The symptom of Plantar Fasciitis is painful burning sensation in the bottom of the foot at the front or center of the heel bone.
Dr. Sam Dubé discusses plantar fasciitis
Learn about the symptoms, causes, and benefits of different treatment options.
Plantar fasciitis develops as a result of poor foot mechanics caused by footwear use.
The feet have thick, fibrous bands of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which connects the heel bones to the balls of the feet.
The plantar fascia becomes overstretched or strained when the muscles that form and maintain the foot’s arch system are not working efficiently. When the plantar fascia is excessively and repeatedly stretched to the point of strain, tiny tears can occur in its surface that cause pain and inflammation.
When the arches are unable to safely manage the vertical forces generated by the body’s weight, the arches collapse, creating stress and strain on the plantar fascia.
Historically, over-pronation (collapsing arches) has been thought to be hereditary. However, modern science has identified that the nervous system plays a critical role in stabilizing the feet and ankles when walking or running. It is now understood that over-pronation is a symptom of inefficient neuromuscular function caused by conventional footwear use. In fact, conventional footwear use causes poor neuromuscular function throughout the feet, legs, hips, and back, when:
the soles of the feet don’t receive the subtle, varied stimulus that the nervous system requires for healthy function, and
snug toe boxes, stiff midsoles/outsoles/uppers and tight lacing restrict healthy foot movement.
To learn more about how your shoes may be causing your foot, leg, hip, and back pain, click HERE.
The best way to prevent and treat plantar fasciitis is to retrain healthy neuromuscular function and to use footwear that is soft, flexible, and roomier in the forefoot.
Conventional treatment methods for plantar fasciitis
Since the late 1890s, the standard treatment for plantar fasciitis has been to artificially support the arches with an orthotic. Other conventional treatment options include:
Therapy to eliminate the damage and heal the plantar fascia
Modern science has transitioned away from using long-term support and cushioning on any body part because it causes a progressive weakening of the body part being supported or cushioned.
The modern approach to treating plantar fasciitis
Science has shown that merely challenging the body to “do its job” is the best way to restore and enhance function.
The modern approach to address poor neuromuscular function is to employ a “Proper Technique” rehabilitative therapy to regain healthy function. This approach is extensively used pre- and post-surgery and is also the foundation of virtually all sports training/rehabilitation programs. By employing a therapeutic approach, the feet become stronger and more stable, thereby addressing the cause of the collapsing arches that contribute to the formation of heel spurs. Proper Technique therapies employ exercise that focuses on safely training healthy neuromuscular function, i.e., optimal mobility, muscle strength, stability, and alignment.
Proper Technique therapies require both Right Stimulus and Right Movement.
Right Stimulus occurs when the information that the brain receives from the senses triggers an efficient protective reflex function or Right Movement. The nerve endings in the soles of the feet play a critical role in providing the brain with the information required for optimal Right Movement throughout the feet, legs, hips, and back. When the brain receives insufficient or inaccurate information from the soles of the feet, the protective reflex function Right Movement will be ineffective or absent altogether. This is what happens when conventional footwear is worn. For more information on Right Stimulus and Right Movement, click HERE.
To therapeutically address the cause of plantar fasciitis and to prevent them from reoccurring, do the following:
- Walk barefoot on natural terrain as much as possible. This provides the optimal Right Stimulus and allows for the Right Movement required for healthy neuromuscular function.
- Use Biopods® Stimsoles® Footwear or Insoles. Biopods Footwear provides the ultimate Proper Technique shoe environment. Biopods Insoles improve the stimulus in your conventional footwear. Use in loosely laced, soft, flexible footwear with ample toe room that allows your arches and toes to rise easily for best results.
- Consult with your healthcare practitioner to ask about employing soft tissue mobilization therapies to address the fibrotic scar tissue that may have formed prior to using Biopods.