In my practice, I found that there is no need for surgical treatment of the plantar fascia. As I mentioned in my previous post, “Plantar fasciitis, what’s the problem?”, it is very interesting to me that no one has studied the effects of the big toe on the plantar fascia especially since it’s movement controls the plantar fascia’s movement. So it is no wonder, that improving the range of motion on the joint between the big toe and the foot would help reduce or remove heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. What we found is by elevating the big toe, it improves the range of motion of the big toe.
Once the range of motion has returned to the big toe, the big toe needs to continue to function without such limitations on its range of motion, often caused by our shoes. Wearing shoes that have sufficient space that allows the toe and the plantar fascia to fully move and flex is very important. This allows your plantar fascia to have its full range of motion as well and it will decrease the likelihood of developing an injury. Furthermore, it would be of great benefit to put the plantar fascia through a stretching program by allowing the big toe to flex upward completely when the foot is stable and strong. This is called an eccentric stretch. Lastly, I found that a program of improving the flexibility with stretching exercises and correcting the gait, the way you walk, to be extremely effective in my practice. With this program, I have had to administer minimal corticosteroid injections or other therapies to achieve healing of the plantar fascia.
The body is a marvelous work of art that can heal itself, when the conditions are right. While the current society wants to invent the next quick fix, it is ultimately up to us to take care of our bodies. This closes our three part series on plantar fasciitis. Are you ready to live pain free?