Researchers from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center have confirmed that acupuncture is an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis, one of the most common causes of heel pain. 11 patients who had suffered from plantar fasciitis for at least two months were referred for treatment after conventional methods had failed. Treatment was given to the affected foot once weekly, for a maximum of six treatments. Point selection consisted of Yongquan KID-1, Taixi KID-3, Zhaohai KID-6, Kunlun BL-60, Zhiyin BL-67, Zuqiaoyin GB-44 and local ahshi and trigger points. Yongquan KID-1, a trigger point near the insertion of the plantar fascia to the calcaneus and two ahshi points in the medial arch were connected to an electroacupuncture device and stimulated for 20-30 minutes. After treatment, 9 patients reported improvement of more than 50% (and complete resolution in two cases) [Medical Acupuncture 2001; 13(1):47-49].

A study on 67 patients with medically unresponsive foot pain (despite treatment by such methods as orthotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, analgesics, physical therapy, exercise, local injections of steroids and analgesics and surgery) showed that acupuncture provided complete relief of symptoms in 31 cases and better than 75% relief in 19. The points found to be most effective were Taibai SP-3, Sanyinjiao SP-6, Kunlun BL-60, Shugu BL-65 and Taichong LIV-3. The authors from the Departments of Podiatry and Pediatrics at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Richmond, California, suggest that acupuncture should be considered as a first line treatment for foot pain of over 3 months duration and that surgery for foot pain should not undertaken without a prior trial of acupuncture

(Acupuncture in Medicine, Vol X1V, No2, November 1996).