Chiropractor Chandler AZ

Acupuncture Treatments For Foot & Ankle Pain

For individuals leading an active lifestyle, foot and ankle pain can get in the way of everyday activities. Foot and ankle problems may be caused by pain, injury, or inflammation, thereby limiting a person's range of motion. Acupuncture treatments for foot and ankle pain provide an alternative, holistic approach to pain management for the foot or ankle.

Symptoms & Causes for Ankle & Foot Pain

Foot and ankle pain is often caused by a variety of conditions, most often improper foot function or proper posture. There are several factors that can lead to foot pain:

  • Footwear can worsen
  • Shoes that are too tight
  • Overuse and exercise-related problems
  • Too much sitting or standing
  • Repetitive motions
  • Fatigue
  • Sprained ankle
  • Corns
  • Bunions
  • Turf toe
  • Heel spurs
  • Neuromas
  • Hammertoes
  • Metatarsalgia

If left untreated, foot and ankle pain can lead to:

Plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis are, by far, the most common causes of foot and ankle pain.

Plantar fascia is a ligament which connects the calcaneus to the other bones of the feet. The straining of the plantar fascia results in weakness and inflammation, causing the heel to hurt when standing or walking. Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports the arch of the foot.

foot ankle model muscle arch labeled

Continuous strain can cause tiny tears of the ligament which can lead to pain and swelling. Factors that can affect plantar fasciitis include:

  • A person having flat feet or high arches
  • Walking or running for long periods of time
  • Wearing improper footwear
  • Having tight calves and excessive pronation (rolling the foot inward when walking).

Most people with plantar fasciitis have pain when they take the first step out of bed and the pain progresses as the day goes by.


Click Here to Receive a $40 Certificate for your 1st Acupuncture Treatment and Evaluation.


Achilles tendinitis is caused by the overuse of the achilles tendon. The achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the calcaneus. This occurs mostly in runners due to the sudden increase in speed and distance of the runs. The pain is a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running. This is common in men. Some factors that can increase the chance of developing achilles tendonitis are wearing improper shoes, cold weather, and climbing uphill terrain.

achilles insertion lateral labeled
Anatomy of The Foot & Ankle

The foot provides structural strength while the ankle serves as a shock absorber, and propulsion engine. The foot provides flexibility and resiliency, and it can sustain enormous pressure. The foot and ankle contain 26 bones – one-quarter of the bones in the human body, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

The components that make up the foot and ankle work together to provide the body with balance, support, and mobility.

Structurally, the foot has three main parts:

The ankle is a joint located between the foot and leg. It is composed of three separate bones. The inner bone, called the tibia or shin bone, supports most of a person's weight when standing. The outer bone is the fibula, or calf bone. The tibia and fibula are connected to the talus, or ankle bone. The talus is one of the major tarsal bones, which are located at the back of the foot. This allows individuals to run, jump, walk, and perform a variety of other actions.

If a structural flaw or malfunction occurs in the foot or ankle, this could result in the development of problems elsewhere in the body, such as back pain. Likewise, abnormalities that occur in other parts of the body can lead to problems in the feet and ankles.



Acupuncture For Foot & Ankle Pain

A form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture has been used to treat many diseases, chronic conditions, and acute symptoms. This holistic treatment is particularly beneficial for pain relief, as it can treat both locally and systemically.

According to TCM, foot and ankle pain is considered a stagnation of energy (Qi) in the body. Qi runs channels throughout the body, and when an energy channel (meridian) is blocked, pain can be experienced. Acupuncture helps by breaking up blockages and promotes the smooth flow of Qi.

There are several meridians throughout the body that are stimulated during an acupuncture treatment. Meridians on the foot can be found in between the toes, on the top side of the foot, and along the outside edge of the foot.

Acupuncture is highly effective of pain management. It produces endorphins which inhibit the sensation of pain. It also produces serotonin, which blocks the transmission of pain signals to the brain.

The video below describes how acupuncture is performed and commonly asked questions. Many people seek acupuncture for their muscle and joint pain, it is also very effective when combined with conservative therapy and medical treatments.

medical treatments for foot and ankle pain
Medical Treatments for Foot & Ankle Pain

Treatments for both plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis include corticosteroid injections, NSAIDs, and surgery. While these treatments may decrease pain and inflammation temporarily, there are side effects with each.

Most physicians recommend a trial treatment of conservative therapy prior to surgery or injections. These nonsurgical treatments for plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis include platelet rich plasma therapy, massage, Graston technique, chiropractic, and physical therapy.

Combination Treatments for Foot & Ankle Pain

Oftentimes, your practitioner will suggest combining acupuncture with other treatments for the best results. These treatment options may include:

  • Graston technique. A non-invasive treatment for soft tissue injuries, Graston technique works to break up adhesions and improve blood flow to the injured fascia by improving tendinopathy healing.
  • Chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments can be performed on many different joints, including the ankle and foot. However, this treatment will not be suggested for sprained ankles or when the ligaments are already stretched or torn.
  • Massage. Massage techniques can be used to alleviate symptoms of plantar fasciitis by promoting circulation throughout the foot. It also helps decrease muscle spasms in the foot, which often contributes to developing achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.

Conclusion:

Chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture can be used alone or combined to enhance many types of treatments and injuries. Many people with chronic pain find significant relief when combining these treatments.

Alpha Chiropractic and Physical Therapy provides treatment for many patients in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and Maricopa. Most patients have never seen a clinic that combines treatments from different providers into improving your pain.


Click Here to Receive a $40 Certificate for your 1st Acupuncture Treatment and Evaluation.