I love helping people move past their pain and find the kind of freedom and happiness that comes with being free of physical limitation. As a general pain management enthusiast I wish that there were clear cut ‘cures’ for more of our pain conditions – including plantar fasciitis heel pain. But for the most part pain management just isn’t simple. Life can be pretty un-neat and tidy.
The good news though, is that while I never feel comfortable talking about ‘cures’- there are some very very powerful tools out there for those of you who wish that there was a clear cut cure for plantar fasciitis heel pain.
As I have stated before in this blog I do not claim to be able to ‘cure’ ANY of the conditions I help people to manage. The truth is that if even your dentist can’t claim to be able to ‘cure’ you of dental issues (and he/she can’t) then no one can claim to be able to cure you of plantar fasciitis heel pain.
For as long as you live on the urban terrain with its concrete, paving stones & tarmac you will be at risk not only of plantar fasciitis heel pain but other types of foot pain, knee pain, hip pain and back pain.
It is a little known fact that concrete is as bad for your joints and soft tissues as sugar is for your teeth and gums.
That being said – an interesting question I was asked by a student recently was ‘If you were trying to successfully ‘cure’ plantar fasciitis heel pain for as many people as possible – which treatment would you use if you could only use two’? ‘’Well’’ I said ‘’ If I wanted to get the best possible outcomes for as many plantar fasciitis and heel pain sufferers with only 2 methods I would use extracorporeal shockwave wave therapy & graston technique ’’.
My response was based on the fact that plantar fasciitis heel pain is caused by a build up of microscopic scar like tissue in the soft tissues of the foot. With the repetitive strain of stomping around on hard, artificial surfaces for a lifetime, a percentage of us succumb to pain. For some it’s the feet as with plantar fasciitis and for others it’s the ankles, knees, hips and spine.. just depends.
Things can get really bad when we develop scar tissue in the soft tissues of the foot. For plantar fasciitis heel pain sufferers with major scar tissue the pain can become very chronic and very stubborn. Yet even after years of pain when I use shockwave therapy and graston technique on their plantar fascia they so often improve in a very short space of time.
All the popular treatments for plantar fasciitis heel pain have their place. Taping is effective for plantar fasciitis heel pain, so is acupuncture, so is stretching. Vibration massage to the soft tissue is an excellent treatment for plantar fasciitis heel pain. I could make a long list. But if I was forced to choose two treatments to try and ‘cure’ someone’s plantar fasciitisheel pain it would definitely be graston technique and extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
Let’s be real for a minute though.
You wouldn’t bother going to a gym with only one kind of machine. You wouldn’t choose to try and survive on one kind of food for the rest of your life; and you wouldn’t expect me to treat (let alone try to cure) something as notoriously tricky as plantar fasciitis heel pain with only one kind of treatment.. would you?
Treating plantar fasciitis heel pain and pretty much any pain you care to mention is one of those topics in life where flexibility and agility are key qualities of treatment.
In the same way that an accomplished boxer must have a variety of punches combined with good head movement and footwork, a good pain clinician must have numerous tricks up their sleeve. If you forced me to treat (let alone try to cure) plantar fasciitis heel pain using just one technique I would feel like a 1 armed boxer with both legs tied together. A nasty jab would remain but not much else !