Acupuncture Treatments for Foot & Ankle Conditions in Chandler
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:
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.
Continuous strain can cause tiny tears of the ligament which can lead to pain and swelling. Factors that can affect plantar fasciitis include:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.