Jo has had a really challenging plantar fasciitis and heel spur journey. This started July 2022 when Jo was experiencing heel pain and stopped doing regular Park Runs in Stratford upon Avon to help reduce the pain post event. Jo was also a regular netball player for a local team and towards the end of the summer had to stop playing netball. In September she went to the podiatrist in Leamington from a GP referral for insoles which made little difference. Jo then returned to the GP and was given medication and another referral to the foot clinic in Warwick for assessment. Post MRI scan it showed that while having plantar fasciitis Jo also had a heel spur.
Heel spurs occur when calcium deposits build up on the underside of the heel bone, a process that usually occurs over a period of many months. Heel spurs are often caused by strains on foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia, and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone. Heel spurs are especially common among people whose activities include large amounts of running and jumping. The fact that Jo had a heel spur linked to the timeline of issues with her heel and the types of activity that she did. Jo is an active young mother with two young children and works as a maths teacher. By January 2023 Jo was unable to work as standing and walking short distances was very painful and challenging.
This was impacting on her greatly and a return to hospital for specialist physio to help with foot movement and a increase in medication to ease pain was ineffectual.
Jo could just manage to walk her children to school 8 minutes slowly, then have a rest and a painful walk home with several breaks. For longer distances Jo used a wheelchair as walking and standing were painful.
I met Jo the end of March 2023 and she limped in to the clinic in severe pain. I went through her journey and worked out a treatment plan. I also went through a series of movements to alter the loading on her foot to help reduce the pain intensity and compression of the fascia. Jo started treatment and responded extremely well and worked very hard at the comprehensive rehabilitation plan and sequence, she followed everything to the letter and after 2 treatments was able to walk to school and back with limited discomfort and stand for about 15 minutes before the pain increased.
This was a great start, The next goal was walking longer distances pain free. Jo did a focused 6 minute walk daily to learn her new walking style along with everyday walking. Sitting and standing were also an issue so different strategies were employed to help with this. After Treatment 4 significant progress with Jo walking for 30 mins pain free and been able to do domestic chores and chase two young children around the house also pain free.
We had the discussion about work for Jo as up to know she had been signed off, but because of the progress was keen to return. A date for returning to work was set and progress was happening at a rapid rate with extended walking possible we then looked at some modified running, only short distances and following the initial stages of couch to 5km. Jo was able to do some repeated running with no negative effects and also go on a weeks camping holiday with the family which posed no issues.
Jo is now back at work and gradually increasing her hours back to full time and is also increasing her fitness through walking longer distances and making progress on her running. Her heel spur has reduced and plantar fasciitis has recovered. A negative is not wearing nice shoes or flip flops but a small price to pay compared to a wheelchair!
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The book focuses on essential information that patients found useful along with movements to help recovery. This book is the result of 9 months of focused research with my patients at InterX Pain Clinic Stratford Upon Avon