Dry Needling for
Plantar Fasciitis

About Dry Needling for Foot Pain

The plantar fascia is a type of connective tissue that spans the bottom of your foot from heel to toes, helping to stabilize the many structures in your foot and ankle complex. Its elastic properties contribute to force production during walking, running and jumping.

When overstretched, the plantar fascia can develop trigger points, little knots of tightly contracted fibers that cause pain and interfere with its ability to stretch and relax. Dry needling is a type of trigger point therapy for plantar fasciitis that deactivates trigger points and restores pain-free function.

Fascia is a thin tough network of connective tissue that encases and connects the muscles and internal organs throughout your body. Healthy fascia is smooth, elastic and slippery, enabling your body’s structures to move without friction, and allowing nerves and blood vessels to glide freely among other structures.

Fascia’s elastic properties work like an Ace bandage to support the integrity of your body’s structures, a concept called tensegrity. But injury, overuse and unhealthy lifestyle choices can cause fascia to become dense and sticky, undermining its elasticity and inhibiting its ability to glide. Damaged fascia can form adhesions that stick to other structures, entrapping nerves and blood vessels. It can also develop myofascial trigger points, tiny clusters of tightly contracted muscle fibers that are unable to relax.

In your feet, the plantar fascia can develop trigger points that keep it from stretching and returning to its original length. When that happens, it loses its ability to store and release the elastic energy that contributes to forward and upward propulsion when you walk, run or jump. This shifts the workload to other structures like your Achilles tendon and calf muscles, setting you up for a potential cascade of injuries to the lower extremities.

Dry needling is an evidence-based approach to deactivating trigger points and restoring plantar fasciitis health and function.

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Dr. Lev Kalika
Dr. Lev Kalika

Clinical director & DC RMSK

Meet Knee Pain Specialist Dr. Lev Kalika

NYDNRehab clinical director Dr. Lev Kalika has revolutionized knee pain treatment by introducing high resolution diagnostic ultrasonography for structural diagnosis, combined with gait and motion analysis technology to visualize and objectify the functional movement of the lower extremities. Dr. Kalika’s use of shockwave therapy and other regenerative technologies is transforming the way degenerative knee osteoarthritis is treated and managed.

For over 15 years, Dr. Kalika has used extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) to treat knee OA and other amusculoskeletal disorders. His extensive training and hands-on experience with ESWT and other regenerative technologies make NYDNRehab the clinic of choice for knee OA treatment in NYC.

Listen to Dr. Kalika’s podcast interview with AOR.US to learn more about knee osteoarthritis: https://aor.us/podcasts/episode-75-bone-up-on-oa/.

Why Dry Needling for Plantar Fasciitis is Better than Conventional Treatment

There are hundreds of physical therapy clinics in NYC, but few have the expertise, experience and tools needed to accurately diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis. In fact, plantar fasciitis is one of the most frequently misdiagnosed musculoskeletal conditions, leading to ineffective treatment protocols that prolong pain and waste patients’ time and money.

At NYDNRehab, we use cutting edge technologies to diagnose and treat your foot and heel pain. Using high resolution diagnostic ultrasonography, we are able to accurately pinpoint the underlying cause of your foot pain, eliminating the risk of misdiagnosis and avoiding ineffective treatments that only make things worse.

Our one-on-one personalized treatment plans ensure that you get the exact treatment you need to quickly recover from plantar fasciitis. Many of our patients come to us after months of pain and failed treatments at the hands of other practitioners, finally getting the personalized care they need to quickly eliminate plantar fasciitis symptoms for good.


Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms, Causes
and Risk Factors


  • Sharp pain in the heel
  • Intensified foot pain after exercise
  • Pain and cramping in the foot arch
  • Pain that intensifies after sleeping or resting
  • Swelling in the heel area
  • Stiffness in the Achilles tendon
  • Foot and heel pain that persists for months on end

Causes and Risk Factors

  • Long hours standing on your feet, especially on concrete
  • Repetitive overuse from sports and physical activity
  • Weak intrinsic foot muscles
  • Wearing high heels or footwear with too little support
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Flat feet or feet with high arches

Get Accurate Diagnosis with High-Resolution Ultrasound

Plantar fasciitis affects people from all walks of life, from retail and construction workers to fitness enthusiasts and athletes. Because plantar fasciitis shares symptoms with other foot and ankle conditions, it is frequently misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated.

Conditions that mimic plantar fasciitis symptoms include:

  • Sciatica
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Lateral plantar nerve entrapment
  • Plantar fascia ruptures
  • Calcaneal (heel bone) stress fractures
  • Achilles tendonitis

At NYDNRehab, we use diagnostic ultrasonography to differentiate plantar fasciitis from other foot and heel conditions. Our high-resolution ultrasound machine gives us crystal-clear images of the structures of the foot and heel in real time, allowing us to detect trigger points, fascia densification, nerve entrapment and stress fractures. Accurate diagnosis ensures that you get the most effective treatment for your specific condition.


Our Innovative Plantar Fasciitis
Treatment Options

The plantar fascia’s limited vascularity makes it slow to heal due to restricted delivery of oxygen and nutrients. Traditional treatment methods involve taping, orthotics and stretching exercises, none of which promote plantar fascia healing.

At NYDNRehab, we get to the source of plantar fasciitis pain and stop it in its tracks using advanced technologies that are unique to our clinic. In addition to trigger point therapy for plantar fasciitis, we use regenerative technologies to quickly eliminate pain and inflammation and accelerate healing at the cellular level.

Your plantar fasciitis treatment protocol may include some or all of the following:

Ultrasound-Guided Dry Needling for Plantar Fasciitis

The dry needling procedure involves inserting filament-thin, non-medicated (dry) needles into the belly of the trigger point. This evokes a twitch response in the tense muscle fibers, causing them to quickly relax and immediately eliminating pain. With ultrasound guidance, the procedure is fast and precise, minimizing patient discomfort.

We use regular dry needling to treat the intrinsic foot muscles – the most functionally important muscles of the foot. We also perform needle fenestration under ultrasound guidance, an evidence-based procedure where a dry needle is passed through the tendon multiple times to arrest tendon degeneration and promote tendon neogenesis.

In the most chronic and recalcitrant cases, we may also use:

  • Focused shockwave therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
  • Hydrodissection to restore gliding to the plantar and/or calcaneal nerves

Ultrasound Guided Injection Therapies

Injection therapies use natural/neutral solutions that stimulate cellular repair by either nourishing or irritating the targeted cells. We may use this type of procedure if there is evidence of ruptured tissues in the plantar fascia. Guidance by ultrasound ensures that the injected substances hit their mark, for maximum effectiveness.

Stecco Fascia Manipulation Therapy

The Stecco method of fascial manipulation involves deep friction that heats up tissue and stimulates mechanical action, releasing the fascia layers and making them more fluid. When combined with advanced technologies, Stecco therapy helps to quickly relieve pain and improve fascia function, often providing relief after a single session.

Physical Therapy

Weak intrinsic foot core muscles often contribute to plantar fasciitis. Foot core muscles play a key role in supporting the plantar fascia, providing flexibility, stability and shock absorption. They work with the plantar fascia by providing rigidity, creating an efficient lever to facilitate propulsion during walking, running and jumping. Your treatment plan may include physical therapy to strengthen the foot core muscles. Your therapist may also recommend shoes that provide support and shock absorption, to prevent future episodes of plantar fasciitis.

INDIBA Radiofrequency Therapy

TECAR therapy with INDIBA

TECAR therapy dramatically speeds up tissue healing by normalizing the electrical charge of damaged cells. When combined with Stecco manipulation therapy, TECAR dramatically accelerates fascia healing.

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

We use three different shockwave machines for focused, defocused, linear and radial shockwave treatment. Each type of shockwave has its own advantages, allowing us to vary the depth and width of penetration, zoom in to focus on specific tissues, and zoom out to cover larger areas. ESWT is a non-invasive treatment approach that numbs pain, reduces inflammation, and triggers a healing response in the cells of affected tissues.

INDIBA Radiofrequency Therapy

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis symptoms often begin as mild heel pain that intensifies over time, gradually spreading to the foot arch. Early awareness and treatment can save you from long-term pain and dysfunction. In addition, you can proactively prevent plantar fasciitis by taking certain precautions.

Tips for preventing plantar fasciitis:

  • Achieve and maintain optimal body weight
  • Invest in supportive footwear that provides shock absorption
  • Stay physically active – walking is an easy way to strengthen your foot core muscles
  • Elevate your feet after long bouts of standing, walking or running
  • Soak tired swollen feet in epsom salts
  • Get enough sleep – your body heals while you sleep!

Get Fast and Effective Dry Needling for Foot
Pain in NYC

Dry needling is a precise skill that takes practice. Dr. Kalika has advanced training in ultrasound-guided dry needling, with many years of hands-on experience. His research on the effects of ultrasound-guided dry needling appears in multiple peer-reviewed scientific publications. Dr. Kalika’s expertise in musculoskeletal ultrasonography and dry needling make NYDNRehab the clinic of choice for accurate diagnosis and precise trigger point therapy for plantar fasciitis. Don’t waste your time and money on plantar fasciitis treatments that fail. Contact NYDNRehab today and say goodbye to plantar fasciitis pain in just a few sessions.

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    Dry Needling FAQs

    Is foot dry needling painful?
    While you may feel slight tickling, the filament needles used in dry needling are sharp and thin, and you shouldn’t feel any pain.
    How does dry needling help plantar fasciitis?
    Dry needling targets trigger points that often develop in fascia tissue when it is subjected to heavy loads. Since the bottoms of your feet have to manage your body weight while mediating ground reaction forces, the plantar fascia is particularly susceptible to trigger points. Dry needling deactivates trigger points, providing immediate relief.
    Will I still need my orthotics after dry needling for plantar fasciitis?
    Orthotics are designed to alter the angles at which your foot strikes the ground. Since they force your feet into “unnatural” angles, they can do more harm than good. After trigger point therapy for plantar fasciitis, foot core physical therapy can help to restore your foot’s natural function, without the need for orthotics.
    Will foot dry needling alone be enough to get rid of my heel pain?
    While dry needling for plantar fasciitis deactivates trigger points, we combine it with regenerative therapies to further eliminate pain and heal damaged tissues. Foot core training can help to improve foot stability and function, to reduce force loads on the plantar fascia. Our goal is to completely eliminate plantar fasciitis symptoms and reduce their risk of recurring.
    How long will it take for my pain to go away after trigger point therapy for plantar fasciitis?
    Most patients report immediate pain relief after dry needling for plantar fasciitis. When combined with Stecco therapy, shockwave therapy and other treatment approaches, your plantar fasciitis symptoms should be completely gone after a few sessions.

    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)


    Complete tear of rectus femoris
    with large hematoma (blood)


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

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