Posts for: July, 2019
It's common conditions week here at Synergy and today it's plantar fasciitis, another health issue that many people see me for! Sometimes it is the primary complaint, and sometimes it is a problem that comes along with other complaints. In either case, I am always being asked if I can help with plantar fasciitis. Here's how I can!
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia, or connective tissue sheath, that runs from the heel bone to the bottom of the toes gets inflamed, taught, and painful. The patient will often feel sharp and uncomfortable pain along the bottom of the foot and at the heel bone upon waking and first walking in the morning. It can last throughout the day.
So the question is- why does the plantar fascia get inflamed and tight? As usual, there are a number of factors that play into this!
Let's start in the foot. Weakness in the tibialis posterior and/or gastroc (calf) muscles usually cause the arch to drop and tension to occur on the plantar fascia. Both muscles are related to the adrenal glands. This is super important. The adrenals handle the stress on the body- physical, chemical, and emotional. They also aid in controlling inflammation by modulating cortisol (stress hormone) output. Anytime you see a condition end in "itis" it simply=inflammation. Anytime you see inflammation- think adrenal glands! We can rehab the adrenal glands with chiropractic manipulation, reflex point work, nutritional supplements, stress reduction techniques, meditation, and more. Oftentimes, when patients seek medical care for plantar fasciitis, oral or injected steroids may be recommended. Did you know that your body produces its own endogenous steroids? This happens in-ta-da! The adrenal glands.
I can perform certain adjustments to help facilitate the weak muscles allowing the fascia to become painful. This often includes a manipulation to lift the arch of the foot, to lift the toes as they often drop, to move the heel bone aka calcaneus, and more. Oftentimes, there are misalignments at the knee, hip, and lower back/pelvis which cause uneven pressure and torque throughout the lower body, resulting in foot issues. The feet are the foundation of the body and must absorb all of these imbalances. Honestly, I check every patient head to toe for misalignments as everything is super connected, for example something off in the neck can cause a problem in the foot.
Other important factors for plantar fasciits- proper footwear! Improper footwear or unnecessary orthotics often cause problems. Wear good shoes with a wide toe box, no gel or springs. Whenever possible, do NOT wear shoes so that you can allow the muscles of the feet to strengthen, stabilize your foot, and do their job better. Wearing too much support can cause the muscles of your feet to get lazy. Also, a clean, anti-inflammatory diet is important. This generally means decreased gluten/grains, dairy, corn, soy, and sugar. Stress management is also paramount. At-home exercises and stretches can also be done.
This is just a glimpse into what we can do for this condition, but I hope it has been enlightening!
Today I want to talk about of the most common complaints that I have come to see in my practice over the years -gastroesophageal reflux aka GERD or, acid reflux.
For some reason (well, for many reasons, which I'll get into!) a lot of people seek me out for help in resolving their acid reflux issues. I have found holistic chiropractic care to be one of the BEST and most successful natural and conservative approaches for managing and resolving this health issue.
I approach a patient with acid reflux issues from various angles, as I do with most health issues. I first assess any structural imbalances which may be contributing to the problem. This often includes facilitating weak or imbalanced diaphragm muscles, the muscles which cover the underside of the lower ribcage and through which the esophagus passes into the stomach. This also usually includes adjustments to the mid thoracic area or ribs, the upper cervical spine, and ankle joints, all of which relate to the stomach. I can even manipulate the stomach down out of the diaphragm if it is necessary. This is often needed when there is a hiatal hernia, where the stomach becomes constricted up too far through the diaphragm.
Secondly, I assess possible biochemical contributors. This includes identifying possible inflammatory foods with muscle testing, possible infections, possible nutrient deficiencies, and more. Oftentimes, particularly when a patient experiences bloating after eating, it's the NEED for more stomach acid. We can often identify and address hypochlohydria, or low stomach acid, with muscle testing.
There is a common misconception that acid reflux means there is too much acid. In reality, 9/10 times there is not enough stomach acid being produced. This is often due to age, lack of nutrients to produce the stomach acid, improper diet, stress, and more. When we do not have enough stomach acid, our food sits in our stomach, rots, and ferments. This produces the gases that often cause acid reflux. This also causes the lower part of the esophagus to attempt to spit out some acid, which can be experienced as reflux.
I also check nutritional supplements to support healing the stomach and regaining proper digestion, therefore eliminating acid reflux. There are many supplements to support this which muscle testing helps to identify for each patient. A big shout out to Standard Process' Zypan- a stomach acid + digestive enzymes supplement that works wonders. I use it if I have a big meal or eat something I shouldn't, even though I have zero problems with acid reflux.
Lastly, the stomach is very largely connected to the emotions. I recently had a new patient come in and tell me that he began experiencing his acid reflux issues after a stressful time period in his life. I hear this very often! By addressing the emotions with mind-body techniques, we can help reduce the effects of stress on our system.
One general tip for avoiding indigestion- when you eat, stop, sit, relax, and enjoy the meal. Smell it, taste it, take the time to take it in. Do not eat when you are very emotional, stressed, upset, or in a place or with people you do not like, unless you have low blood sugar. This is my favorite everyday tip for acid reflux issues! It applies to anyone however regardless of the presence of indigestion or not.
I'm doing a special feature this Monday on my patient Lisa!
Lisa started coming to see me a little over two years ago after having at least 10 surgeries to correct congenital (from birth) club feet. Club feet often results in severe functional disabilities and pain throughout a person's life. Lisa also had just recently undergone a limb lengthening surgery to obtain a more equal leg length before further addressing her feet issues.
Throughout these surgeries and for much of Lisa's lifetime, she has chosen to receive regular chiropractic care to support her body. She has seen me about once a month for the past 2 years and 3 months consistently to ensure that her body is always supported.
With chiropractic adjustments, even to Lisa's feet, manual muscle testing and muscle therapies, organ system work, lymphatic reflex point work, vascular reflex point work, mind-body techniques, and much more, we have helped Lisa thrive.
Another significant component of Lisa's care has been nutritional sensitivity testing and nutritional and herbal supplement testing. Lisa and I regularly check her food sensitivities (often gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugar, etc), which can change as the body changes each month. We also have had Lisa on a fairly extensive supplement regimen to support bone growth and remodeling, soft tissue structures, optimal mineral levels, mitochondrial function, and more. Lisa has been diligent in making the right diet and lifestyle changes and in taking her supplements.
It has been a long road for Lisa, but I am happy to report that she is doing AWESOME. She is now back in the gym 5 days a week working with a trainer and is also just beginning to learn to run again, and incorporate running back into her exercise regimen.
Thanks to Lisa for sharing her story with us, and for being a total joy to work with!