That sharp pain on the underside of your heel that hurts the most when you get up in the morning.
Pain when you first start to walk in the morning is one of the most common signs of plantar fasciitis. That’s the medical term for the foot condition that takes place when the band of tissue running from your heel, along the arch of the foot, becomes inflamed.
Pain from plantar fasciitis can get so intense it forces people to limp when walking. For some, the pain lessens as the day continues.
Nevertheless, the foot condition keeps many athletes – recreational, runners, dancers, and tennis and basketball players – from participating in the activities and sports they enjoy.
Despite being such a prevalent problem, ask an injured athlete what kind of treatment they are undergoing, and the answers range from shock wave therapy to orthotics to surgery! One of the most common complaints is that nothing works in the long-term.
Dr. Amis, a Cincinnati-based Orthopaedic Surgeon with more than 25 years of foot and ankle-specific experience, says it’s all too common for him to have new patients who’ve tried a variety of recommendations for their plantar fasciitis, provided by one or more other doctors. They visit him since their pain has not been reduced and they think they have tried everything! The real issue is that their underlying problem has simply not been resolved because it is hidden.
“Of course, I see quite a few new patients a week, many who are hoping to get back on the field or court, because of plantar fasciitis or heel pain,” explains Amis. “It is my job to explain to them the actual hidden cause of their pain, calf tightness,” he says.
Why does he say that the cause is “hidden”? Because you don’t know it and sadly, neither do most doctors.
“I discovered 26 years ago that, while there are a multitude of treatments for plantar fasciitis, only ONE in that big group is aimed at the underlying, hidden cause of plantar fasciitis and that is dedicated daily calf stretching. You see, the problem is in the calf, not in the foot or the heel,” he explains.
“EVERY other treatment is aimed at the foot, which is the result, not the cause. These treatments can indeed help the symptoms, but they will not fix the problem. I am interested in the first domino to fall, not the last one to go down,” says Amis. “The way my colleagues treat plantar fasciitis is much like treating a headache, that is due to an underlying brain tumor, with aspirin. While the aspirin may be effective in solving the headache, no one would argue that the brain tumor is the true target of any medical treatment.”
It is had for some of his patients, and even his colleagues to believe, but scientific literature has repeatedly shown how regular stretching of the calf is what will eliminate the pain, when done with the right intensity and done the right way, he says.
“I created the One Stretch so that I can help improve the quality of life of my patients, and get them back on the field the right way. No doubt I am going to stir things up a bit, but the time has come.” he says.