Plantar Fasciitis, Can you believe everything you read, even if their advice is in a major well respected newspaper? Dr. C takes on NY Times Ask Well Column.
Plantar fasciitis, as many runners know can stop them in their tracks. For average folks with the condition, getting up in the morning and taking that first step can be quite painful.
It is frustrating for those who suffer from the condition because while following the health care providers recommendations, they are put through a maze of things that cannot possibly work, because the condition itself is not just a condition of the plantar fascia, the fibrous tissue that helps support the arch and the bottom of the foot. To understand the condition better, read these blogs http://www.backfixer1.com/blog/a-new-york-times-article-takes-on-plantar-fasciitis-and-leaves-us-wanting-more/ and http://www.backfixer1.com/blog/plantar-fasciitis-why-your-feet-hurt-and-why-it-is-more-than-a-foot-problem/.
The problem with finding a practitioner who understands the condition and treats it both cost effectively and intelligently is frightening. Reading the NY Times Health section today http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/24/ask-well-healing-plantar-fasciitis/?ref=health illustrates the problem. Health care providers are trained to treat where it hurts and not why.
The other day, a visitor to Runners High, a Metuchen running store was illustrative of this problem. He was looking to find a band to stretch his Achilles tendon and the calf at night. He stated he received orthotics from the orthopedist and ran for many years until the condition seemed to come on recently. He was trying to be compliant, wear his orthotics and stay away from his running as suggested by the doctor. Since I was in the store speaking with the salesman, I began to speak with him, and explained why the condition occurs, how it is a problem with the system of gait (the way we walk) and how he was hitting the ground much harder than he realized with his asymmetrical gait and his overpronated flat feet. I also shared his frustration because too often, people are promised a cure and it is not delivered. After a quick look, his hips were torqued (core muscles essential to running were not functional as they should be for running) and his foot orthotics that were brand new were not corrective. I taped him in neutral with some co flex tape, and he immediately felt relief, and his hips leveled out. This works because a level and symmetrical gait has a positive effect on how we access our core muscles while running and walking. It was suggested he try the store bought power steps in lieu of his custom orthotics and he stated they felt great. It is quite likely he will visit us in the future to help resolve the other compensations that resulted in the myofascia surrounding the core muscles and the legs.
The book, Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain explains this mechanism in detail, which is not only responsible for plantar fasciitis but for many other common problems such as back, neck, shoulder and even knee pain. It should be required reading for anyone suffering from these problems and more. If you have ever been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and are on Lyrica, you need to read this as well. The problem is not where you hurt but why. If you understand the mechanism behind problems such as plantar fasciitis, you are way ahead of others who have taken the dead end approach of resting, waiting, stretching and many other things that continue to frustrate them to no end. There is a better way; knowledge and a better understanding which of course leads to finding the best practitioner to help you get out of pain.