Acupuncture Proves Useful in Treating Foot Pain

Acupuncture has proven itself to be effective in treating a variety human afflictions, from sports injuries to degenerative diseases. In the latest research, acupuncture has shown to be useful in reducing foot pain, specifically that emanating from the plantar fasciitis region. Actually a flat mass of tissue, the plantar fasciitis serves the purpose of connecting the heel with the toes. Men and women who spend considerable time standing or walking, especially those who are overweight, often experience pain in this area.

Acupuncture Proves Useful  in Treating Foot Pain Blog  Foot Pain Acupuncture

In a clinical test, those suffering from foot pain showed greater improvement with acupuncture than a control group that received conventional treatment methods. The test group was also given conventional treatment, which included medications and exercise, in addition to being subject to electro-acupuncture, which is a type of acupuncture that employs a small electric current. Patients who received acupuncture as their primary treatment overcame their plantar fasciitis pain by a margin of 80 percent, which was much higher than the relief experienced by the control group. A related study showed that acupuncture treatment was useful in both reducing pain and restoring physical functioning of the affected areas. These studies have led researchers to formally recommend acupuncture as a regular plantar fasciitis treatment method.

In treating plantar heel problems with acupuncture, the needle is inserted into the wrist. This same “acupoint” is used when treating with acupuncture such conditions as heart pain, insomnia and irritability, and in the acupuncture treatment of specific digestive disorders, including stomach pain and nausea. According to the principles of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in general, this particular acupuncture point has a close relationship with the body itself and is effective in the treatment of of aching joints. In the most recent studies, however, researchers have concentrated on using this acupuncture point in dealing with problems in the ankle and heel. At the end of one study, a group that was treated at that specific acupuncture point showed significant improvements over those receiving other forms of treatment. Acupuncture for plantar fasciitis is only one of the many modern uses of this ancient medical practice.

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

image

Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)

image

Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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