Research Designed To Help You Choose The Safest Plantar Fasciitis Treatment For You

Plantar fasciitis treatment data from 200 cases

Our approach was to visualize the data, processed to adjust for sample size and calculate a rough (unadjusted) effectiveness value. Unadjusted effectiveness = ratio of number that worked/number that didn’t work. When denominator 0, used infinity value. Correction factor for ‘n’ 1 = .3, 2-5 = .6, 6-inf = 1. Calculation of adjusted effectiveness; unadjusted ratio greater than 1 = effectiveness is 2, if 1 = 1, if less than 1 = .5. Effectiveness calculation for pie chart is adjusted effectiveness value x sample size correction factor. NOTE: this is early work (done by a pathologist, not a statistician), designed to look for patterns in the data. It is not funded by anyone except my (FitOldDog’s) retirement savings + money generated from our plantar fasciitis book and video sales (currently failing to break even). I find this process to be fascinating – research without a grant!

Finishing 2014 Eagleman pissed

Foot pain can certainly spoil your fun. FitOldDog had a horrible run at the 2014 Eagleman Half-Ironman Race. All fixed now, following a little work.

This chart supports the following preliminary conclusions:

(1) Treatment should be initiated to include stretching, massage, change of shoes, compression sleeves/socks, altered nutrition (will write about this later), and therapeutic exercises (most of this stuff is in our book), before considering more draconian approaches.

(2) Avoid cortisone injections at all cost, as they are dangerous and generally ineffective – two cases resulted in serious infections, following the injection (see this link for the gory details of one of these, if you can handle it).

(3) Avoid surgery if you can, because it comes with serious risks. I would opt for shockwave therapy first!

(4) Other treatments on the chart are worth considering, especially those with a score >1 .

(5) The ASTRO worked for me, but it got a low score due to a sample size of ‘1’

(6) There is a lot more work to do.

Promotional Video ImageThe Internet is a great place to do unfunded research, but the same rules of honesty and imagination apply.

We just published our latest Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Research Newsletter (sign up here), based on observations derived from 200 people. These data are freely available on the Internet, but I was careful to avoid making the source available for individual data points. Anyone could do this kind of research, with a little patience, by searching through Facebook, and other online forums.

FitOldDog's shoes and socks

Just a couple of pairs of shoes, right? Nope! Carefully selected tools, including the Smart Wool Socks, tested for certain terrains and functions. Nike Frees on the right, Brooks Glycerin on the left. What’s to do? Hokas? Photo by FitOldDog.

Our goal is to determine what causes this horrible condition, to reduce to zero the number of people having dangerous cortisone heel injections (see what can happen at this link, if you can stomach it), and reduce as far as possible those needing surgery.

This is clearly  a progressive condition.

If you can nip it in the bud, you’ll avoid all sorts of foot damage.

Interesting aside: of the 200 people, one person, a man, fixed his plantar fasciitis by undertaking barefoot running. No! He hadn’t read that great book, Born To Run, by Christopher McDougall. He just saw a guy running by his house, barefoot, and gave it a try. He was lucky it fixed his plantar fasciitis, and didn’t give him serious foot injuries. This interests me, because I’ve noticed as I’m back in running that supportive shoes, such as Hoka One Ones or Brooks Glycerin, will start to irritate my left heel after a few miles, whereas minimalist shoes, Nike Frees, do not.

Can I run a marathon in Nike Frees, after a 112-mile bike ride? We’ll find out in the Antipodes!

I find this whole thing fascinating, especially as I’ve fixed plantar fasciitis for the second time, and I’m running again. YES!!!!

Here are the data in another format.

Graph of plantar fasciitis treatment data from 200 cases reports

A better approach would be to use a survey, but I have Ironman training to do! All lined up for Ironman Western Australia, Dec. 6th 2015.

Wishing you happy feet.



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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.