March 2, 1999
Lynette and Editorial Staff
Dear Lynette and Editors of The Gilded Serpent:
First, I wish to extend hearty congratulations on your new, wondrous
publication! It is informative, fun and beautiful. I look
forward to further issues.
The article on Plantar Fasciitis is well written. I would like
to add a few notes:
Dancers, as a group, tend to be “very in touch” with their bodies.
But self- diagnosis and self-treatment without professional evaluation
and supervision can sometimes lead to worsening conditions. There
are other conditions of the
foot that have similar pain patterns. It is important to rule
out, for instance, the possibility of stress fractures of the bones
in the dancer’s foot. Therefore, I recommend evaluation by a doctor,
whether medical, podiatric, chiropractic or osteopathic.
There are several more exercises that can be done to aid in recovery
of the condition, and avoid relapse or recurrence. The calf stretch
is an important one. I would like to suggest a few more for the
- Stretching the
arch of the foot by pulling the toes and foot upward (i.e.,
dorsa-flexion) is another especially important stretch.
- Rolling the
arch of the foot over a racquetball for several minutes has a
mini-massaging action into the plantar fascia. Tennis balls
are too soft and
golf balls are too hard.
- Practicing picking
up marbles or pencils with the toes are wonderful foot
- Walking barefoot
in the sand is both stretching and strengthening for the
The condition plantar
fasciitis is associated with an alteration of the musculoskeletal biomechanics
of the foot. Therefore, a protocol including chiropractic or osteopathic
manipulation of the bones in the foot to restore normal biomechanics
can be extremely effective in reducing, and in many cases, eliminating
pain and restoring full function! This is not a one-treatment-
miracle-cure. Frequently, it takes several treatments for significant
results. It takes months, or even years for the feet to develop this
condition. It will take time and focused effort to recover from
it. Usually, 6 to 12 treatments should see approximately
40% to 50% improvement. If there is improvement, then you are
on the right track and should continue with this treatment protocol.
If there is no improvement then your condition should be re-evaluated
and implement changes in the treatment protocol. Along with the
use of ice, ultrasound and massage, properly fitted shoes and orthotics,
and doing the foot exercises daily can help in recovery of plantar fasciitis.
In many cases, the patient can avoid steroid shots and surgery.
I have personally suffered with plantar fasciitis. As a chiropractor,
I have been very successful with treating a number of patients, mostly
dancers, who also suffered from this affliction. However,
if you prefer to stick with the medical doctors, you may have better
luck with a medical doctor who specializes in sports medicine.
Happy Feet to Happy Dancing!
Dr. Teresa Jean Rich
Doctor of Chiropractic
a.k.a. Tera Vashtillyia, former professional dancer
Sunnyvale, California, USA