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Posted by Gary C on 8/28/03 at 01:46 (128258)

Is there any benefit to chiropractic evaluation/treatment for heel spur/plantar fasciitis?? I have had severe pain for 1 1/2 weeks and found this web site while I was attempting to make an appointment with a podiatrist/orthopedist via my HMO. In the meantime, I did see a chiropractor for an exam and it turns out that I have a short leg (<15mm) which the Dr says is probably the cause.

Re: Chiropractics??

BGCPed on 8/28/03 at 06:53 (128261)

It could be then again not. I would read the heelspur guide on this site first. I am of the belief that there is one or more underlying causes. Footwear, foot function and biomechanics, weight, activity increase or job change etc. If you grabbed 100 people at a shopping mall and looked very close and did x-rays every one of them would have some type of inequity, arthritis or something that could be labeled as 'not normal'

Not all would be symptomatic or need treatment. I know some great Chiro/Kines people. I dont agree with the belief that some of them hold that they can manipulate the foot into a different posture. It may feel good and the stretching and movement of things in the foot may feel good as well but the ability to re-align the bones and change foot posture ? I have not seen

Maybe one of the Dr can add their 2 views

Re: Chiropractics??

R C on 8/28/03 at 08:53 (128266)

I've looked into chiropractic rather deeply, as I used to visit a chiropractor on a regular basis, and have had several chiropractors in my regular social circles. My candid opinion is as follows:

* chiropractic treatment has proven therapeutic value for lower back pain;

* the manipulation of the neck bones has been linked to a higher incidence of stroke;

* the conceptual basis for chiropractic (called 'subluxation' or any number of other names) has been discredited. Thus, claims about spinal manipulations having a therapeutic effect on the nervous system, immune system, etc. have been disproved.

* though there are of course many decent, honest, principled chiros, the chiropractic profession, even according to many of its practitioners, is riddled with overly aggressive 'practice-building tactics', plus what I would consider outright quackery.

* pediatric chiropractic should be a felony.

I strongly urge that you dig further before you let them touch your spine. Or your foot.

Re: Chiropractics??

lara on 8/28/03 at 09:11 (128268)

Thanks for the clear, concise summary. I'd seen things before (probably much of it your postings) but never put it all together in a way I could remember as new things came up.

Re: Chiropractics??

BGCPed on 8/28/03 at 11:44 (128277)

Very good post RC. I was at a womens health expo a while back. A Chiro had a stand with a house scale under each foot and a sliding wire to show pelvic and shoulder tip. The wire was behind the patients back and he would tip one side with his pen. The patient would get off and he would show them how they had 62 pounds under right and 70 pounds under left foot.

Then he would show them the tilted wire and say wow you are misaligned, you need treatment. Most would go wow that me? I am crooked. (much like showing a person an x-ray of a heel spur, good scare tactic for treatment)
They would offer a free eval but charge for x-ray. I commented to my helper that this guy was a slime and we watched about 40 people go through it and EVERY SINGLE ONE he showed they were crooked.

I went on it and he was full of crap. They called my house about 10 times to schedule my free eval. Those are the ones that should be fined by the state until they stop or lose their shingle.

I know a great Chiro/Kinesiologist and he is ashamed of Chiros like that. If your referrals are that low that you need to do that kind of stuff you need to re-think why you picked that profession

Re: Chiropractics??

john h on 8/28/03 at 12:33 (128281)

BG: I used a Chiropractor once in my life. He took an x-ray of my neck with a machine that was so old it probably gave him a double dose of radiation. I was lucky in that he did work on my neck and I was not injured. I had some free floating disc fragments in my neck spinal column. I later had these removed by surgery and a fusion and was instantly cured. That was 23 years ago. He was from the old school that treated colds and most any disease you had. I think there are some new generation of Chiropractors that stick to what seems to be medically acceptable. I think I saw that the Texas Back Institute in Dallas had a Chiropractor on their staff. This is one of the most prestigeous Back Institutes in the country so I must assume that they feel that chiropractic has something to offer in their treatment of back problems..

Re: Chiropractics??

john h on 8/28/03 at 12:39 (128284)

See your Podiatrist. I doubt very much having the shorter leg is causing your PF. I think the one Chiropractor I saw many years ago told me I had a shorter leg. This from just a casual observation. I would suspect many of us have one leg that is a tiny bit shorter than the other with no symptoms. Something that has always intrigued me are the difference in peoples faces between one side and the other. Look closely at almost anyones face and note the the difference between one side and the other. Perhaps this comes from the each side of the brain controlling a different side of the body.

Re: Chiropractics??

Gary C on 8/28/03 at 12:56 (128287)

Thank you very much, BGCPED, R C, and john h, for your responses. I agree that there are probably multiple causes for the problem. My heel pain has come and gone since about the age of 10 or 11. Since I retired 8 months ago, I have gained 7 lbs (6'1'/192), exercised little except for a few rounds of golf or a bike ride, and gone barefoot/sandals almost exclusively. I began to use cushioned inserts in a pair of 'deck' shoes about 6 months ago as the shoe's logo stiching on the bottom of the shoe irritated my heel. I put another pair in my golf shoes but it didn't help, in fact after golfing the past 2 Sundays it developed into the severe heel pain for which I am now trying to remedy. The chiropractor did some ultrasound, which relieved the pain in my tennis elbow alot. Epsom salt soaks and stretching has helped reduce the heel pain so far. The chiro is going to help me with my bad posture, which I have had forever and which may have caused the 15mm difference in leg length. So far, he has not indicated there will be any bone manipulation.

Re: Chiropractics??

Carolyn L on 8/28/03 at 14:57 (128302)


I am shocked about the comments you made about chiropractors, I have been treated for years and have much better results than from most MD's I have been to. I would be interested in your credentials and where you are getting your information about chiropractic. Like all professions there are the bad apples, but I feel the majority of chiro's are ethical and good practitioners.

You might be unaware, but several years back the ACA ( American Chiropractic Association won a lawsuit against the AMA for slander. It sounds like you are carrying some of the old out of date information.

I am going to pull out some scientific reports that show the value of chiropractic and I will be back. I hope we can continue this conversation.

Re: Chiropractics??

R C on 8/28/03 at 18:33 (128319)

For what it is worth, I have three degrees (including a Ph.D.) in a scientific field, and I have published 22 articles in peer-reviewed research journals. I am not a health care professional. My interest in chiropractic is driven by personal consumer interest.

Let me first refer you to the website http://www.chirowatch.com . It is a website devoted to exposing the dangers of chiropractic. Much of the most damning material was written by chiropractors themselves, who are desperate to reform the practice and to alert the public of the risks. It even includes rebuttals from chiropractors, leaving the reader to be the judge. Read it with an open mind, and weigh the relative merits of both sides with a critical eye. I find the case against chiropractic to be overwhelmingly proved.

Another source I recommend is http://www.quackwatch.org . The material is quite broadly focused, but there is a section devoted to chirpractic. I find the material as a whole to be credible and scientifically sound, and hence its conclusions about chiropractic are plausible.

On the other hand, I am not the least bit impressed by the literature supporting the opposing view. I include not only websites of the two major chiropractic associations, but also text materials of highly regarded chiropractic schools (I followed the careers of several chiropractor friends), and material distributed at 'practice-building' seminars for chiropractors (yes, I went to one).

Re: Chiropractics??

john h on 8/28/03 at 21:58 (128332)

R.C.I may agree with some of your views on Chiropractors but I try to refrain from being over critical on some of the treatments our posters seek. Some treatments are succesful because the patient thinks they are successful. I do not want to be the one who puts doubt into a patients mind about his or her treatment. I am not uneducated in academics or in worldly experience and have used some treatments to treat PF that scientifcally would make no sense to me at all. Sometimes the wiseman keeps his advice on somethings to himself. I have no problem with people expressing their personal experience with any form of treatment as that is what most of us want to hear. I went to a Chiropractor and he did not help me and I do not mind saying so. Readers can take that and do what they want with it. I tried accupuncture and all that did was hurt. Vigorous massage of the feet caused me pain for a month. ESWT did provide some help. Birkenstock sandals and taping provided some relief. No meds have ever provided any relief except a one time dose pack of Medrol. Having said all this others may have found very different experiences from these treatments than me. We have some people on the board who swear by their Chiropractor so if they find some relief with their Chiropractor who am I to be critical of them or their treatment. I will say there is one treatment I have not had that I have advised people not to use and that is a PF release through a scope. I have had a Baxter type PF release but have read about some terrible outcomes on this board and many journals.

Re: Chiropractics??

R C on 8/29/03 at 08:13 (128344)

John, I agree with your sentiments, overall. If some kind of 'alternative' therapy happens to help someone, it would be wise to shut up and permit the placebo effect (or some undiscovered mechanism) to do its work -- as long as it does no harm or its risks are properly disclosed.

However chiropractic crossed the line with me when my chiropractor (and others I know socially) started urging me to bring in my newborn baby to begin a lifetime of chiropractic care. He furthermore shrugged off my questions about possible stroke risk (from neck manipulations) as yet another example of the evil medical establishment trying to knock a competitor. Unfortunately, this attitude is endemic in their business.

My conscience therefore directs me to warn other consumers to exercise greater care and to educate themselves further when electing chiropractic treatment. I believe that I have cited credible sources for my information. Here's another: http://www.chirobase.org . If someone wants to support the opposing view, I have no beef with that. Let the reader be the final judge. I think that's fair.

Re: Chiropractics??

Kathy G on 8/29/03 at 13:31 (128368)

I've been to two chiropractors in my life and I checked around and got good feedback on them both. One, now deceased, was a dear man and he could fix my back for me in one appointment. One time, he said to me, 'If a chiropractor starts to tell you that he can treat everything, including the common cold, run like h... from him!'

I experience problems with various parts of my body, due to muscle spasms, and have found chiropractic to work for me. Neither of the chiros I've seen have ever set up a series of appointments for me or done x-rays. If they had done so, I would have refused. My current chiropractor does exactly as my first one did. He treats me and says to let him know if I'm no better. It is very rare that I have to go back to him for a second treatment.

He has never said that he can do anything for PF and encourages me to see my Pod. He did once massage my calf when my Achilles Tendonitis was severe but then he said, 'You know, your husband can do this just as well as I can.' And I wasn't even there for the AT, I just mentioned it was severe.

In our area, we have a few chiros who insist on seeng patients on a weekly basis and I've known people who have been bilked out of money and time, with no relief. One guy, in particular, has caused some severe injury and has been sued for malpractice a number of times.

I would be wary of any chiropractor who said he could treat PF. Check him out carefully with your state board to make sure he is legitimate.

Re: Chiropractics?? Variability

Ed Davis,DPM on 8/29/03 at 15:17 (128386)


One reason for the variablilty of experiences here is the degree of variability among chiropractors. One can go to say, 5 different family docs with a problem and, for better or worse come up with 5 treamtment plans that are fairly similar.

That may not be the case in chiropractic. I know a number of chiropractors that are rock solid practitioners, offer excellent adjustments and know when something is out of their scope of practice. I refer patients to a number of such chiropracotrs and they refer patients to me. Others will break out into a rain dance, take out the crystals, chant and imply they can cure cancer and diabetes ;). One of the tricks is to find the good ones.


Re: Chiropractics??

Kathleen on 8/29/03 at 19:34 (128411)

I go to a close personal friend who is a chiropractor, after going over 40 years in my life being afraid to go. I was unable to walk due to severe PF in one foot and a bad neuroma in the other. I tried acupuncture with no relief. I got high blood pressure apparently from the drugs to kill the pain, I was told. Then I tried this chiropractor, since I knew him as well as several close friends who really had had good success.

He is top in his field and in charge of the licensing examination in LA. So he really is educated. Anyway, to make a long story short, within several months I was able to actually do step aerobics with little pain. Unreal. I occasionally go now and he has completely helped my beyond belief. He manipulates both feet openng up the area. It has worked like a miracle. He also does ultrasound and other things. He has also recommended various stretchesand a good diet.

I tried the casting, meds, night splints, icing , orthodics etc...and they only helped a little.

So there are some really good doctors out there who really want to help and can, in my opinion, help sore feet big time.

Re: Chiropractics??

john h on 8/31/03 at 09:40 (128458)

RC: Some of the Chiropractors use the name Life Time Centers in their name. Some encourage people to come in every month with the entire family so you are correct in that these ones are clearly crossing a line. There is one Chiropractor in Pine Bluff who I have been involved with in several law suits. He is the Chiropractor of choice among those who want to build a case history when an injjured person wants to sue a business or person because of an injury. He wil very quickly run up a $4000-$5000 bill which the lawyers will lay in front of the juries to show the injured person to be in great pain. In a court of law it seems the more you spend on your injury the more the jury will award you. . You cannot bring this guys name up in any case about his previous involvement in lawsuits. Of course we have Physicans who act in the same manner. There is very definitely a difference from Chiropractor to Chiropractor. I think the younger ones perhaps under 40-50 are more current and are less likey to practice old time chiropractic which promese to heal almost anything. Many people swear by their Chiropractor so who am I to judge. If it works for them then great they should continue on.

Re: Chiropractics??

Kathy G on 8/31/03 at 10:10 (128461)


How great that it worked! And how very interesting. Did he work on your back as well as on your feet? What types of stretches did he recommend? I know that a lot of us have had ultrasound done by PT's but I'm very interested in the other type of treatment you received. How long did you have PF before you went to him?

It sounds as though you are seeing a top-notch practitioner and that's exactly what we've all been saying. The guy I go to is also involved with the state organization and licensing, as well as teaching a course at a local college, so he's on top of things.

I'd be very interested in hearing what kind of treatment you received. Oh, to be able to exercise again. Heck, I'd settle for being able to take a walk!