Plantar Fasciitis: The Acupuncture Treatment of Heel Pain

Whitfield Reaves

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain and occurs in all types of athletic and active individuals. However, simply walking and standing on a hard surface may also cause symptoms. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that supports the arch. Some orthopaedic texts suggest the possibility of micro-tears in the fascia at or near its attachment to the calcaneus. Fifty percent of patients may also have a calcaneal heel spur. Acupuncture treatment uses the extraordinary point Shimian M-LE-5 as the ‘target’ zone for local treatment. This point is located at the centre of the heel in the region of the attachment of the plantar fascia to the calcaneus. Palpation will reliably help to determine the precise site for needle insertion. Variations of paired needles at Shimian M-LE-5, possibly with electrical stimulation and/ or thread moxa, are often effective as local points. Numerous other secondary points may be considered on the Kidney, Bladder and other related channels. The inclusion of complementary procedures, such as orthotics for the correction of the biomechanics of the foot, can also enhance clinical results.

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AuthorWhitfield Reaves

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