of symptoms rather than just the symptoms themselves.
  • Personalized Care: Each treatment is tailored to the individual’s specific imbalances, providing a customized approach to healing.
  • Comprehensive Healing: By restoring balance to the body’s systems, the Zone Technique can promote overall health and prevent future issues.


Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that can significantly impact a person’s mobility and quality of life. Understanding the potential causes and available treatments is crucial for managing this condition effectively. While medical treatments and alternative therapies such as massage can provide relief, chiropractic care offers a non-invasive and holistic approach that can significantly improve outcomes.

Among the various chiropractic techniques, the Zone Technique stands out as a comprehensive method that addresses the root causes of plantar fasciitis by balancing the body’s systems. By considering this specialized approach, patients may find the most effective and lasting relief from their symptoms, ultimately leading to better health and quality of life.

Are You Ready to Heal?