Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis

So you have a career where you are required to stand a lot? Or perhaps you are a runner? Either way, have you found that your heels have been giving you grief and causing you pain? You may have plantar fasciitis. Could acupuncture help you?

In this article, we will be exploring the role acupuncture has on helping reduce the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis —pain in the heel. It can be felt in only one heal or it can be felt in both. It is a very common condition. How common? It can affect over one million people every year. And over two-thirds of those affected will seek medication treatment from their primary doctor. However, those medications themselves can have adverse effects.

Acupuncture for plantar fasciitis can not only have calming and relaxing attributes — it can also be an effective treatment option for reducing pain and inflammation experienced by the condition.

Does Acupuncture Work for Plantar Fasciitis

There have been quite a few different studies that have researched if acupuncture works for plantar fasciitis. Overall, the research has indicated that acupuncture can not only be effective but it can also be beneficial to those experiencing the ankle pain.

This one study looked into how acupuncture works for plantar fasciitis. It found acupuncture can work for plantar fasciitis in the following ways: 

  1. Acupuncture can act as a central opioid pain inhibition.

  2. Acupuncture can activate anti-inflammatory hormones in the nervous system.

Acupuncture Points for Plantar Fasciitis

When it comes to which points are often used to treat plantar fasciitis, this one study used the following points:

  • Daling (PC7)

  • Hegu (LI4)

How Effective is Acupuncture for Plantar Fasciitis

Through this study, acupuncture when compared to both sham acupuncture and medication was more effective over the course of one to two months. How was acupuncture more effective? It resulted in a significant reduction in heel pain for the participants.

After an eight week period, it was determined that acupuncture was as effective as other forms of treatment. It was also concluded that more studies on the long-term effects of acupuncture for plantar fasciitis could bring more insight.

How Many Treatments are Needed?

This one study showed that in the short term, the number of treatments that were beneficial in improving the level of pain experienced with plantar fasciitis is — four to eight.

In regards to long term benefits, acupuncture, when evaluated after six months was equivalent but not greater than standard medication treatment.

So when it comes to how many treatments you will need, eight weekly sessions may be a good place to start; however, it is always a good idea to always talk to your acupuncturist about the number of treatments and your needs.

You may also find that after eight weekly sessions, that maintenance treatment sessions may help you experience and maintain the progress that you fell in feeling better.

What will it Cost Me?

There are two choices when it comes to paying for acupuncture for plantar fasciitis. Each will result in a different range of fees. Here are the two options:

  1. Individual acupuncture treatment: Depending on where you live in the country, you may find yourself paying $75-$160 for each session of acupuncture. For more information, read: How Much Does Acupuncture Cost?

  1. Community acupuncture treatment: Paying for community acupuncture is done on a scale. When you choose this type of acupuncture — acupuncture will be done in a group setting. You will still get one-on-one treatment with an acupuncturist but other people getting treatment will also be in the room. Want to know what it is like to go to a community acupuncture session, and what it may cost? Read: What is Community Acupuncture Like?

Practitioners

When trying to find an acupuncturist near you for plantar fasciitis, DaoCloud has many practitioners who specialize in acupuncture .

References:

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

Li, J. (2017, November 27). Acupuncture Plantar Fasciitis Relief Confirmed. Retrieved March 1, 2019, from https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1806-acupuncture-plantar-fasciitis-relief-confirmed

Thiagarajah A. G. (2017). How effective is acupuncture for reducing pain due to plantar fasciitis?. Singapore medical journal, 58(2), 92-97. Retrieved March 1, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5311890/

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. Retrieved March 1, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3094706/