Postulated Progression Of The Human Disease Known As Plantar Fasciitis By FitOldDog (Pathologist)

FitOldDog's human disease progression for plantar fasciitisSwim Jan 7 2015 swim workoutWhen I swim, I swim, but when I walk, I think, and my thoughts yesterday led to the diagram, above, which is at least a start down the road to logical treatment of the human disease known (mistakenly) as plantar fasciitis.

I do love to stay in shape, and swimming certainly does that for my base cardiovascular fitness, so I’ve included today’s swim workout, designed by my friend and swim coach, Rick. The 200 brokens really work well, and this kind of workout keeps the mind occupied as I enjoy the feel of the water.

Walking is another matter for me, entirely, as I tend to contemplate as I wander along, talking to the dogs from time to time, and just enjoying the flow of thoughts and observations.

FitOldDog loves this walking trail

Willbe and I love this walking trail – I think, that in addition to sniffing and peeing, he thinks a lot, too!

Yesterday my mind drifted to our plantar fasciitis data (and we need more, much, much more – so, if you have one, please publish your plantar fasciitis story on FitOldDog’s Dynamic Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Facebook page, and consider signing up for our Plantar Fasciitis Research Newsletter, at this link). It occurred to me that people aren’t thinking too clearly about this condition, which has a clear progression, just like any disease.

As an example of what I mean by disease progression, consider food poisoning, which almost everyone will experience at least once in their lifetime:

You consume some contaminated food, feel fine for a while, as the bacteria proliferate in your intestines, and start to produce toxins (chemicals that can make you sick). Then you start to feel a bit queasy, and that may be the end of it OR you start to become nauseous, and maybe proceed to vomiting, which may also be associated with diarrhea, AND this may progress to severe fever, and general malaise, AND if you are really sick you will become dehydrated and poisoned by the bacterial toxins AND end up in hospital, AND you may even die.

FitOldDog's publications and PhD

The product of FitOldDog’s 40 years of research, and it was a blast – the story continues.

At any stage, apart from the last one, you can just get better, and the nightmare is over. You have the range of symptoms from mild queasiness, that you may never associate with food poisoning, all the way to an extreme, known as dead. Quite a spectrum, don’t you think? You can be saved from death if the correct treatment is instigated, to maintain your fluid and electrolyte balance, and counter the effect of the bacterial toxins – the treatment is based on understanding the nature of the disease, it’s cause AND progression. Best to catch it early!

Well, that is the nature of disease – no two cases are exactly the same, but the spectrum of symptoms is similar for any particular disease, and which symptoms will be expressed depends upon the severity of the particular case.

fitolddog's plantar fasciitis map

Click image for access to the interactive version, then mouse over the flags for more information and links.

NOTE: it is by studying many particular cases that we can define the general case, and give a disease state an appropriate, and usefully descriptive, name – see my article on so-called Attention Deficit Disorder – another human state with the wrong name. Until it’s correctly defined and named, a disease state doesn’t have an identity, and treatments won’t be devised on the basis of the logical understanding of it’s cause and progression. They will be hit and miss, and may, in fact, be dangerous, such as some of the treatments in the FitOldDog Plantar Fasciitis Interactive Treatment Map.

The same applies to so-called plantar fasciitis – I did enjoy my pathology career, and it would appear that this interesting disease is giving me a chance to continue in the field.

Kevin Morgan BVSc (means I’m a veterinarian), PhD (means I had some unique thoughts, at least once upon a time), Diplomate ACVP (means I passed that horrible, but fascinating exam, set by the American College of Veterinary Pathology – many years ago). Then I published a bunch of stuff, and became credible in certain circles – can I become credible in this one, I wonder?



  1. Why not get some input from PTs and orthopeds about PF? Guest columnists? Wish I wanted to exercise as much as you do. But I dont, and learning to accept that this is OK too.

    • Hi Marsha,
      I read their stuff, regularly, but they almost all seem to fall into the inflammation trap, which is clearly a very late stage of the problem. I find that mainstream medical professionals rarely show any interest in what I’m doing, as I guess I’m not in the right clubs, which is very much part of human nature.
      The odd one does comment, from time to time, but pretty rarely.

  2. Donna Gordon says

    Plantar Fasciitis began for me 3 1/2 months ago with stiffness and mild pain in my right foot upon stepping out of bed upon waking in the morning. I knew what was starting because my mom and brother both suffer from this. I knew that stretching the foot was in order and realized that my right calf was much tighter than my left. I began my own research on the best way to loosen the calf and shin muscles as well as stretching the Achilles and fascia in the foot. I use a regimen each morning of kneading the calf and shin muscles as well as pressing acupressure points on the lower leg, ankle, and feet. I also purchased a homedics shiatsu foot massage machine and a few minutes on that several times a day along with stretching the calf and feet keep the pain and stiffness away. I also do this regimen before and after tai chi practice and before bed. So far, this regimen along with regular Reiki treatments has kept me from going to the doctor and being subjected to the “anti-inflammation” drug therapy. I’d rather try to work on the root cause instead of masking the symptoms.

    • Hi Donna, thanks so much for the information. You are definitely going down the right road. Our approach is based on body awareness training, and the kinds of methods you describe. I use rollers to keep mine at bay, but it has to be done correctly, or one does more harm than good. I’ve added your material to our growing database, and your name and e-mail to our Plantar Fasciitis Research Newsletter. I found that rolling my calf, but stretching (lengthening) my hamstrings, seemed to do the best job, in my case. Thanks again, kevin.

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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.