Are you tired of suffering from agonizing heel pain due to plantar fasciitis? Can't stand the thought of another day with that constant ache? Imagine waking up without that excruciating pain every morning – sounds like a dream, right? Well, we've got some life-changing news for you! Dry needling, an innovative treatment method, has been breaking new ground as a promising solution to not just relieve the symptoms, but also tackle the underlying cause of plantar fasciitis! Intrigued? Keep reading as we delve into this cutting-edge technique that could transform your life and put that spring back into your step!


Key Takeaways

  • Dry needling is a focused treatment for plantar fasciitis, helping to relieve pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia.
  • This treatment uses fine needles to target and release muscle tension in the calf and foot, resulting in pain relief and improved blood flow.
  • Using dry needling, physical therapy exercises, supportive footwear, and lifestyle changes together can create an effective treatment plan for plantar fasciitis.
  • Although there are possible risks and side effects from dry needling, they are usually rare and can be managed with proper care and guidelines.
  • Talk to a trained sports chiropractor to find out if dry needling is right for your plantar fasciitis and to create a treatment plan that's tailored to your specific needs and goals.


What is dry needling?

Dry needling is a new and effective way of treating pain and promoting healing in the musculoskeletal system. It works by using thin needles to poke into the muscle tissue. This treatment is usually used for various muscle and bone issues, including plantar fasciitis. Dry needling is different from acupuncture because it targets specific areas of muscle tension in a band of tissue instead of trying to balance the body's energy. 


Understanding what causes plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common problem that affects the bottom of the foot and the underside of the heel. It causes pain and swelling in the thick tissue called the plantar fascia. This tissue connects the heel to the toes and helps support the foot when walking or running.Certain factors can cause plantar fasciitis, such as overuse, tight calf muscles, flat feet, or high arches. When the plantar fascia becomes swollen, the person has a sharp pain in the heel, which usually becomes worse in the morning or after resting.


Dry needling to help with plantar fasciitis pain

Dry needling can help people struggling with plantar fasciitis foot pain because it targets tense areas in the calf muscles and foot. By relieving this muscle tension, it helps reduce the stress on the plantar fascia, giving relief from the painful heel.One of the main reasons dry needling helps plantar fasciitis is because it increases blood flow to the treated area. Better blood flow promotes healing in the tissue and reduces inflammation, tackling the main cause of the pain. It also allows for more range of motion, which will allow you to return to your activities quicker. 


The dry needling work for plantar fasciitis pain relief

Talking to a sports chiropractor

The first step in the dry needling process is talking to a sports chiropractor who is trained in this treatment. They will look at your symptoms, find tense areas in your muscles, and decide if you are a good candidate for dry needling.

Getting ready for dry needling

Before doing dry needling, the sports chiropractor will make sure the area being treated is clean and that the needles are sterilized. They will also tell you about any possible risks or discomfort that might happen during the procedure.

The dry-needling process

During the treatment, the therapist will insert fine needles into tense areas within the calf and foot muscles. They may gently move the needles to help release tension in the muscles. Patients might feel a mild sensation of discomfort, tightness, or twitching in the treated muscle, but it usually doesn't last long and is easy to handle.

How long dry needling takes and how often it's done

The time a dry needling session takes depends on how bad your plantar fasciitis is and how many tense areas need to be treated. Sessions can last between 15 to 45 minutes, and most people need to have multiple sessions to get the best results. Your sports chiropractor will decide how often you need sessions based on how well you respond to the treatment.

What to do after dry needling

After your dry needling treatment, your sports chiropractor might recommend using ice on the area to help with any possible soreness. They will also suggest a routine of stretching and exercising to keep the improvements from the session. It's important to have regular check-ins with your therapist to see how you're doing and change your treatment plan if needed.


Benefits of needling work for plantar fasciitis treatment

Less pain and easier daily activities

By dealing with the main cause of heel pain - the swollen plantar fascia - dry needling gives long-lasting pain relief. This makes daily activities like walking and standing more comfortable and improves your overall quality of life.

Better flexibility

Dry needling helps release tension in the calf muscles, which makes the foot more flexible and able to move better. This improvement can help reduce stress on the plantar fascia, stopping further irritation and helping to heal faster.

Better blood flow for tissue healing

The insertion of the needle creates localized damage to the tissue. It will naturally draw more blood flow to the area. Increased blood flow from dry needling brings necessary nutrients and oxygen to the area, making the tissue heal faster and reducing inflammation.

Treating the main problem more effectively

Dry needling focuses on fixing the actual causes of plantar fasciitis, which means it can be a more effective treatment option than others that only deal with the symptoms.


Possible risks and side effects of dry needling for plantar fasciitis

Dry needling is usually safe, but there are some possible risks and side effects to know about:

Possible bleeding and bruises

Sometimes, there might be minor bleeding and bruising at the spot where the needles were inserted.

Sore muscles after treatment

Some people might have sore muscles or feel tired after dry needling, but these feelings usually go away in a few days.

Risk of infection and being careful with the cleanliness

There is a small chance of infection since the procedure uses needles, but it's usually safe if the area is clean and the needles are sterilized. It's important to follow the guidelines given by your sports chiropractor to make sure everything stays clean and to prevent any infections.


Other ways to treat plantar fasciitis

Dry needling can be very helpful for many people, but it's important to think about other treatments as well when dealing with plantar fasciitis:

Dry needling with physical therapy exercises

Adding specific exercises and stretches to your daily routine can make your muscles stronger and more flexible, leading to better foot function and less pain.

Supportive footwear and orthotics

Wearing shoes with good arch support and cushioning can reduce stress on the plantar fascia. In some cases, custom orthotics (special shoe inserts) might be recommended for extra support and comfort.

Making changes in your life

Changing your lifestyle, like maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding high-impact activities, and slowly increasing exercise levels, helps prevent making plantar fasciitis symptoms worse.



Dry needling is a promising and effective treatment for plantar fasciitis, with many benefits like less pain, better flexibility, and quicker tissue healing. Although there are risks and side effects, they are usually rare, and the treatment is safe when done by a professional.If you have plantar fasciitis, consider trying dry needling as a possible treatment to ease your pain and improve your daily life. By using this technique along with other treatments such as physical therapy, supportive footwear, and lifestyle changes, you can create a well-rounded treatment plan that deals with the root causes of your condition and promotes long-lasting relief.


Byron  Lam

Byron Lam

Chiropractor, CCSP®, FR® Spine

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