MW: Plantar fasciitis is a specific term for an area of pain on the foot. Which is on the inside bottom of the heel. A lot of people call it a stone bruise, which is a layman’s term for the condition.
TALK 107.3: Who suffers from the condition?
MW: It does not discriminate. Pretty much the only people who don’t get plantar fasciitis are children, but they get something similar called Sebring’s disease which is a growth plate problem. This effects people that are heavy, lightweight, female, male, sedentary, active, runners, not-runners. It’s a degenerative condition that just happens. We don’t know why. We’re still trying to figure it on in the basic scientific community.
TALK 107.3: I had a friend years ago that was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, and all that they could do for her was put her into some very uncomfortable shoes. They were very clunky and she hated wearing them. It took her a very long time to get better. So you’ve got something that is a little bit beyond the orthopedic shoe.
MW: What I did was identifying a gap in the treatment. You can go the route of $3000 to $5000 in treatment with risk like injections, surgeries, MRI and options like that. Or you could also do nothing. In between there’s really nothing. You can go to the running store maybe and get some inserts, or some orthopedic shoes. So what I did was created a flip-flop to treat the problem. Everybody is told they’re not allowed to wear flip-flops but everybody wanted to wear flip-flops. So, I decided to make the problem the treatment. We put about six different medical treatment methodologies in the shoe and they’re all synergistic. They make each other more powerful. In it of themselves, each feature of the shoe would not be that effective, but together they’re very effective. Now you have a pretty flip-flop you can wear on a day-to-day basis to treat this problem. The beauty of it is that it’s affordable and it’s a consumer grade medical device.
MW: We live in an era of very high deductibles and high premiums. Health care is extremely expensive for a lot of people; I’m on the front lines. Everyday I see families making decisions of what they are going to spend their money on. So this is a way for people to attempt to self-treat and avoid the cost of treatment of plantar fasciitis, the ugly shoes and the risks.
TALK 107.3: What does the data suggest? Is it that surgery will ultimately be the answer or that a non-surgical treatment could be highly effective?
MW: Non-surgical is definitely the way to go with plantar fasciitis. The surgery is reserved for what we call is recalcitrant or salvage cases. Personally, I don’t really like the surgery we do for plantar fasciitis because you clip the plantar fascia. Imagine an arch. The plantar fascia is the tie rod to the arch that keeps the arch from collapsing, like the St. Louis arch. Imagine a million pound load on that arch. It would collapse it, right? Except the plantar fascia keeps the two ends together on the bottom. Now imagine just clipping that. What do you think that does to your foot over time?
TALK 107.3: Well it’d give you flat feet, right?
MW: Correct. So about six years or so after Plantar fascia surgery you’ll see a lot of people come in with collapsed feet. That surgery’s never made a lot of sense to me. We don’t clip the patellar tendon for knee pain, we don’t clip the rotator cuff for shoulder pain but for whatever reason that’s what happens. To hear the rest of the chat click the link below to download the entire podcast!