Shedding Light On The Plantar Fasciitis Medical Mystery!

FitOldDog’s Plantar Fasciitis Research eBook!

Finally Published!

Junk Science or Based on BS?

plantar fasciitis medical mystery

The secret lies in this graph, I’m sure of it!

Currently recommended remedies remind me of treatments for the Black Death!

My five years of heel-pain research in a nutshell:

plantar fasciitis research

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2011: I awoke one morning, put my feet on the floor, and thought I had a shard of glass in my heel. I had acute, morning heel pain. I cured it by using a roller on my calf combined with hamstring stretches and single leg calf raises. So was the pain due to tight calves?

2012: I became suspicious of the term plantar fasciitis. The initial, acute pain is in the heel, not along the sole of the foot, in the region of the plantar fascia. I concluded that it is a progressive condition that first arises as intense heel pain. It involves the plantar fascia only in the latest stages of its progression, if at all.

2014: I had my second attack of heel pain. I cured it with the help of an Osteopathic Doctor. He realigned my displaced pelvis, which I’d suffered in a bicycle wreck in 2013. I then applied stretching, rolling, massage, and a movement modification. This modification I learned while testing the ASTRO. The design of this mechanical device is wisely based on studies of body movement. I understand that this is now the ONLY treatment approved by the FDA, based on clinical trials (btw, heel injections have been shown to be ineffective based on solid research). If you look to the right of the graph, above, you will note that the ASTRO was one of the only two treatments that didn’t make things worse!

plantar fasciitis medical mysteryI later made a simple observation about my heel pain. It was an observation made on myself. An anecdote to many. This observation was not the product of a large double-blind study. Supported by generous research funding. Was it science? Or was it junk science based on BS, I wondered? Then I remembered the story of John Snow and the pump handle.

In 1854, Dr. John Snow suspected in that water from a public pump was the cause of a deadly cholera outbreak. He asked the district elders to have the pump handle removed, based on this hunch. After much debate, they followed Dr. Snow’s advice. This contrasted starkly with the case of poor old Ignaz Semmelweis and childbed fever. The cholera outbreak ceased! This single action led to the realization that cholera spreads in drinking water. Was this an anecdote? Junk science based on a BS hunch? Or simply research!

plantar fasciitis medical mystery

Was this just an anecdote, junk science based on BS, or did it help solve the riddle of how Cholera is spread?

Anyone can do research. Some of the best researchers I encountered didn’t have PhD after their name. They possessed something much more valuable. Curiosity.

The problem comes when attempting to change people’s minds. Whether you are right or wrong. They call it marketing! This book is a form of marketing. It’s designed, at least in part, to replace drugs when appropriate, with life-style changes.

An Acute Morning Heel Pain Epiphany.

Though not as prestigious a person as the Drs. Ignaz Semmelweis or John Snow, I had an epiphany of my own. My second attack of morning heel pain was a rare opportunity to do some research. Pelvis realigned and symptoms beginning to resolve. It was time to question the true nature of this condition.

My epiphany: I soon observed that I could induce the characteristic stabbing heel pain by sitting on my hamstrings for a few minutes! At anytime during the day. I then discovered that I could quickly end this discomfort by stretching the hamstring muscles of the affected leg. Such an observation is inconsistent with the prevailing view that this condition is due to inflammation of the plantar fascia.

plantar fasciitis medical mystery

Click image for link to the Interactive Map.

Scientists are wont to come up with a hypothesis.

Mine is follows:

So-called plantar fasciitis is a progressive condition. In its early stages, it is a nociceptive, or neural (nervous system), response to body movement stresses. A warning of worse to come, including tissue damage, if you don’t change the way you move!

Acute morning heel pain is best treated by changing the way one moves. It would appear. Not with expensive and dangerous heel injections or irreversible surgery! Body movement changes worked for me. Especially for a short-lived third attack of heel pain during a tough bike ride. I thought, Oh! No! Not that! I dropped my heels. Released an associated calf muscle with my thumb. Pain gone in moments!

Consider each of the dozens of recommended treatments available for so-called plantar fasciitis, on the FitOldDog Interactive Treatment Map. Now out of date, as it was costing me $200/year to stay current. You will note that each treatment has the potential to induce major or minor modifications to one’s movements. Other than that, they have little in common!

If something doesn’t make sense to you, there’s something you don’t know!

A word to the wise.

If you experience acute morning heel pain!

Consider changing the way you move!

At least try changing your shoes!

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.