Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a cause of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, this ia a strong band of tissue that stretches from the heel (calcaneus) to the middle bones of the foot. It supports has a supportive and shock absorbtion function.

It is normally a self limiting condition resolving with time however treatmentcan speed up recovery. Treatment may include Myofascial Correction, rest, good footwear, heel pads, painkillers, ice and exercises. A steroid injection or other treatments may be used in more severe cases.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

img of a foot with plantar fasciitis

Repeated micro-injuries to the fascia (with or without inflammation) are thought to be the cause of plantar fasciitis. The injury is normally near to where the plantar fascia attaches to your heel bone.

Some of the cases of injuries of plantar fascia are:

  • Exercising on a different, often harder surface – for example, running on the road instead of a track.
  • Using shoes which have poor cushioning and/or poor arch supports.
  • Being overweight or a recent weight increase – this will put extra strain on your feet.
  • An overuse injury, increasing your training regime too quickly.
  • Sudden stretching of your sole. For example – poor technique starting ‘off the blocks’, etc.
  • If you have a tight Achilles tendon (the big tendon at the bottom of your calf muscles above your heel) and posterior leg kinetic chain, Calf, hamstrings etc . This can make you more likely to damage your plantar fascia.
  • Lots of walking, running, standing, etc, when you are not used to it or have previously had a more sedentary lifestyle.

The cause of plantar fasciitis is often insidious, particularly in older people. A common misconception is that the pain is due to a bony spur, coming from the heel bone (calcaneus). However any people have a bony heel spur but do not develop plantar fasciitis.

How common is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is very common. Approximately 1 out of 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis at some time during their lives. It is most common in people between the ages of 40 to 60 years, but it can occur at any age. It is twice as common in women as it is in men. It is also more frequent in sports persons and athletes.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Commonly pain is the main symptom. This can be anywhere on the underside of your foot but mainly in the heel area.   Normally, one spot is found as the primary source of pain. This is often about 4 cm forward from your heel, and is usually tender to touch.

The pain is commonly at it’s worst when taking your first steps on arising in the morning, or after long periods of rest where no weight is placed on your foot, for eg. after sitting for an extended period.  Gentle exercise may ease things a little as the day goes by. but, a long walk or weight bearing for a long time often makes the pain worse.  Resting your foot will usually ease the pain.

Sudden stretching of the sole of your foot may make the pain worse – for example, walking up stairs or on tiptoes, or standing on a branch with soft shoes on.  You may limp because of pain.  Occasionally people have plantar fasciitis in both feet at the same time.

Recognising stroke symptoms.

The symptomatology and signs of strokes vary from individual to individual, however in most cases they begin quickly without warning.  The symptoms a stroke causes varies between people depending on where in the brain the stroke occurs.

The main stroke symptoms can be remembered with the word FAST: Face-Arms-Speech-Time.image of a man with a stroke

  • Facial – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may have assymetry when smiling and they may have eyelid drooping.
  • Arms – the person with a possible stroke may be unable to lift both arms and/or keep them raised because of arm weakness or numbness in one arm.
  • Speech – their speech may be slurred and/or garbled, or the person may have difficulty talking or be unable to talk at all despite the fact they are awake.
  • Time – it is time to dial 999 immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.
  • Tongue – Deviation of the tongue may occur with strokes.
  • Other symptoms – May include confusion, blurring of vision and more severe visual problem

It is important for everyone to be aware of these signs and symptoms which may save lives and improve the quality of life of stroke patients as early treatment can make a tremendous difference to a stroke patient’s prognosis.  Being aware of the symptoms is even more important in higher risk groups, such as the elderly, heavy smokers, diabetics and high blood pressure sufferers.

Myofascial Correction Workshop – Exeter 2016

Had a good time on Saturday 23rd of July with Elena Long, Ian Lawrence and Catherine Downes plus their lovely daughters at Clyde House Chiropractic in Exeter giving a Myofascial Correction Mini Workshop.  Haven’t been to Clyde house for a number of years and forgot how beautiful the clinic and building is.  After the workshop we went for lunch to Cote Brasserie opposite Exeter cathedral with lovely views of the cathedral.


Exeter 2016 workshop at Clyde House Chiropractic

Myofascial Correction™  definition; A quick, logical and effective method of treating the myofascial system primarily using instrumented treatment protocols.


How to get a good nights sleep

In this modern world where people are busy and often stressed, falling asleep can be be more difficult for now than it was 30 or 40 years ago.   What can we do to help ourselves fall asleep quicker? here is a list of things which can help you have a better nights sleep.

image showing sleep

– Dim the lights in your room.
– Turn your mobile phone off and don’t use it then before you go to bed, using visual display screens before trying to sleep makes sleeping difficult.
– Don’t drink coffee before you go to bed, Caffeine alters the melatonin levels in your brain making it more difficult for you to fall asleep.
– Don’t drink alcohol before you go to bed, even drinking small amounts of alcohol can prevent you from falling asleep and also make you sleep less well.
– Now this one’s a bit obvious! don’t sleep with people who make you unhappy, happy couples sleep better together than unhappy ones.
– Develop a routine when going to bed, routines can be helpful, they develop into habits and having good habits before you go to sleep can speed up getting to sleep.
– Warming your feet and hands.  Warming your feet and hands as you lie in bed can make a difference to how quickly you get to sleep.
– Try to think of happy events and have happy thoughts and images in your head when you go to bed.
– Listen to calming and/or classical music when lying in bed before sleeping.  You may wish to set the music to turn off at a certain time.
– Have a warm bath before you go to bed
– Fill your room with the scent of lavender, this will help you sleep more deeply and also wake up more refreshed.
– Get up early in the morning and try to do some type of exercise each day.



Strength and Longevity

Latest studies show that strength is a key factor in longevity and an extended healthy life.  Resistance weight training may be the single most important thing you can do in a fitness regime, getting stronger may make you live longer.

As we get older we get physically weaker, people tend to reach the apex of this physical strength between their 20s and 30s after that it gradually turns to decline, however people who begin resistance training later in life can recover a lot of this strength.  As we age and get into our 50s and 60s our muscle strength decreases and we become more frail because we have lower levels of physical activity, we have increased fatigue because we aren’t as fit as we were when we you were younger and we have decreased mobility which can lead to disability.  We sit for longer periods of time and our muscle weakness can affect our posture which is another factor related to early mortality, the better a person’s posture the longer they tend to live.

Dumbbell Exercises for Seniors

Two elderly people are working with dumbbells. Photo Credit KatarzynaBialasiwicz/iStock/Getty Images


Our testosterone production decreases as we get older this is a natural anabolic steroid and it causes a decrease in muscle and bone mass and hence wellness.  Resistance training activates satellite cells in a process known of “Gene shifting” these new cells cause mitochondria to rejuvenate and after six months of twice-weekly strength exercise training the biomechanical, physiological and genetic signature of all the muscles is turned back by a factor of 15 to 20 years.

Studies have also shown that resistance training can help to reduce cognitive decline as we get older which can be just as important as physical well-being.  Lifting weights has been shown to reduce the onset of  dementia, reduced memory loss and improve an older persons attention span and also improve the ability to resolve conflicts.

Science is showing that resistance training may add years to your life and the earlier you are able to start to do this the better and longer you will live.  Weight training may also affect our emotional and cognitive functions. As a whole exercise can sometimes add a minimum between 6 to 7 years to a lifespan and often longer.

It’s particularly important for women to weight train as this helps to reduce osteoporosis, osteoporosis is a reduction in bone density which tends to affect postmenopausal women, so even doing exercise involving using light dumbbells of standing push-ups against a door or mild squats without weights can have a positive affect on bone density.

Increased strength results in increased fitness which enables elderly people to exercise more readily this has the effect of reducing blood pressure and reducing cholesterol levels and improving general fitness, exercise has also been shown to reduce depression and neuro-degenerative disorders.

In the video below are some exercises for elderly people to help increase strength, fitness and bone density.

Myofascial Correction workshop, Birmingham, 2016

Myofascial Correction developer Kevin Kelly providing a  workshop in Birmingham UK.  Myofascial Correction is a very effective technique for treating the myofascial component of injuries primarily using instrumented protocols.  Great time with David Antrobus, David Evans, John Lange, Pia Antrobus, Matthew Jenkins, Angelica Duran, H. Teague and Elena Long.

Chiropractic for Plymouth Albion RFC player following an illegal tackle.

Plymouth Albion RFC player Gregory Sebastien at Peverell Chiropractic Clinic having Chiropractic treatment and Myofascial Correction for 20160219_094709injuries sustained from a high tackle last week, had the tackle been higher it would have been the neck and face that was injured. After treatment the players injuries were taped up to reduce the stress on the injured tissues and promote a speedy recovery.

In recent years the size and power of Rugby players has meant that rugby tackles (now called collisions as severe examples are more akin to milder road traffic collisions) can cause considerable trauma and injury to even the fittest and strongest players.

plymouth albion chiropractic

Myofascial Correction uses fascial taping to speed up tissue repair by taking the stress of injured areas.

Forty years ago the average Rugby back row was a lot smaller than now.  There would be one or two players in a team who were massive with great thick necks and a huge bone structure, now at least half of teams have players with this type of physique.  Just looking at it from our armchairs they appear to be getting bigger and bigger, and a recent study by CNN please check this link for great infographic has confirmed it.  This study into the New Zealand backs showed that in 1974 the average New Zealand back (one full back, one centre back and one winger) was 5 feet 10 inches and weighing 84 Kg.  The infographic illustrates other sports and we can see that the size increase is across the sporting board.  Diet and as previously mentioned str20160219_094643ength and conditioning plays an important role today.

In 2014 they averaged 6 feet 2 inches in height and weighed 98Kg.  A massive difference in weight.  40 years ago strength and conditioning didn’t play the major role in sports it does now.

Players are now much stronger with greater explosive power than previously another factor which increases of force of tackles and the likelihood of injury.

Fibromyalgia Tender Points

Do you have widespread chronic pain, unexplained tiredness and a poor sleep? You may suffer with a medical condition called fibromyalgia.  Widespread pain is defined as having pain in both sides of the body and pain above and below the waist.  In addition, pain must also be present in the cervical spine, anterior chest, thoracic spine or lower back.

It’s not easy to spot fibromyalgia.  This is one disease that doesn’t have many visible signs.  Most symptoms of fibromyalgia—including pain, muscle tenderness, and fatigue—are hard to see, and, because fibromyalgia symptoms are similar to those of other diseases, it can be hard to get an accurate diagnosis and find the treatment you need.  Although fibromyalgia isn’t fatal, it can have serious, lifelong effects.

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a medical condition in which the sufferer experiences widespread chronic pain and an unusually heightened and painful response to pressure.  It is a disease that can present challenges when it comes to diagnosis because most FM symptoms including tenderness of muscles, fatigue and pain are quite difficult to diagnose.  Between 10% and 30% of all doctor’s office visits are due to symptoms that resemble those of fibromyalgia, including fatigue, malaise, and widespread muscle pain.  Because no laboratory test can confirm fibromyalgia, doctors will usually first test for similar conditions.

image showing fibromyalgia trigger pointsPeople who suffer from FM often describe that they feel a constant pain. The pain may feel as though it emanates from the muscles but there are hardly any visible signs of tissue damage.  FM patients tend to be abnormally more sensitive to pain stimuli than regular people.  The feeling of discomfort is usually widespread i.e. distributed over the entire body.  Most of the people who suffer from FM also complain about creepy crawly feelings in their arms and legs at night.  Others report that they feel tingling sensations in the joints of their fingers.  There are a number of factors that can worsen the pain, among them stress and lack of sleep.

A major distinguishing characteristic of FM on the body is the so-called tender points.  When a gentle to firm pressure is applied on these tender points, the sufferer feels soreness.  These tender points are located on various body parts including elbows, knees, shoulders, hips and the back of the head. There are 18 possible tender points in all.  You may have discomfort in some or all of these locations. Doctors use these tender points to help diagnose fibromyalgia and also other factors, for example: if you have suffered with these symptoms for more than three months, if you don’t have any other problems that could cause these symptoms.
The tender points will hurt when pressed, but pain will not radiate in any other part of the body. A tender point has to be painful at palpation, not just “tender.” When pressed, these areas tend to feel like bruises in various stages of healing.
Furthermore, a tender point is different from what you may know as a trigger point. Tender points hurt, trigger points hurt and refer pain to other body parts. Trigger points cause myofascial pain syndrome, which often coexists with fibromyalgia, but can be treated with massage, physical therapy, or gentle stretching. When muscles feel hard and pressing on them causes a response elsewhere in the body, or even nausea, trigger points are responsible. Tender points are caused by an unknown mechanism, and their severity is often cyclic.
Many FM patients are confused about the difference between tender points and trigger points. Trigger points are small, contracted knots in the muscles that can be felt with your fingers and may feel like a small lump or stone under your skin. They emit their own electrical signals, which can be measured by specialised electronic equipment. They are different from tender points.
Tender points are the specific points on the body that, when touched, feel tender to the person being touched. Tender points are the areas physicians touch or feel to determine the diagnosis of FM and are not areas in which the muscles are knotted or have a lumpy feel.
Trigger Points vs Tender Points
Trigger points refer pain; tender points do not.
Trigger points cause numerous symptoms.
Trigger points can be caused by a variety of problems.
Trigger points can be treated.
Tender points are unique to fibromyalgia.

So How much sugar are we eating?

A glass of fruit juice ( a so called healthy drink) has been found to contain the same amount of  sugar as 3.5 doughnuts or 13 hobnob biscuits.  Exclusive research for the Mail online showed that one serving of white grape juice contained the same amount of sugar as four glazed doughnuts.

Until recently, we thought the ‘bad’ drinks were those such as Coke and Pepsi, while orange juice was an easy way to get one of our ‘five a day’.  Unfortunately even drinking fresh fruit drinks cause almost as much harm as yyour typical fizzy drink.  Rather than buying a fresh fruit drink or using a juicer it is far better to use a blender such as a Nutribullet because nothing is wasted and all the fibre in the fruit is digested this helps prevent a sugar overload to your system and may help to prevent the development of diabetes.  Diabetes is a common disease which occurs with a high carbohydrate diet.

sugar in drinks

One leading U.S. expert, Dr Robert Lusti argues in his new book ‘Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar’,  that it doesn’t matter whether the sugars you drink come from fruit juice, fresh fruit juice, fizzy drinks or smoothies, now I don’t believe that smoothies should be in this exact category because of the fibre in them.

These sugars are overloading our livers andmay cause illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes type 1 and 2 and also obesity, which not only affects our quality of life, but also costs the NHS over £5.5 billion a year.  Modern diets are high in fat and carbohydrate, studies have shown that humans and animals cannot regulate a combination of fat AND carbohydrate and consequently we overeat particularly in the western world….the USA being a particularly prime example.

What can you do?

Keep off the soft drinks

Have a glass of water about half an hour before you have fruit drink (preferably a blended fruits drink, add a few nuts as well!) you will not feel as thirsty and can have a smaller glass.


IASTM treatment of fascial planes.

We often have patients coming in to see us with general pain and tightness in the flank, somewhere between image showing the lateral fasciathe armpit (axilla) and the hips.  The pain maybe very localised and due to a strain to for eg. to the lower ribs  (floating rib area) or it maybe lower down around the pelvis and/or be a secondary problem to a lower back injury.  Conversely it maybe higher up affecting the rotator cuff muscles causing shoulder dysfunction.

In recent years the importance of the myofascial system has been acknowledged and an understanding of the fascial planes, and how one localised area can affect, and be affected by other areas is important in our role as practitioners wanting to obtain the best results for our patients.

In the example (right) we see the lateral fascial plane on a patient, treating this fascial plane for any injuries on the side of the body will produce more effective results than just treating the specific localised injury on this plane.  Just treating the localised area only produces minor proprioceptive (sensory) changes, however treating this larger plane causes a greater amount of proprioceptive (sensory) to travel to the brain via the spinal cord.

The brain processes this additional (extra) sensory information and accordingly alters the status of the injured and surrounding areas. ( the brain is constantly monitoring the status of our bodies,  processing millions of bits of information every second) constantly causing various physiological changes in different areas.

The more information the brain receives the more effective it is at correcting any dysfunctioning areas and the quicker the body heals from injuries.  This is one of the reasons why treating the fascial system in conjunction with our normal treatments provides such excellent results.

stretching before resting fascil densification

Using Myofascial Correction is very effective in treating the myofascial component of injuries.  This very effective system uses instrumented myofascial release and IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation) treatment protocols.

image showing iastm treatment

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image: showng some of the instruments designed and used by Kevin Kelly