The objective of this article is to describe several cases (n = 3) in which patients with plantar fasciitis, associated with heel spurs, were successfully treated via chiropractic adjustments, emphasizing the correction of posterior calcaneal subluxation.
This particular group of patients presented with heel pain varying from 2 months to over 4 years in duration. Radiological confirmation of heel spur was evident in each case. Previously unsuccessful treatment regimens included oral anti-inflammatants, steroid injections, orthotics, and sustaining physical therapy. Two of the patients had been deemed candidates for surgical removal of the spurs but had declined to pursue that option, electing instead to use chiropractic care and conservative management in an effort to resolve the condition.
All patients were treated with short-lever mechanical force, manually assisted chiropractic adjusting procedures, with special emphasis to the foot, ankle, and calcaneus. Although the specific nature of the relevant subluxations varied with each patient, a common denominator with this particular patient population group was the occurrence of a posterior subluxation of the calcaneus. All adjustments were delivered via the use of an Activator Adjusting Instrument and were comfortably tolerated by each patient. Said treatment resulted in a complete resolution of all symptoms in this studied group of patients, with no recurrence being demonstrated over a protracted follow-up period of time.
The conservative management of heel spur syndrome may be effectively implemented through the use of specific chiropractic adjusting procedures in selected patients presenting with this particular problem Attention to the possibility of posterior subluxation of the calcaneus should be emphasized during the chiropractic examination process. Although other pedal subluxations can be involved as well, the posterior calcaneus is often a common denominator in the subluxation complex associated with this condition. The use of a mechanical force, manually assisted short-lever adjusting technique, such as with an Activator Adjusting Instrument, can provide effective delivery of the chiropractic treatment. Further study, involving larger patient populations, should be provided to more thoroughly investigate this treatment on a wider scale.
Chiropr Sports Med 1995b; 9(2):44-51.
Author information: Polkinghorn BS. Private practice of chiropractic. Santa Monica, CA, USA.