Doctor Dale Sandvall, once a chronic sufferer of plantar fasciitis, is Ft Worth‘s premier chiropractor. His heel pain bothered him for years, until he decided to attempt to use a then-novel therapy called ‘cold laser’ or ‘low level laser’ treatment to attempt to cure his problem. Today, his heel pain is a memory, and he offers the same treatment to patients who come into his chiropractic office with ongoing heel pain.
The Confusion of Plantar Fasciitis
There are a number of ways to tackle plantar fasciitis available, but the majority of them fail profoundly because of a simple misunderstanding. The term ‘plantar fasciitis’ literally means ‘inflammation (-itis) of the plantar (bottom-of-the-foot) fascia (connective tissue).’ Unfortunately, this term is wrong on two counts — first, the connective tissue in question is not a fascia per se, but a similar kind of tissue called an aponeurosis.
Far more relevantly, however, the ‘inflammation’ part of the term has also been disproven. It was assumed for decades that the pain in the plantar aponeurosis was due to inflammation, but recent examination has determined that the cause of the pain is cell death due to numerous small tears in the tissue as it was repeatedly overloaded by small amounts over a long period of time.
Why Cold Lasers Work
The function of a cold laser treatment is to create microscopic injuries deep in your tissue. That might sound counterproductive at first, but the reality is that the body is very good at responding to these injuries. It does so by flooding the area with nutrients and hormones that encourage regeneration of tissues — and those floods don’t stop at the extent of the injury.
Normally, a tissue like the plantar aponeurosis is too poorly fed by blood vessels to properly regenerate, but when the tissues directly adjacent to the aponeurosis are flooded with nutrients and hormones, the aponeurosis is flooded as well. In other words, the cold laser treatment directs your body to heal the microscopic tears that would otherwise be ignored. It’s not doing the healing — your body does that — but it is placing a large ‘heal me’ sticker on the injured part.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, be aware that you don’t have to. Treatment exists, and Dr. Sandvall is happy to offer it for the best of reasons: because it worked for him.
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