Should I Train If I'm In Pain?

Should I Train If I’m In Pain?

Pain serves as a vital warning signal that is inherently unpleasant, acting as a natural protective mechanism. For instance, the discomfort of touching a hot stove or hitting our head on a hard surface instructs us on health and safety. Despite its essential role, pain can be frustrating in the long run as it hinders our enjoyment of activities, especially chronic pain like back pain, hip pain, or plantar fasciitis.

However, it is unclear whether we should halt our training when we experience pain or keep pushing through it. The matter is complex because studies have shown that avoiding pain by being inactive is counterproductive, while overexertion is also not advisable.

Not Doing Enough

If we fail to exercise adequately when our bodies are weakened or recovering, we risk aggravating the situation. Insufficient activity may result in reduced blood flow to painful areas, muscle atrophy, stiffness in the affected areas, and inactivity-related mild depression. These consequences are highly undesirable, particularly when dealing with persistent pains such as knee pain, heel pain, hip pain, or plantar fasciitis.

Doing Too Much

If we exert ourselves excessively, we risk placing undue stress on injured or tender tissues, which can impede the healing process. It is common knowledge that running on a broken leg is unwise, and the same principle applies to back pain, ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, and similar conditions.

Mastering the ability to gauge how much to challenge our pain is a valuable skill which plays a significant role in resolving pain over the long term.

A Golden Nugget

I have a valuable piece of advice that has helped numerous individuals alleviate their uncertainty about how much weight to lift or how far to run.

“As a general rule, if you experience slightly more discomfort during or shortly after exercise, it is usually not a cause for concern. However, suppose your pain significantly intensifies after a particular exercise or movement and lasts more than a day. In that case, it is typically not a positive sign.”

While there may be exceptions to this loose guideline, it can assist in preventing you from encountering issues.

Recent Articles

Should I Train If I’m In Pain?

The matter of ‘Should I train if I am in pain’ is complex because studies have shown that avoiding pain by being inactive is counterproductive, while overexertion is also not advisable. So what should we do?

Read More

How Can A Chiropractor Help Me?

When you hear the word ‘chiropractor’ you most probably associate it with ‘back or neck pain’. Most Individuals who have never sought chiropractic care before are often surprised to discover the extent to which a chiropractor can help with other issues that can improve their overall well-being

Read More

Back Pain From Cycling?

Putting in long hours on the bike is an excellent way to keep your body in top condition, improving your cardiovascular system and building up your quads. However, extended periods of crouching over the handlebars can be tough on your back.

Read More

3 Ways To Treat Plantar Fasciitis

3 Ways To Treat Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a real pain to say the very least, it is one of those conditions that both really really hurts and is really really inconvenient.

Plantar fasciitis is a painful and common foot condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. The condition is often characterised by sharp pain and stiffness in the heel and arch of the foot, especially in the morning or after extended periods of inactivity. In this blog, we will discuss three ways to treat plantar fasciitis.

1. Stretching and Strengthening Exercises

Stretching and strengthening exercises can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis. Simple exercises, such as calf stretches and toe curls, can help stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in the foot and ankle, reducing the strain on the plantar fascia.

Other exercises that may be helpful include heel raises and toe taps. These exercises help to improve the strength and flexibility of the foot and ankle muscles, which can reduce the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis in the future.

Here are some tricks you can try at home:

Plantar fasciitis trick 1 – Roll an ice bottle – Fill a plastic bottle with water, freeze it and roll the sore part of your foot back and forth for 15 minutes to reduce inflammation and slow down nerve impulses from the painful area.

Plantar fasciitis trick 2 – use a shakti mat – Buy yourself a shakti mat ( don’t be scared ) . You can start just by resting your foot gently on the mat while you sit on the sofa if it’s too sore to put pressure on it. Repeat every day for 5 minutes at whatever level of pressure you can handle and gradually increase pressure over time

Plantar fasciitis trick 3 – stretch your toes up – Point your toes firmly up towards the tip of your nose hold them stretch down through your heel ( like trying to make your leg longer between the hip & your heel ) hold the toes and heel stretch for 30 seconds then relax x 10 reps – repeat OFTEN.

2. Footwear Modifications

Wearing the right footwear can also help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Shoes that offer good arch support and cushioning can help reduce the pressure on the plantar fascia, reducing pain and discomfort.

Orthotic inserts, which are custom-made to fit the shape of your foot, can also provide additional support and cushioning, reducing the strain on the plantar fascia. Night splints, which keep the foot in a stretched position while you sleep, can also help to alleviate pain and stiffness in the morning.

3. Rest and Ice

Rest and ice are two simple and effective treatments for plantar fasciitis. Resting the foot and avoiding activities that aggravate the condition can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Icing the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can help reduce pain and inflammation. Ice can be applied using a cold pack, a bag of frozen peas, or a cold water bottle.


Plantar fasciitis can be a debilitating condition that affects your quality of life. However, with the right treatment, it is possible to reduce pain and discomfort and prevent the condition from worsening.

Stretching and strengthening exercises, footwear modifications, and rest and ice are three effective ways to treat plantar fasciitis. If you are experiencing persistent or severe pain, it is important to seek medical attention to rule out other potential causes of foot pain and to receive proper treatment. By taking care of your feet and using these treatments, you can reduce pain and discomfort and enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle.

If you want to look deeper into this issue and try to figure out what is causing your plantar  fasciitis or heel pain please feel free to get in touch. We take people through a process that starts with looking at the foot and how it is functioning when you walk and run. We aim to find preventative measures that can help with your pain both now and in the future.. we are in for the long haul.

Recent Articles

Headaches, ‘A Pain In The Neck’?

Have you ever heard of the term ‘cervicogenic headache’? If you were to consult the International Society for Headache Research, you would discover a category of headache known as ‘cervicogenic headache’, which essentially means a headache caused by issues in the neck and its tissues. It’s more common than most people, including doctors (but probably not chiropractors), might expect.

Read More

Can A Chiropractor Fix My Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is a common issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Here at City Chiropractic, shoulder pain is something we are well versed in dealing with. Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, repetitive strain, or underlying medical conditions. When it comes to treating shoulder pain, chiropractors can offer a non-invasive, drug-free alternative to traditional medical treatments.

In this blog, we will discuss the causes of shoulder pain and how chiropractors can help relieve it.

Read More

A Century Of Treating Back Pain

Back pain in the early 20th century was commonly attributed to ‘rheumatism’, with little explanation provided in clear biomechanical terms. However, given the World War and the subsequent devastation wrought by the Spanish flu, it is clear that there were more pressing matters on people’s minds at that time.

Read More
persistent pain

What To Do When Pain Persists

What To Do When Pain Persists

persistent pain

The following is a guest blog that was written by a very impressive young Vic Uni student by the name of Emily McCarthy who recently interviewed us on a health science module she is currently sitting.

When pain persists                                                                                                                                    

One in five New Zealanders live with chronic pain. Having never experienced persistent pain herself, Emily, a student at Victoria University, went on a journey to understand chronic pain and how it is managed in Aotearoa. 

I recently flew over the handlebars of my mountain bike and gashed my knee – deep. The pain kicked in when I made it back to my car. I flushed the wound with saline, pulled the flesh together with butterfly tape, wrapped it in a bandage. Pain protects.

For the next week, it hurt to put pressure on my knee. My gash made me hobble, favouring my left leg while resting my right. The edges of the wound grew towards each other. Pain heals.

When I went biking again the following fortnight, I slowed down on that gnarly corner, made it round unscathed. Pain teaches.

The pain was transient. And it was helpful, my body and brain’s way of working as a team to tell me to clean my wound, to take it easy while I healed, to teach me a lesson about risky activities.

That’s what pain is meant to do, and it’s great when that’s where it stops. But sometimes pain goes overboard. It lasts for months, sometimes in the absence of tissue damage or threats. Pain persists.

“Pain is really good,” Dr Hazel Godfrey told me. Hazel is an academic who researches pain. “It’s just that when it goes wrong it’s really awful for the person and their family.” Hazel’s insights come from two places – her academic research and her lived experience. Hazel has fibromyalgia.

There are a multitude of pathways to persistent pain. Changes in the brain, lasting tissue damage, aberrations in the way the mind and body communicate with each other – all can cause chronic pain.

Hazel was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in her first year of university. “I just started getting tired – abnormally tired – and sore all over.” Her pain made it hard to think, hard to sit for long periods of time, hard to operate as she’d been used to. It intruded. Hazel’s experience fit the description of fibromyalgia – fatigue, widespread muscle and joint pain, pressure-induced pain at specific trigger points, and no explanatory cause.

Sometimes pain makes no sense – a 2012 survey found that doctors were unable to identify the source of chronic pain in one in ten patients. But even without a diagnosis, the pain is very real.

Hazel is one of 763,000 New Zealand adults living with chronic pain – that’s one in every five. And with population aging, she’ll be joined by more kiwis each year – persistent pain disproportionately affects older people.

Pain takes a toll. People who live with pain can find it hard to sleep, maintain relationships, keep jobs, do their groceries. Pain can be debilitating. At its worst, Hazel’s pain left her effectively bedridden for a year.

On top of the physical effects of pain, people living with chronic pain often experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. Knowing what it’s like to live with pain, Hazel described the associated mental health challenges as “not surprising.” Chronic pain is pervasive.

The impacts of pain go beyond the individual. The estimated financial costs of chronic pain in Aotearoa reached up to $5.3 billion in 2016, with lost productivity being the most significant contributor. If you attempt to put a dollar figure on the loss of wellbeing experienced by people living with persistent pain, the total cost approaches $15 billion each year – more than two times the GDP of Fiji.

So what solutions are available for people living with chronic pain? Well, there are no silver bullets – managing pain is a science and an art.

Toby Hall the lead clincician at  Featherston Street Pain Clinic, certainly views it that way. He describes himself as a mechanic, a mechanic with intuition, the ability to listen and empathize, observe and understand. “Pain links up to a person’s inner self,” Toby told me. It can’t be diagnosed with a blood test or seen under a microscope. It can’t be cured with a pill. “It’s a very subjective part of life.”

Depending on the person, the prescription differs. But for Toby, movement is at the core. “Movement is medicine.” Gone are the days of recommending bedrest and neck braces. To manage pain, you must move.

Toby encourages his patients to adhere to his prescribed movements like a dentist tells you to brush your teeth. “I teach people really simple strengthening exercises but I try to get them to do those exercises for five minutes a day everyday forever.”

When I asked Hazel how she manages her pain, she told me that it’s like a fulltime job. To live her life well with pain, Hazel has to stretch, go for walks, use a foam roller. She has to eat healthy, stay connected to her support network, rest. Frankly, these sound like great tips for all of us. But for Hazel, they’re non-negotiable – pain will exploit any lapse in vigilance. “I’m hyper-organised,” Hazel told me, “I have two diaries.”

Medication also plays a role. There are issues – Toby mentions the US opioid crisis and Hazel mentions the prohibitive cost of cannabidiol in Aotearoa – but some things work for some people. Researchers are hunting for new medicines for pain management that aren’t addictive – but it’s a long hunt and only part of the puzzle.

When I asked Hazel whether there were any developments in pain management on the horizon that she was optimistic about, she burst my bubble instantly. “Sadly no.” Part of Hazel’s pain management journey has been coming to terms with the reality that there is no simple cure. She doesn’t expect that she’ll ever get to live free from pain, but over time she has come to accept that she can live a good life with pain. “But it’s always complicated, and sometimes I still get very frustrated.”

Something Hazel was very clear about is the fact that pain doesn’t exist in a vacuum. “The person in pain doesn’t exist apart from the world.”

For her pain management strategies to work, Hazel needs the support of her family, friends, and workplace. “If you’re working towards these things on your own it’s not very likely to succeed.”

Hazel’s friends and family are crucial to her wellbeing. “They…remind me when I’m having a bad time that it does ease, it’s just that it’s hard to see…in that moment.”

And her workplace knows about her fibromyalgia. She views telling them as essential: flexible working arrangements enable her to manage her pain while being active in the workforce.

Talking about her pain isn’t just about getting the support she needs for herself. Hazel also sees it as a way to heighten understanding of the prevalence of the issue, bust through stigma, and provide a supportive community for others living with pain. Acknowledging the presence and impacts of chronic pain in Aotearoa, making the invisible visible, can go a long way.

Toby and Hazel’s approaches to pain management – movement, support networks, persistence, the involvement of allied health professions, and a focus on the body and brain – are evidence-based. But good chronic pain care isn’t always easy to access.

Waitlists for pain management programmes in Aotearoa are months long. Hazel’s helping with research into online tools for pain management, but acknowledges that in-person care remains critical. Getting really sick seems to be one of the best ways to reduce your wait time. “I was so unwell it meant I got fast tracked,” Hazel told me as she reflected on her referral to a 12-week pain management programme.

In 2018, Aotearoa had an estimated 11 fulltime pain medicine specialists. Based on international recommendations, that’s less than a quarter of what we should have.

We don’t have a national pain management strategy, while similar countries – like Australia – do. And funding for pain management is often threatened.

“Because it doesn’t kill you directly it doesn’t get the money,” Hazel said bluntly.

Every now and then I run my thumb over the mountain biking scar on my knee. The skin is puckered and purple but the pain is long gone. I’m lucky. For me, pain protects, heals, and teaches. But for too many kiwis, pain persists.

For something that costs so much – personally, nationally – it seems like Aotearoa has plenty of room for improvement.

(This blog was written as part of an assignment in a Victoria University Science Communication paper – more details here. Hazel coordinates and lectures for a Vic Uni paper called Science in Every Day Life, which has a module on chronic pain – more details here.)

Recent Articles

The ‘Fascia-nating’ Fascia

You’ve probably come across the terms ‘fascia’ or ‘myofascial release’ before, especially if you’ve been to see us at the Featherston Street Pain Clinic or during a yoga, physical therapy, or massage session. But what exactly is fascia?

Read More

3 Ways To Treat Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a real pain to say the very least, it is one of those conditions that both really really hurts and is really really inconvenient.
In this blog, we will discuss three ways to treat plantar fasciitis.

Read More
plantar faucitis foot

What Is Better – Taping vs Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis ?

What Is Better – Taping vs Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis ?

plantar faucitis foot
Prefer to listen to the audio? Click below: Link to original article if you like to read it: What Is Better – Taping vs Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis ?

Recent Articles

My Migraine Blog

There are a multitude of pathways to persistent pain. Changes in the brain, lasting tissue damage, aberrations in the way the mind and body communicate with each other – all can cause chronic pain.

Read More

What To Do When Pain Persists

There are a multitude of pathways to persistent pain. Changes in the brain, lasting tissue damage, aberrations in the way the mind and body communicate with each other – all can cause chronic pain.

Read More
custom orthotics

3 Potential Benefits Of Wearing Custom Orthotics

3 Potential Benefits Of Wearing Custom Orthotics

custom orthotics

Data from the US estimates that they spend 1.2 billion dollars per year on orthotics. With this many people using orthotics there must be a range of benefits to their use, but what are the main ones?

Well, there are a huge number of specific benefits that people report once they start wearing orthotics that range from improvements in pain from plantar fasciitis to bursitis and even osteoarthritis.

We live in a time where there is an epidemic of lower body pain in the developed world. If we were to combine the social impact of all the back pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain and lower body osteoarthritis we would see that it is a modern healthcare disaster.

We live far longer lives than our ancestors did and we do so on extremely hard unnatural surfaces. Concrete, tarmac and paving stones put horrendous amounts of strain on the soft tissues in the lower body. The flatness of our urban and domestic surfaces also contributes to the problem because it requires no balance, our stabilising muscles don’t get the kind of workout nature imposes on them.

We are probably less than 70% less active than our great grandparents were as of now, they lead far more physical lives on average. Who knows how we stack up against our hunter gatherer ancestors… not great is the broad answer. This inactivity leads to weakness and the weakness leads to pain.

The Benefits Of Wearing Custom Orthotics

There are 3 basic mechanisms that form the basis of all the more tangible and specific help with symptoms that foot orthotics offer.

1- Orthotics Reduce Strain in the Foot & Ankle Joints

As a species we simply did not evolve to walk on hard flat surfaces…admittedly we did not evolve to use orthotics or shoes either, so there is no getting around these facts.

Your ancestors walked on soft, uneven ground with a constantly shifting incline and camber. Orthotics take strain off the ankle and foot joints by mimicking some of the qualities of natural terrain.

If you picture walking along the beach in bare feet, no shoes and no orthotics. Consider the range of textures depending on the wetness of the sand, consider the shifting angle depending on whether there are dunes and how fast the tide went out.

Now picture barefoot in the forest. The terrain changes constantly in many forests, that leaf litter squashes up under your arch, you have to walk along fallen limbs.

Now consider walking to work in the city. Complete hard flat homogeneous terrain, the occasional flight of stairs where each step is completely flat also. Try to picture how much more movement there would have been in your feet, and how much more support they would have had from surfaces that hug the contour of the foot.

The hard flat terrain causes huge amount of stress in the ankle joint because there is no shock absorption. Orthotics provide shock absorption and bring that stresses in the ankle joint down to slightly more normal levels.

Hard flat urban terrain does not hug the sole of the foot the same way that the majority of natural surfaces do, Orthotics make up for this by hugging the foot and providing a contoured ‘base’ for the arch.

2- Orthotics Reduce Strain in the Knee Joints

People who specialise in the study of human bones down the ages can easily spot the ‘evolutionary moment’ where we started walking upright full time just by looking at leg bones.

The ‘moment’ we started walking upright full time our knee joints essentially doubled in size due to the fact that the massive increase in stress and strain that caused. This is probably the best illustration of what our knees go through and what it means for the skeleton I can offer you. The transition from hunting on all 4’s to walking upright was a mammoth task in more ways than one for the human knee joint.

By supporting the arch orthotics reduce ‘torsional stress’ in the knee joint because the knee twists inwards if the arch drops.

By providing control to the position of the calcaneus (heel bone) orthotics can also help prevent with the slight collapse that happens in the knees of people with flat feet who live on hard flat surfaces. These reductions in small but persistent unnatural movements during weight bearing are the basis of all the benefits that Orthotics provide to the hard working human knee.

3- Orthotics reduce strain in the hip & pelvic tissues.

The hip and its associated muscles play a key role in maintaining foot alignment during weight bearing activities. When the arch collapses there are ‘internal rotations’ of the hip joint. The hip and the associated hips muscles have no issues with a moderate amount of internal rotation at the hip joint during weight bearing but like so many things too much is not healthy and the body can struggle to cope.

The hip and gluteal muscles play such a massive role in preventing the arch from collapsing under your body weight that if they can become the first area to experience pain in many people who are struggling with a need for custom orthotics. People who experience tight, sore hips and ‘lower backs’ after long walks and runs are just starting to notice the first signs that their hips are struggling with foot alignment.

So there you have it – 3 of the many potential benefits that may come from caring for your feet with custom orthotics.

So there you have it – 3 of the many potential benefits that may come from caring for your feet with custom orthotics.

Give City Chiropractic a call on 04 385 6446 to make an appointment now!

Prefer to listen to the audio version of this Blog-Post? Click here :


Recent Articles

foot with Plantar Fasciitis

How Do I Know If I Have Plantar Fasciitis – 4 Signs

How Do I Know If I Have Plantar Fasciitis – 4 Signs

foot with Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is not the same as a blood-borne disease – in the sense that we have no ‘lab test’ to confirm it. X rays and MRI don’t show up plantar fasciitis although they may in badly neglected cases eventually show signs of strain and adaptation in the tissue that run alongside particularly bad cases of plantar fasciitis.

Fortunately your chiropractor or physiotherapist can usually figure out whether you have plantar fasciitis pretty quickly though.  Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is generally guided by symptom and a basic physical exam / health history combo. This is usually enough to make sure your symptoms are not being caused by anything more sinister.

The following is a list of classic plantar fasciitis signs and symptoms and is not designed to replace a consult with a qualified professional like your chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist. 

Sign 1 – Arch pain or heel pain first thing in the morning.

This is the most classic symptom of plantar fasciitis you could ever have the misfortune to experience. The first few steps of the day are excruciatingly painful until your feet have ‘warmed up’ – at which point thankfully most people find weight bearing becomes more comfortable.

arch and heel pain

Sign 2 – You are a very active person or a very inactive person.

If you are a runner or badminton player for example this increases the likelihood of your foot pain being plantar fasciitis. At the other end of the spectrum if you consider yourself to be very unfit you are at increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis also. Plantar fasciitis tends to occupy the extremes of the human activity spectrum.

** a recent increase in the type or amount of exercise you do or an increase in time spent on your feet can trigger the onset of plantar fasciitis.

woman running

Sign 3 – Your pain is worsened either during or a short time after exercising.

For some mysterious reason not all plantar fasciitis sufferers experience pain during exercise – but most will find there is an increase in pain after  exercise – possibly even finding that they are consistently worse the next day. 

sore feet in morning

Sign 4 – Your pain eases when you point your toes downward.

Pointing your toes downward takes some of the stretch out of your plantar fascia, if it feels slightly relieving it may indicate that your pain is in fact plantar fasciitis. Painful tissues under a stretch usually complain – and the plantar fascia is no different.

toes pointing down

That covers 4 classic signs of plantar fasciitis. There is no substitute for a proper consultation and exam with your chiropractor or physiotherapist though. Especially if your pain is persistent or you really want to understand the underlying causes of your case of plantar fasciitis – figuring that stuff out does get a little more involved. 

Prefer to listen to the audio version of the Blog Post?


Recent Articles

plantar fasciitis foot

Why Chiropractic Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis is Not Enough !

plantar fasciitis foot

Why Chiropractic Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis is Not Enough !

Disclaimer – your body is your body and as your chiropractor I love the fact that no one gets to tell you what to do with it.  If you would rather use pills every day for the rest of your life than do boring exercises and spend money on custom orthotics and chiropractors – I get it. I am a chiropractor – but lord knows I am a human being too – and I have chosen the easy way out of a few situations in my time. This blog is not designed to tell anyone what they ‘should’ do, only what I have learned tends to bring better outcomes for people with plantar fasciitis heel pain & plantar fasciitis arch pain.

For me as a chiropractor, if I am caring for your stubborn pain – I want you to feel good again – and if at all possible I don’t want that outcome to be temporary. If there is any way I can show you how to make your outcomes last so that you stay feeling good that’s what I am about.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment & Fillings

If you have a cavity in your tooth there is no point in trying to floss your way out of that scenario, as you know. There are times in life where all our attempts to preserve our ‘wellness’ fall flat on their face, and when they do it’s time to pull out the scalpel, the drill or the pill.

When it comes to plantar fasciitis treatment at your chiropractors office you are pretty much in the same boat as toothache –  the good ship tooth cavity. Except, instead of drilling – going through the steps necessary to break up scar tissue and increase blood flow in the sole of the foot is the order of the day. The best way to do this is by finding someone like me who is willing to throw the kitchen sink at that process.

When it comes to plantar fasciitis treatment you want to look at some combination of deep tissue release, scar tissue scraping (guasha), acupuncture, icing, taping & stretching. Not all chiropractors are into this kind of work – but those who do it are generally very good at it.  The best policy with plantar fasciitis treatment is to get help –  but you can easily try some of these out yourself with a bit of research.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment & Preventing Tooth Decay

The problem with getting plantar fasciitis treatment from your chiropractor is the same as the problem with fillings.. they just aren’t enough. If you get your filling and head straight to the nearest grocery store and stock up with Coca-Cola and forget to buy toothpaste you know what to expect. By the same token if you saw your chiropractor for a month of plantar fasciitis treatment and you jump straight back on the basketball court with no custom orthotics, flat feet and no strength in your glutes – it amounts to the same thing as the ‘Coca Cola but no toothpaste’ scenario.

The equivalent to the sugar in this plantar fasciitis treatment scenario is concrete because it’s really hard on your soft tissues – in the same way that sugar is really hard on your teeth. The equivalent to the brushing and flossing in the plantar fasciitis scenario are exercises that strengthen the muscles of your legs and feet. This is because to a large degree it is all those muscles that help to maintain good alignment which reduces stress in the arch and the heel.

So plantar fasciitis exercises that strengthen you through the legs and feet are the equivalent of your dental hygiene regime. Plantar fasciitis exercises of this nature work preventatively by strengthening the muscles that maintain foot alignment.

The type of plantar fasciitis exercises involved are those that involve balance and stability, like those on a wobble board or lunges. There is a bit of work involved in getting the technique right for full benefit but once you know what you are doing you are good to go.

The inconvenient truth about plantar fasciitis exercises is similar to the inconvenient truth about looking after your teeth. You may never be done !! There is no officially sanctioned cure for tooth decay as long as you eat a modern western diet. There is no official cure for weaknesses of the legs and feet as long as you live on the terrain of the concrete jungle – no matter how good your chiropractor is.

The good news is though that there is a measure that can be taken which will enable you to be fairly slack and still live without plantar fasciitis heel pain & arch pain.

Custom Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis

Going back to the similarities between concrete on the feet and sugar on the teeth. Imagine there was a simple, invisible, non-toxic device that you could wear all the time and not even feel it, but it protected your teeth from 80% of the damage sugars can do to them ! Would you wear a device like that ? I know I would. That’s what custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis are for your feet.

You evolved to walk & run on soft, shock absorbing, contoured surfaces like those found  in nature. You didn’t evolve to walk & run on hard flat surfaces like the ones in towns and cities.  Custom Insoles for plantar fasciitis mould to your foot and give it shock absorption which mimics natural surfaces.

By mimicking what is more natural to the foot custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis dramatically reduce the amount of stress in your foot over the course of time. If there is less stress in the plantar fascia, there is less strain on the plantar fascia and less scar tissue build up in the plantar fascia. But perhaps more intriguingly you get to feel good and stay feeling good !!!!!!

It stands to reason that plantar fasciitis doesn’t just happen for no reason. If it doesn’t happen for no reason there must be an underlying cause or causes. Taking a pill or going to your chiropractor for ‘pain relief’ methods like acupuncture doesn’t work on those underlying causes.

For those who want to feel good and be active in the long term – a combination of chiropractors treatments (not the most traditional ones obviously), plantar fasciitis exercises & custom insoles for plantar fasciitis forms a far more comprehensive approach to managing their pain than most.

If you prefer to listen to the audio version of this Post please click below:



Recent Articles

A Chiropractors Perspective On Plantar Fasciitis Rehab


A Chiropractors Perspective On Plantar Fasciitis Rehab

We live in a world that has widely embraced the concept of rehabilitation and that is a beautiful thing indeed! A generation ago there was almost no rehab –  regardless of the severity of your injury.  All you did was get ‘healed up’ and resume normal activity, no chiropractor, no physio, no mobilisation, no strength training, no proprioceptive training. 

Having broadly understood the value of ‘rehabilitation’ as a concept we are only left to decide which exercises we should use to assist with the recovery of any given injury or pain complaint. This is more of an issue than one might think. I frequently meet people who have worked hard but not on the right exercises, and who’s result reflect that fact. They have done the work but still need to see a chiropractor regularly for pain.

The truth is that even with prefect willpower and a shiny halo if we aren’t doing ‘functional’ and ‘tissue specific’ exercises we might as well stick our toothbrush in our ear twice a day for 5 minutes in the hope of lasting pearly whites.

Rehabilitation for Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Pain

If you’ve been suffering from plantar fasciitis and you have had enough it’s treatment o’clock –  the first order of business is pain relief. People often seek out exercises to relieve their plantar fasciitis and foot pain, unfortunately for many of us exercises just don’t cut the mustard. Fortunately this is where treatments to manage the pain of plantar fasciitis come in and they have a very respectable hit rate! It isn’t the type of treatment most people associate with chiropractors but we do a lot of it. 

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that involves a build-up of microscopic scar tissue and collagen trauma in the sole of the foot. It’s understanding that this scar tissue is the primary pain mechanism that guides treatment choices. Breaking up the scar tissue and promoting blood flow is key to reducing the pain and without doing that we often struggle to get any traction with exercises for plantar fasciitis. Treatment options to precede exercises for plantar fasciitis include acupuncture, post isometric stretches, manual fascial release and vibration massage.

Once you have at least a good degree of relief from your foot pain or plantar fasciitis the topic of rehab should be the first thing your practitioner raises with you. For many of us custom orthotics for plantar fasciitis and foot pain are essential for a good longer term outcome,  but there is also of course the topic of which exercises to do. 

It is VERY useful to be clear on the fact that there are 2 types of exercise for us to consider when rehabilitation plantar fasciitis and foot pain. These 2 types of exercise are extremely different in terms of their intent and what they can potentially do for you.

Stretching Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Pain

Stretching exercises are by FAR the most common exercise choice for managing plantar fasciitis and foot pain and there are some good reasons why. Soft tissues that are under constant strain have a tendency to  tighten up reactively and the plantar fascia is no exception.

It is hard to believe what the plantar fascia puts up with. You take somewhere in the region of 3-5 million steps per year on surfaces that are many times harder than nature intended. Your plantar fascia is a thin membrane of fibrous tissue that gets ferociously compressed by your body weight with each and every step. It is worth acknowledging that the heel comes down so hard with each step that when we walk at a normal pace on concrete the bone sustains a shockwave that has been measured at up to 200mph.

The real miracle is not only that we don’t all have plantar fasciitis and foot pain ( although in a sense we probably all do at subclinical levels ) but that it doesn’t just completely break down in a matter of weeks. The miracle is as it stands that all a plantar fascia does under this gigantic dose of repetitive strain is tighten up. 

The value of stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis and foot pain is obviously that they can loosen up the plantar fascia and connective tissue of the foot. Restoring some elasticity to the plantar fascia can bring relief but also assist with healing of the tissue due to increased blood flow. A good metaphor that illustates the nature of stretching exercises for plantar fasciitis and foot pain is scaling plaque off the teeth. When we clean plaque off the teeth we are tidying up some of the mess that sugar has made of them. When your stretch your plantar fascia you are tidying up some of the mess that concrete, modern shoes and life has made of your foot. 

Strength Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Pain

If you want to be free of plantar fasciitis in the longer term it’s strength exercises that you will want to focus on – over and above stretching. Strength exercises for plantar fasciitis target the underlying misalignments and weakness that cause irritation of the plantar fascia in the first place.

The muscles that support the foot are actually the hip and glute muscles. Ther foot and ankle have very little muscle of their own. This means that alignment of the foot and ankle is sustained during weight bearing by the big muscles in the hip.

We take million of steps on hard concrete and tarmac surfaces every year of our lives. The muscles in our legs are absolutely vital for preventing physical trauma from building up in our feet and ankles. This is why strength and balance exercises are more beneficial than stretching in the long term. Strength exercises make the changes necessary to prevent the tightness occurring in the first place.

It can be valuable to seek the perspective of a chiropractor on issues like plantar fasciitis. The traditional route of podiatry is also a valid one – but chiropractors are more inclined to look at the foot pain in its broader biomechanical context. The hip is the key to a happy foot when it comes to rehab in the longer term.


Prefer to listen to the audio-version of this Post? Click below;



Recent Articles