Laser Therapy For Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment by Laser Therapy on the Gold Coast
BePainFree provide laser therapy as plantar fasciitis treatment for clients on the Gold Coast and Southport. Learn more about plantar fasciitis and how laser therapy can help abate symptoms.
What is plantar fasciitis and how bad is it?
You wake up in the morning and gingerly place your foot on the ground, hoping the pain that has been present most days isn’t going to be there today. Unfortunately, no such luck. The pain starts in the sole of your foot, sometimes beginning as a dull ache and other times feels like shooting pain or the soles of your feet are burning.
A patient recently described the feeling as a searing pain in her heel causing her to limp first thing in the morning, lessening throughout the day.
Plantar fasciitis is long term inflammation of the plantar fascia, in the foot, where it connects the plantar tendon to either the heel bone or to the base of the toes. This debilitating and often annoying condition is known to cause a penetrating pain through the skin and bones of the foot, which is usually felt during the first steps in the morning or after a period of inactivity. In fact most reported heal pain is caused by plantar fasciitis1.
Some patients report having to limp due to the extreme pain2 they experience. While for others, the pain lessens throughout the day.
How common is plantar fasciitis?
While there are a variety of foot related conditions, approximately 15% of these are caused by plantar fasciitis2. For frequent runners, 1 in every 10 injuries is caused by the condition2. This condition is more common in people aged between 40 to 60 years, however younger runners can also develop plantar fasciitis. In fact the most common sufferers are indeed runners2.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Any leg motion resulting in the pulling on the plantar tendon can cause this condition. Plantar fasciitis is common in runners but can also impact walkers. Most studies report this condition is caused by ‘repetitive microtrauma’2 or foot injuries that have not been given enough time to heal. Other factors to consider are types of sports shoes worn, low or high arches, spending long hours on your feet, being overweight or tight calf and ankle muscles.
What are the current treatments for plantar fasciitis?
Currently, there are various treatments used to help heal plantar fasciitis. Some are more invasive than others. For example, orthotics in your shoes, can be used to change your foot posture and reduce stress on the plantar fascia. However these won’t work with all kinds of footwear and certainly won’t help when barefoot.
Foot braces are more invasive and are usually used at night. Not only can these devices feel uncomfortable, some researchers have also discovered that a recurrence of pain is still present3.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to relieve the pain especially during the first steps in the morning. However studies have found that anti-inflammatory drug use provided no long-term effects.
Some patients are offered surgical options, however this is the most invasive approach to healing plantar fasciitis.
How laser therapy works as plantar fasciitis treatment?
Laser therapy has been used for decades but was first discovered in 1967. Since then, hundreds of studies have proven the healing effect of laser therapy in both animals and humans. Laser therapy, specifically High Intensity Laser Therapy (HILT) is responsible for reviving the cellular energy of your cells, which then helps in repairing ligaments and muscles.
High Intensity Laser Therapy is used to speed up the healing of plantar fasciitis. Shining the laser light on the affected area, penetrates through your skin to reach your tissues, muscles, and joints. The near infra-red light increases the cellular energy, which in turn stimulates faster healing times. The laser also creates a mild stress to injured cells, causing them to go into a ‘defensive mode’, this turns on genes for cell regeneration resulting in a much more rapid healing response.
What does high intensity laser therapy feel like?
During the treatment, patients feel a warm and soothing sensation coming from the laser beam. Most patients feel pain relief immediately after the session. Some patients report that they feel slightly sorer the next day, which is normal as the healing mechanism begins.
How many sessions would be required?
High Intensity Laser Therapy treatment for plantar fasciitis takes about 5 to 10 minutes. The number of sessions required is dependent upon the severity of your condition. On average patients require between 4 to 8 treatment sessions.
Clinical Studies of Laser Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis treatment
Laser therapy has been studied numerous times in the treatment of plantar fasciitis, with positive results. For instance, in a study of 30 patients participating in a series of laser therapy sessions over a 3 week period, patients reported they were able to feel significant improvements in terms of pain relief. From a pain score of 68 / 100 down to 7 / 100 with the results still noticeable 12 months later4.
Another study conducted by Ulusoy A, Cerrahoglu L and Orguc S. on magnetic resonance imaging and clinical outcomes of Laser Therapy, Ultrasound Therapy, and Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for treatment of plantar fasciitis, found laser therapy provided the best results as compared to other kinds of treatment5.
Book your plantar fasciitis treatment with BePainFree in Southport today
If you’re interested in laser therapy for plantar fasciitis treatment, please give the reception team at BePainFree a call. We will be able to arrange a consultation with our osteopath. Our clinic is located in Benowa, conveniently located for those who live and work on the Gold Coast or in Southport. You can reach us by calling (07) 5597 5711.
1: Riddle DL, Pulisic M, Pidcoe P, Johnson RE. Risk factors for Plantar fasciitis: a matched case-control study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2003 May;85-A(5):872-7. Erratum in: J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2003 Jul;85-A(7):1338. PubMed PMID: 12728038.
2: Buchbinder R. Clinical practice. Plantar fasciitis. N Engl J Med. 2004 May 20;350(21):2159-66. Review. PubMed PMID: 15152061.
3: Tisdel CL, Harper MC. Chronic plantar heel pain: treatment with a short leg walking cast. Foot Ankle Int. 1996 Jan;17(1):41-2. PubMed PMID: 8821286.
4: Jastifer JR, Catena F, Doty JF, Stevens F, Coughlin MJ. Low-Level Laser Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: A Prospective Study. Foot Ankle Int. 2014 Jun;35(6):566-571. doi: 10.1177/1071100714523275. PubMed PMID: 24510123.
5: Ulusoy A, Cerrahoglu L, Orguc S. Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Clinical Outcomes of Laser Therapy, Ultrasound Therapy, and Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Foot Ankle Surg. 2017 Jul – Aug;56(4):762-767. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2017.02.013. PubMed