The Benefits Of ART® For Plantar Fasciitis

The Benefits Of ART® For Plantar Fasciitis

If you have sharp pains in your heel, especially when you first get out of bed or finish a long run, it could be plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot which can become inflamed and incredibly painful without treatment. Active Release Techniques (ART®) is a specialized movement-based massage technique used to effectively treat soft-tissue pain and injuries including plantar fasciitis. It is an effective stand-alone treatment, and it can be combined with chiropractic adjustments to restore full motion and function, to release lymphatic fluid, trapped nerves and vasculature, and to encourage optimal texture and resilience of soft tissues.

What Does Plantar Fasciitis Feel Like?

The plantar fascia connects your heel bone to the base of your toes with a band of tissue. It is nature’s shock absorber, ready to support your arch. While it can absorb a reasonable amount of strain from an active lifestyle, when it is overloaded with vigorous exercise, your fascia can develop swelling, tears, fibrosis, and adhesions. Our bodies naturally respond to injury with inflammation, and as a result, we can experience chronic irritation, stiffness, and intense pain. This damage can develop into plantar fasciitis, a very painful condition that can affect your quality of life on a daily basis.

With plantar fasciitis, you may feel pain when you rise from a stationary position or after long periods of standing. The pain can relax slightly after walking for a bit, however, it can become a persistent, uncomfortable condition.  Plantar fasciitis is most commonly seen in middle age, but younger individuals who spend a great deal of time on their feet can suffer from it as well.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Approximately 2 million patients are treated for plantar fasciitis every year in the U.S. and yet according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, plantar fasciitis doesn’t often have one definitive cause. However, the Academy also asserts that more than 90% of patients with plantar fasciitis will improve within 10 months of starting simple, non-surgical treatment methods.

Even though plantar fasciitis can develop without an obvious trigger, there are common contributing factors in many cases:

  • Plantar fasciitis occurs more often in people between the ages of 40 and 60
  • Body mechanics — a high arch or flat feet, and even an uneven gait can increase tension in your plantar fascia
  • Stressful physical activities such as aerobic exercise, long-distance running, or hiking can exacerbate irritation in your heel and the attached tissue 
  • Obesity — the more weight you carry, the more pounds of pressure transfer through your feet to the ground with every step
  • Occupations that require extended time on your feet

How Can ART® Benefit Plantar Fasciitis?
Active Release Technique treatment can work in as little as one session, though some people may need more than one. It can effectively treat a range of conditions including headaches, back and shoulder pain, sciatica, tennis elbow and knee problems. During a treatment session, the patient actively flexes through the fullest possible range of motion, from shortest to longest, while the practitioner/therapist applies moderate digital pressure to the area. 

Your heel and arch are avascular: meaning they naturally have low blood circulation. That is why foot injuries are so slow to heal. Strain or overuse impedes the blood cell delivery to the injury site, which delivers much needed oxygen, nutrients and collagen. The specialized movements of ART® increase blood supply to the fascia, improving circulation and expediting the healing process. Every movement targets one of the 100+ specific muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the foot. Using principles of friction, pressure, and lengthening, stubborn scar tissue and adhesions will break up and tension will release.
With ART® therapy, patients are involved in the healing process and encouraged to do the following:

  • Ice the inflamed area 3-4x/day up for up to 20 minutes during flare-ups
  • Wear supportive footwear and take regulars breaks from pain triggering activities
  • Maintain a healthy weight and physical fitness level
  • Strengthen calf muscles and correct gait issues

Active Release Technique was initially developed to treat athletes with soft-tissue injuries as quickly as possible. Since then, ART® has become a popular treatment for patients experiencing tears, microtraumas, and painful scar tissue from a wide variety of injuries — including plantar fasciitis. 

ART® should only be performed by a certified provider. The entire team at Performance Health & Wellness in Irvine are ART® Certified at the highest level. Our practitioners will carefully evaluate your overall health and will collaborate to create a customized plan involving fitness, health, and therapeutic strategies that work for you. If you are suffering from pain caused by plantar fasciitis in Irvine, California, please call us 1-949-476-1250 or fill out the online contact form to schedule an ART® consultation.


Ignoring plantar fasciitis can result in chronic heel pain that hinders your regular activities. Untreated plantar fasciitis can result in impairments to feet, knees, hip, or back as you change your gait and posture to accommodate plantar fasciitis pain. In the most severe cases, surgery to relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis may be required. Our ART® certified practitioners will assess your overall health to screen out any other conditions and will help you learn how to manage your plantar fasciitis pain. 

With a chiropractic adjustment, you will experience a gentle, controlled manipulation to reposition your back and spine, and other joints of your body. Active Release Technique (ART®) for plantar fasciitis involves gait analysis, functional movement assessments, and deep tissue massage accompanied by therapist-directed patient movements.  

An ART® treatment session is non-invasive and is known to provide effective pain relief. Your appointment with a certified Active Release Technique practitioner will involve an examination and manual therapy that applies tension to the affected area while the patient is directed to lengthen and shorten the fascia. Your ART® certified therapist will follow each fascia release into a new tissue barrier and apply very precise pressure for 90 - 120 seconds. After a few releases, the tissues will become softer and more pliable. 

Connect With Our Team, Connect With Yourself

If you are seeking solutions to find complete wellness and to feel empowered to live your healthiest life, Performance Health & Wellness is the ideal partner on your journey. With a spectrum of comprehensive services to help you find balance and to feel good, our expert team is here to guide you.

Connect with yourself by connecting with the team at Performance Health & Wellness. Call (949)476-1250.

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