This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in November of 2021. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk0VZ8oV7j0&t=432s
Bob: Well, what should we talk about today? How about how to fix plantar fasciitis while you walk?
Brad: As we know, plantar fasciitis, typically foot pain on the heel, can last for weeks, months, and up to a couple of years.
Bob: Even years, yes.
Brad: It's a really debilitating type of problem.
Bob: So, do you want me to show where plantar fasciitis occurs?
Brad: Yeah, let's talk about some of the symptoms, and what people are experiencing. I bet you anything, people are going to say, "It hurts when I get out of bed in the morning, and I put that initial weight on it, and it kind of makes you limp, but it gets better with a little time.
Bob: It's very typical. What we're dealing with is a tight fibrous material that runs on the bottom of the foot all the way up into the toes. And during the night it begins to heal, and then in the morning when you step on it, you break open the healing.
Brad: Yeah. When you sleep you kind of point your toes down so the plantar fascia is on slack, then when you step on it, it pulls apart. So, it's like pulling the scab off a wound.
Bob: Right. Where the red ‘X’ is, is a very common right in this spot. That's a telltale sign.
Brad: Yep. When I have a patient, I'll kind of push around that area and look at their face and see their eyes open, and it's like, "Ow!"
Bob: So, let’s start with how we're going to treat it.
Brad: Well, yes. People are probably interested in seeing what the title talks about.
Bob: So, all these things you should do before you get out of bed. The first thing you're going to do is stretch the plantar fascia. So, I'm going to take my hand, I'm going to grab the top of my foot, the forefoot, and I'm going to pull back the toes and the foot and give it a good stretch.
Brad: You can do it while you're lying on your back in bed. You can sit on the edge of the bed while you do this, but do not get up and walk around yet.
Bob: And then you want to do a little bit of massage to the area. Now you can do it with your fingers or your thumbs. A way to start is not to hit the painful area to start, maybe work around it. Start hitting the circumference around the area. Then you can do a splaying massage, where you put your thumbs together and pull them apart, and eventually get onto the spot.
Brad: You can see where you're pushing in deep, the plantar fascia is tough material. You have to get in there and work on it. Your thumbs will get tired if you're doing it properly.
Bob: Right, now, if you want to splurge, go ahead, and use a massage gun. And we have one here that has the ball attachment on it. Brad came up with this because you would think when you start with the massage gun that you would go right straight on. You can, but it's a lot more effective if you come in from the side and work it this way. And again, I would work around the painful area, and then if you can tolerate it, hit the painful area.
Brad: Now you don't have to do the gun massage. If you don't have one, simply do it manually, and then we'll go to the next step, which we'll get to in a second. But this really does feel good.
Bob: Well, it's easy to do.
Brad: It is. You don't wear your thumbs out, especially if you have arthritis in your fingers or your thumbs if you're like Bob's and our age, where that kind of starts to happen. This really is a nice hand-saver and finger-saver. So, you'll wake up, you'll do the stretch, and that'll take 30 seconds. You'll do the massage. That'll take a minute or two. So, you have maybe two minutes total of preparation, and then what we're going to do is, like the title says, "Heal it while you walk," so, what we're going to go to is Kinesio tape.
Bob: Right, K tape.
Brad: This is a process that Bob and I years ago were kind of poo-pooing. It's like, "Well, does it really work or not?" And we've done more investigation into it. And then we got a hold of the book "Practical Guide to Kinesiology Taping" by John Gibbons.
Bob: Yeah, he was on our podcast, and he convinced me to take another look at it. And he does a lot of it.
Brad: He's been doing it for over 20 years. He is an expert.
Bob: He gets involved in a whole lot of areas too, not just K-taping.
Brad: So, we're going to use his recommendation on how to K tape for this. I'm going to show you now, what I did is, yesterday, I thought, "I wanna see how this really works on my feet." So, I taped myself yesterday, and I wore my shoes and whatnot all day yesterday, and all night. And I got up this morning, I went to the pool. I went swimming with it, and I thought it held up very well. You can see it's holding on.
Bob: It's curling a little bit on the bottom though.
Brad: It is, right down here. It did come off. Before I went swimming, that was tight as could be. So, I'm walking across the pool, wet and whatnot, swimming.
Bob: It is still hitting the area where you want it to hit.
Brad: Right. Exactly. So, I'm going to pull this off, and I'll demonstrate how you apply this properly, according to John. You know, this is a nice book. He goes over all the parts of the body. I've been using this on my wife's shoulder, and she's been happy with it.
Bob: And trigger finger too.
Brad: Oh, that's right. We just did it with that. I really don't think it's something that's going to cure everything just like that, but I think it assists.
Bob: It helps accelerate the healing process and protects the joint and the area.
Brad: Yep, exactly. That tissue that we're supporting. So, you do the stretching of the big toe, as we talked about. Do your massage, about two minutes into it. Then, you do have to have clean skin, which is key for this. There is one precaution I do need to mention. There is adhesive on this, it's made so that there's the least chance of having a reaction to it, but it is possible to have a reaction to the adhesive tape. If you don't have a problem with Band-Aids, or any other things, you're probably fine.
Bob: What I've found, is it usually doesn't bother the first time, but maybe after you've done it for a couple of weeks, then it becomes irritating.
Brad: One way or another, if your skin gets irritated, you can't use it.
Bob: Yeah, you must stop.
Brad: But most people do not have any problem with it. So, there's a little trick to using this. When I cut it off, I had a roll of tape, and he recommends Rocktape. We don't have any affiliation with it at all. But he says it's good. What I had on is not Rocktape, and it worked fine, but you take it off the spool, and then you're going to cut it, you round the edges. Just a regular pair of scissors, whatever you have. So, that's what I did. I'm using two different colors. There's no reason, it's the same tape. This is really nice, you don't have to sit there and kind of peel the back off the tape.
Bob: You rip it.
Brad: You rip it, and you pull, and it's a stretchy tape, that works nice. So, here we go. We put the first one just at the base of the toe. No stretch, at this point. I'm going to hold it there, and I'm going to pull. Once you do it a few times, it gets really easy. Now, you can stretch it to 100%. You'll feel it stop. And then we're going to go back down about half. So, we're at 50% stretch. Have some alcohol wipes, or a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, get all the oils and whatnot off your skin first.
Bob: Yeah, prior to putting the tape on.
Brad: Get it clean. That's critical. And it feels good on your foot, nice and cool, as it evaporates. Then you rub it on. As you get around the heel, the calcaneus, as you're keeping that 50% stretch, and then when you get to the last inch, no stretch. So, no stretch on the first inch of tape and no stretch on the last inch of tape. And that helps the tape stay anchored.
Bob: It helps it to stay on.
Brad: Exactly. And then you take the adhesive covering and you're going to go on the slippery side. One side is a little sticky, and the other side slips better, and you go on the slippery side, and you just rub the tape for 20, 30 seconds, and that helps seal the adhesive to your skin, so it stays. Then you take the other piece of tape.
Bob: It’s going to be like a stirrup.
Brad: Now this second piece is the key. When you do this, you want to have your foot dorsiflex. I want to mention that when you do this, don't point your foot down, have it pulled up. Before you put that on. I apologize. I'm a little out of order there. Okay, make sure you get this right. You are going to start on the medial side. In other words, the inside of the ankle. And we're going to go just above the malleolus. Again, no stretch to start with. Now on this one, you go all the way 100% and then back off just a little bit so you get 75% stretch. A little bit stronger, go right over like where Bob has that red spot on his foot, you're going over the sore spot. You come around and when you get to the anklebone on the other side, then you back off to 50%. And at the very end, no stretch. We anchor that down.
Brad: And again, you're going to take a few seconds to seal that baby in there.
Bob: So, how many days does it last really? We don't know, maybe, yet?
Brad: It's going to vary from person to person.
Bob: Depending on how active they are, and how much they sweat I suppose.
Brad: Yeah, how much your feet perspire, and if you go swimming every day. I think, typically, I've used this on other parts of my body, and I've got two to three days on it. On my hamstrings, I just used it this summer.
Bob: You look like an Olympic athlete now, with the tape on.
Brad: Yeah. I felt cool walking at the pool. "I've got tape on my foot, what do you say?" So, anyways. You'll leave it on as long as you can. You can massage over this the next morning by hand.
Bob: And put shoes on before you get out of bed. You should wear your shoes all day long when you're dealing with plantar fasciitis because you’re trying to get it to heal. Once it heals, then you can stop wearing shoes again or whenever you walk around the house.
Brad: Exactly. So, there you go. Once again, we've covered another part of the body, but…
Bob: We can fix just about anything.
Brad: Except for...
Bob: A broken heart.
Brad: But we continue to work on it.
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