I recently took part in a workshop where both manual and instrument assisted soft tissue therapy were heavily promoted as the gold standard in plantar sided foot pain presentations. While certainly such therapeutic interventions as Active Release Techniques and Graston Technique may act as positive adjuncts in the management of such cases, I often find myself using exercise interventions with relatively more rapid results. As always, patient management should always be context dependent but this is what I’m finding.
Interestingly, when therapists do consider exercise interventions, heel raises/lowers off stairs seem to be the “exercise of choice”. Often such presentations are acute or “hot” and based on Craig Purdam’s work on tendinopathies, such exercises may be too advanced for significant progress to be made.
Now before I introduce some alternative exercises, I’d like to address the “One Toe Syndrome”. Patients with plantar sided foot pain, especially women for some reason, often present with this “syndrome”. They may indeed have five toes, as most of us do, but if you look closely the toes actually function as one unit rather than five individual units.
Remember to Save the Date for the BSMPG 2012 Summer Seminar - May 19-20th in Boston MA.