Letter from Dr Tera in response to Jawahare's article-
When the Choo Choos Give you The Foot Blues

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 readership: 

  1. Stretching the arch of the foot by pulling the toes and foot upward (i.e.,
    dorsa-flexion) is another especially important stretch. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Practicing picking up marbles or pencils with the toes are wonderful foot
    strengthening exercises. 
  4. 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 


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