The plantar fascia is the long muscle that runs along the sole of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of this muscle that can make walking painful. Treatment plans include physical therapy, stretching, using shoe inserts, acupuncture and also lifestyle changes. One study published in 2006 in "Medical Acupuncture" showed an improvement in pain reduction in 9 of 11 people who had painful plantar fasciitis.
Determine if you are a good candidate to receive acupuncture treatments to reduce the discomfort from plantar fasciitis, also called "heel pain syndrome." If you are not pregnant and are able to receive at least seven acupuncture treatments, you are a good candidate. If you are afraid of needles, you might try a stretching program or using shoe inserts that a physical therapist or chiropractor can suggest.
Locate a licensed acupuncturist who is comfortable treating you for plantar fasciitis. Most acupuncturists will provide a brief phone consultation and can tell you how many treatments will be needed to reduce the pain level.
Receive at least 7 to 10 weekly acupuncture treatment sessions of at least 20 to 30 minutes each. Most acupuncture treatments are effective for reducing physical pain by stimulating the body's ability to produce endorphins, the body's natural pain killers.
Begin and sustain a regular stretching program. Every day, take 10 minutes to stretch your feet. Sit with one foot crossed over the opposite leg and point and flex the heel and rotate the ankle in each direction. Repeat to the second side. Doing so will keep the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia flexible—and less painful.
Avoid wearing tight-fitting shoes, high-heeled shoes or flat flip-flop sandals. These shoes do not provide a proper amount of space for your arches to expand and contract, as needed for a healthy and pain-free gait.