Plantar Fasciitis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

  • Tara Andresen

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Did you know that muscle trigger points can be a major factor in the development of both plantar fasciitis and carpal tunnel syndrome? One of the best naturopathic treatments I have found for these kinds of muscle trigger points is a specialized form of dry needling called Myofascial Acupuncture.

Plantar fasciitis symptoms include pain in the heel and/or arch of the foot. In most cases of plantar fasciitis, there are trigger points found in the calf muscles called the Soleus and Gastrocnemius. These muscles pull at the Achilles tendon and the attached plantar fascia causing the resulting inflammation and consequent pain. You can think of trigger points as knots in the muscle that prevent normal muscle relaxation. Once these knots are released the muscle can relax and function normally, thereby taking the strain off the plantar fascia and reducing the associated pain and inflammation. I find myofascial acupuncture to be a highly effective technique for releasing trigger points. I typically include other naturopathic treatments including herbal medicine in the short term to reduce inflammation while getting to the root of the problem with acupuncture.

Similar to plantar fasciitis, carpal tunnel syndrome also is associated with muscle trigger points, this time in the forearm extensors and flexors. Symptoms typically include chronic wrist pain that may result from repetitive strain to due to activities that include extensive computer. I have successfully treated carpal tunnel syndrome with acupuncture by deactivating the forearm trigger points to restore proper muscle function which then takes the strain off the wrist tendons. I also include other naturopathic treatments in the short term to decrease inflammation, typically with herbal supplements.

In addition to acupuncture and herbal medicine, other natural treatment support includes relevant muscle stretching and nutrient support for proper muscle function to prevent trigger point formation. As a naturopath, my goal is to address the current health concern, but also prevent future occurrences. Preventing trigger point formation in muscles involves ensuring proper hydration and nutrition as well as proper vitamin and mineral intake, along with regular stretching and tension management techniques.

Book your Myofascial Acupuncture appointment with Dr. Andresen at one her Toronto Naturopathic clinics.