Below is an email I received from a reader about plantarfasciitis. My answer follows her email.
I came across you site and you have the best information I have seen ever! I have chronic plantar faciitis and am trying to find a physical therapist or Dr. that uses a newton speed trainer as I read in your previous articles. I am currently in the process of searching for affordable crutches, the TED sock (found it at Walmart), and ordering the night splint. I can only stay on my feet without pain in the morning for a few hours then its downward from there. I went to the site you had suggested on your site to search for a physical therapist but do not know what or whom I am looking for. Do you have any suggestions for someone in my area? I have no insurance but have saved money to pay for this. Your answer will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time,
Kate (not her actual name) -
Thank you for your note and question Kate.
Unfortunately, I don't know of anyone with a Newton in your area but you should search for a therapist who is board certified in orthopedic physical therapy.
The Newton is only one of the components to overcoming something like
Sometimes you can use a pool and walk in chest deep water to reduce the force on the tissue and then use that as one of the drills to increase the loading capacity of the foot.
Most musculoskeletal problems, like plantarfasciitis, break down into three main components: tissue injury (or disease), biomechanical faults, and mental/emotional attitude and reactions.
For the tissue injury in plantarfasciitis, we've had success by reducing the force on the foot in everyday activity while at the same time using specific exercises to increase the tissue's force capacity. To reduce the force during the day, I've referred a number of people for a pair of Z-Coils. Almost everyone has immediate relief. But, this is not intended as a long term solution. You'll still want to recondition the tissue in your foot and gradually get out of the shoes.
Some people also have restrictions or tightness in the fascial network that connects to the plantar ligament specifically the gastrocnemius (calf) and hamstring. Fascia is plastic but not elastic. So, you can alter the relative length but it's not easy to do and of course it's not supposed to be easy otherwise your muscle system would have inadequate support. There are a number of techniques practitioners use to facilitate change in the fascia such as Rolfing, Myofascial Release, and other forms of manual therapy. I would get someone to assess your flexibility and help sort out if you have biomechanical faults in the lower leg or hip that might be contributing to the overload in the foot.
And, finally, the choices you make each day have a large role to play in what happens with your body. I've had clients with, for example, a tibial stress fracture who simply refuse to stop running even though the leg is very painful and, as a result, interferes with other parts of their life. You have to listen to your body and respect it. After all, your body is you.