Caring for your feet - Plantar fasciitis & light therapy
As we spend time looking at the body this month and check in with different places of healing that people need, I thought we should end October - the month of spooks, ghouls, and cold weather - with our feet. I’m talking about Plantar fasciitis.
Platarfacia-what? Yes, it’s a mouthful to pronounce! Don’t worry I’ve got you - PLAN-tur fa-shee-ai-tuhs
What is it?
“Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of each foot and connects the heel bone to the toes (plantar fascia).” (Mayo Clinic, Article 1.)
Now many of you might be thinking - you know what, I’ve had that - or some minor version of it. I want to share more with you so you can know more!
What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain and discomfort near your heel that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning. Any tingling or numbness in this area is also something to pay attention to.
What can cause or exacerbate Plantar Fasciitis?
(Referenced from Mayo Clinic, Article 1.)
Age - as you put wear and tear on your body with time your heels also experience breakdown especially between the ages of 40-60.
Obesity. Excess pounds put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
Exercise that involves putting strain on your feet & heel. (Running, dance, etc.)
Problems with the natural mechanics of your feet like flat feet or abnormally high arches.
Jobs where you stand most of the day. People who spend most of their work hours walking or standing on hard surfaces can be at increased risk.
What health problems can come from having Plantar Fasciitis:
Most people feel the pain in their feet and don’t address the problem, instead they create more problems by trying to avoid the pain. They do this by using other parts of their body improperly.
This can lead to foot, knee, hip or back problems.
Other health problems can include not getting enough movement and exercise due to the pain which can lead to additional health problems.
How does light therapy help with Plantar Fasciitis?
Here are two core things that happen during a Low-Level Light Therapy session that help with your Plantar Fasciitis:
As with many things, light therapy helps to reduce inflammation (that pain you feel right at the start of the morning) within your body, allowing it to clear out toxins, remove built-up cellular waste, and infection to allow for your body to naturally circulate as it needs to. This means that the inflammation that you’re feeling in your heel can be alleviated!
Infrared light therapy focuses your body's energy inward instead of outward. Often people are in a deep state of stress that redirects the body's attention away from natural processes. During a light therapy session the total state of relaxation allows your body to focus all of its energy on healing the tissues and tendons in your heel.
When your body absorbs red/near-infrared light energy, it simulates a photochemical reaction within your mitochondria that increases ATP production and cell signaling. Basically, it gives your body the energy it needs to regulate itself and focus its efforts on healing areas like your foot!
What does the science say?
That light therapy works! Especially with plantar fasciitis.
“This meta-analysis indicates that the LLLT in patients with PF [plantar fasciitis] significantly relieves the heel pain and the excellent efficacy lasts for 3 months after treatment. “ (Article 2.)
“LLLT significantly reduces pain and disability in lower extremity tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis in the short and medium term. Long-term data was not available.“ (Article 4.)
Across 14 different studies of 817 patients, they tested LLLT to see if it reduced pain in patients with plantar fasciitis. They concluded that “LLLT may improve pain in the short term and can be considered as a component of care of patients with PF.” (Article 3.)
If you know that you are experiencing this foot pain and want to talk more, call me at 720-219-2990 and let's explore what’s possible for you!
If you want to learn more about Light Therapy & my Light Therapy work, you can follow me with the links below, or email me at Lisa@lightmattersinfo.com - thank you for reading!
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Here are the articles I've referenced above:
Article 2: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30653125/
Article 3: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34847470/
Article 4: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36171024/
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