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  • Writer's pictureGiulia Pline

Plantar Fasciitis

Do you struggle with plantar fasciitis? Have you had this painful issue in the past? What was your experience like? If you saw a doctor, what advice were you given? If you did physical therapy, was it helpful?

An article released recently in the New York Times (Times subscribers can view the article here), talks about plantar fasciitis and has some major issues in terms of the suggestions for treatment of this uncomfortable condition. 

The article lists treatment options such as, "wearing supportive, sturdy shoes," and "stretch, rest, and ice," to help the condition. The doctor quoted in the article states that, "stretching is the mainstay treatment...and there's no magic pill or treatment." 

Oof! There is a lot to unpack here!

While these options may relieve symptoms in the short-term, they are only band-aids covering up the root cause of the issue, and they are not long-term solutions. Those of you who have had plantar fasciitis may have even experienced this already!

The foot has 26 bones and 33 joints, which all need to move and articulate efficiently with each other for the foot to have optimal mobility with stability. Our feet need to be able to pronate and supinate so that the tissues of the foot can properly lengthen and shorten when we are walking, running, exercising, or moving about in any other load bearing way!

Like I mentioned before, wearing sturdy and supportive shoes may be helpful in the short-term, but long-term can cause issues up the chain in the knees, hips, and back, as the movement of the foot bones, joints, and tissues are restricted and confined to a tight space. The feet need room to move!

Having a foot that can move well, and both receive and exert force properly, helps distribute energy from the foot through the chain of the body so that specific areas like the plantar fascia are not taking all the load or doing all the work all the time.

This is why stretching, icing, and resting are not long-term solutions.

Instead, investigate your foot mechanics and try some mobility and stability drills to improve your foot function, so that you can truly use your movement as medicine.

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