Botox for plantar fasciitis? Sounds like a bad idea to us....

image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Plantar_aponeurosis_-_axial_view.png

image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Plantar_aponeurosis_-_axial_view.png

Botox..For plantar fasciitis? Really?

We found this article (1) in one of our favorite journals, Lower Extremity Review , and were a little surprised. Let us get this straight: you are going to take one of the the most poisonous biological neurotoxins known (1) and inject it into your calf and foot?

The article in LER is well written and the results (thankfully) were inconclusive regarding its usage. They do cite 3 studies (with two by the same lead author) where it has been effective (2-4). Yes, it is better than saline (5) (but not as good as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (6)), and better than placebo (7-10) but considerably more risky.

So the premise is “if the muscle is dysfunctional, then let’s just take it out of the equation”. But this really doesn’t fix the problem, it just covers up the symptom. And what about the other potential side effects since botulinum toxin acts not only at the neuromuscular junction, blocking the release of acetylcholine, but also at the autonomic ganglia, postganglionic parasympathetic nerve endings, as well as the post ganglionic sympathetics that use acetylcholine (capillaries of skin, piloerector muscles and sweat glands) (11)?.

In our experience, most cases of plantar fasciitis are secondary to lack of forefoot rocker, lack of ankle rocker, lack of hip extension or in some cases, direct trauma. Wouldn’t it make more sense to strengthen the anterior compartment to reciprocally inhibit the posterior compartment, increasing ankle dorsiflexion and hip extension? We find, oftentimes, treating only the area of chief complaint and not what is "driving the bus" can offer temporary, symptomatic relief but not long standing pathmechanics or pathoanatomy.

Just like the road to enlightenment, there are no shortcuts in treating plantar fasciitis and if you are not going to treat the cause, then be prepared to reap what you sow.

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#botox #plantarfascitis #badideas #gaitproblem #thegaitguys

1. https://lermagazine.com/article/botox-injection-not-just-for-celebrities-furrows-and-wrinkles

2. Elizondo-Rodriguez J, Araujo-Lopez Y, Moreno-Gonzalez JA, Cardenas-Estrada E,
Mendoza-Lemus O, Acosta-Olivo C. A comparison of botulinum toxin A and intralesional steroids for the treatment of plantar fasciitis: A randomized, double-blinded study. Foot Ankle Int.
2013;34(1):8-14.

3. Díaz-Llopis IV, Rodríquez-Ruíz CM, Mulet-Perry S, Mondéjar-Gómez FJ., Climent-Barberá JM., Cholbi-Llobel F. Randomized controlled study of the efficacy of the injection of botulinum toxin type A versus corticosteroids in chronic plantar fasciitis: results at one and six months. Clin Rehabil. 2012;26(7):594-606.

4. Díaz-Llopis IV, Gómez-Gallego D, Mondéjar-Gómez FJ, López-García A, Climent-Barberá JM, Rodríguez-Ruiz CM. (2013). Botulinum toxin type A in chronic plantar fasciitis: clinical effects one year after injection. Clin Rehabil. 2013;27(8):681-685.

5. Ahmad J, Ahmad SH, Jones K. Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis With Botulinum Toxin. Foot Ankle Int. 2017 Jan;38(1):1-7. doi: 10.1177/1071100716666364. Epub 2016 Oct 1.1.

6. Roca B, Mendoza MA, Roca M. Comparison of extracorporeal shock wave therapy with botulinum toxin type A in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Disabil Rehabil. 2016 Oct;38(21):2114-21. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1114036. Epub 2016 Mar 1

7. Babcock MS, Foster L, Pasquina P, Jabbari B. Treatment of pain attributed by plantar fasciitis with botulinum toxin A: a short-term randomized, placebo-controlled, double blinded study. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2005;84(9):649-654.

8. Samant PD, Kale SY, Ahmed S, Asif A, Fefar M, Singh SD. Randomized controlled study comparing clinical outcomes after injection botulinum toxin type A versus corticosteroids in chronic plantar fasciitis. Int J Res Orthop. 2018;4(4):672-675.

9. Huang YC, Wei SH, Wang HK, Lieu FK. Ultrasonographic guided botulinum toxin type A treatment for plantar fasciitis: an outcome-based investigation for treating pain and gait changes. J Rehabil Med. 2010;42(2):136-140.

10. Ahmad J, Ahmad SH, Jones K. Treatment of plantar fasciitis with botulinum toxin. Foot Ankle Int. 2017;38(1):1-7.

11. Nigam PK, Nigam A. Botulinum toxin. Indian J Dermatol. 2010;55(1):8–14. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.60343

Metatarsalgia happens...

So a patient presents with forefoot pain, worse in the am upon awakening, with 1st weight bearing that would improve somewhat during the day, but would again get worse toward the end of the day and with increased activity. It began insidiously a few months ago (like so many problems do) and is getting progressively worse. Rest, ice and ibuprofen can offer some relief. You may see a dropped metatarsal head and puffiness and prominence in that area on the plantar surface of the foot, maybe not. Maybe you do a diagnostic ultrasound and see a lesion of the plantar plate as well? How did it get there? 

image courtesy of Tom Michaud: with permission

image courtesy of Tom Michaud: with permission

Lets look at the anatomy of the short flexors of the foot, as well as some biomechanics of the foot, ankle and hip. 

The flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) is innervated by the medial plantar nerve and arises from the medial aspect of the calcaneal tuberosity, the plantar aponeurosis (ie: plantar fascia) and the areas bewteen the plantar muscles. It travels distally, splitting at the metatarsal phalangeal articulation (this allows the long flexors to travel forward and insert on the distal phalanges); the ends come together to divide yet another time and each of the 2 portions of that tendon insert onto the middle of the middle phalanyx (1) 

As a result, in conjunction with the lumbricals, the FDB is a flexor of the metatarsophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal joints. In addition, it moves the axis of rotation of the metatasophalangeal joints dorsally, to counter act the function of the long flexors, which, when tight or overactive, have a tendency to drive this articulation anteriorly .Do you see any subtle extension of the metatarsophalangeal joint and flexion of the proximal interphalangeal joints on your exam?

We know that the FDB contracts faster than the other intrinsic muscles (2), playing a role in postural stability (3) and that the flexors temporally should contract earlier than the extensors (4), assumedly to move this joint axis posteriorly and allow proper joint centration. When this DOES NOT occur, the metatarsal heads are driven into the ground, causing irritation and pain.

If there is also a loss of ankle rocker this problem is made (much) worse. Why? Because, with the loss of one rocker, another must make up for the loss: ankle rocker decreases, forefoot rocker has to increase; this equals increased metatarsal head pressure. 

If you have been with us for any length of time, you know that ankle rocker and hip extension are intimately related, as one should equal the other, something we call “The “Z” angle”, that you have probably (hopefully?) read about here before. 

So what is the fix? Getting the FDB back on line for one. 

  • How about the toe waving exercise? 

  • How about the lift spread reach exercise? 

  • How about retraining ankle rocker and improving hip extension?

  • How about an orthotic with a metatarsal pad in the short term? 

  • How about some inflammation reducing modalities, like acupuncture, ice laser and pulsed ultrasound. 

  • Maybe some herbal or enzymatic anti inflammatories?



Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys.

#gait #footpain #metatarsalgia #metatarsalpain #anklerocker #hipextension #thegaitguys



1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexor_digitorum_brevis_muscle

2. Tosovic D1, Ghebremedhin E, Glen C, Gorelick M, Mark Brown J.The architecture and contraction time of intrinsic foot muscles.J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2012 Dec;22(6):930-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.05.002. Epub 2012 Jun 27

3.Okai LA1, Kohn AF. Quantifying the Contributions of a Flexor Digitorum Brevis Muscle on Postural Stability.Motor Control. 2014 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print]

4. Zelik KE1, La Scaleia V, Ivanenko YP, Lacquaniti F.Coordination of intrinsic and extrinsic foot muscles during walking.Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Nov 25. [Epub ahead of print]



Two out of Three ain't Bad...But sometimes it is

image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Meatloaf_(1).jpg

image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Meatloaf_(1).jpg

“What do you mean my plantar fasciitis is due to my hip?”

I recently saw a 60 YO male patient with right-sided plantar fasciitis of approximately 1-1/2 months duration. It began insidiously with pain located at the medial calcaneal facet on the right hand side. He had localized tenderness in this area with some spread distally towards the metatarsal heads. He has ankle dorsiflexion was relatively symmetrical with mild impairment on the right compared to left but only approximately 2 degrees. He had hip extension is 0 degrees on the affected side and 10 degrees on the affected side. Sacroiliac pathomechanics were present as well with the loss of flexion and extension. He had a slight leg length discrepancy, short on the symptomatic side.

So what is going on?

Moving forward in the sagittal plane requires a few things:

Adequate hip extension

Adequate ankle dorsiflexion

Adequate hallux dorsiflexion with an intact Windlass mechanism

He has a diminished step length going from right to left. Because of the lack of hip extension, the motion needs to occur somewhere. His ankle dorsiflexion is almost sufficient but less sufficient on the right (symptomatic) side than it is on the left. He has adequate hallux dorsiflexion but lacks adequate hip extension. Like the song goes, begin "Two of of three ain’t bad". However in this case, it is bad. He has an intact windlass mechanism. In fact, a little too intact. This is causing a tug at the medial calcaneal facet, creating an insertional tendinitis that we know as "plantar fasciitis".

So we did we do?

  • Manipulated the right sacroiliac joint

  • Gave him lift she/spread/reach exercises

  • Gave him shuffle walk exercises

  • Worked on hip flexor lengthening

  • Treated the plantar fascial insertion locally with acupuncture and laser therapy

Dr Ivo Waerlop, one of The Gait Guys

#gait, #gaitanalysis,#thegaitguys, #anklerocker#halluxdorsiflexion, #plantarfascitis

The EHB....In all its glory...

The extensor hallucis brevis : An overlooked "miracle worker"

tumblr_n3vbw7hW5t1qhko2so2_400.jpg

The Extensor Hallicus Brevis, or EHB as we fondly call it is an important muscle for descending the distal aspect of the 1st ray complex (1st metatarsal and medial cunieform) as well as extending the 1st metatarsophalangeal joint. It is in part responsible for affixing the medial tripod of the foot to the ground.  Its motion is generally triplanar, with the position being 45 degrees from the saggital (midline) plane and 45 degrees from the frontal (coronal) plane, angled medially, which places it almost parallel with the transverse plane. With pronation, it is believed to favor adduction (1).

It arises from the anterior calcaneus and inserts on the dorsal aspect of the proximal phalynx. It is that quarter dollar sized fleshy protruding, mass on the lateral aspect of the dorsal foot.  The EHB is the upper part of that mass. It is innervated by the lateral portion of one of the terminal branches of the deep peronel nerve (S1, S2), which happens to be the same as the extensor digitorum brevis (EDB), which is why some sources believe it is actually the medial part of that muscle. It appears to fire from loading response to nearly toe off, just like the EDB; another reason it may phylogenetically represent an extension of the same muscle (2-4).

Because the tendon travels behind the axis of rotation of the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint, in addition to providing extension of the proximal phalynx of the hallux (as seen in the child above), it can also provide a downward moment on the distal 1st metatarsal (when properly coupled to and temporally sequenced with the flexor hallicus brevis and longus), assisting in formation of the foot tripod we have all come to love (the head of the 1st met, the head of the 5th met and the calcaneus).

Why is this so important?

The central axis of a joint (sometimes called the instantaneous axis of motion) is the center of movement of that articulation. It is the location where the motion will occur around, much like the center of a wheel, where the axle attaches. In an articulation, it usually involves one bone moving around another. Lets look at an example with a door hinge.

A hinge is similar to a joint, in that it has parts with is joining together (the door and the jamb), with a “joint” in between, The axis of rotation of the hinge is at the pivot rod. When the door, hinge and jamb are all aligned, it functions smoothly. Now imagine that the hinge was attached to the jamb 1/4” off center. What would happen? The hinge would bind and the door would not operate smoothly.

Now let’s think about the 1st metatarsal phalangeal joint. It exists between the head of the 1st metatarsal and the proximal part of the proximal part of the proximal phalanyx. Normally, because the head of the 1st metatarsal is larger than the heads of the lesser ones, the center of the joint is higher (actually,almost 2X as high; 8mm as opposed to 15mm). We also remember that the 1st metatarsal is usually shorter then the 2nd, meaning during a gait cycle, it bears the brunt of the weight and hits the ground earlier than the head of the 2nd.

tumblr_lij2n4n1mK1qggnse.jpg

The head of the 1st metatarsal should slide (or should we say glide?) posteriorly on the sesamoids during dorsiflexion of the hallux at pre swing (toe off). It is able to do this because of the descent of the head of the 1st metatarsal, which causes a dorsal posterior shift of the axis of rotation of the joint. We remember that the head of the 1st descends through the conjoined efforts of supination and the coordinated efforts of the peroneus longus, extensor hallucis brevis, extensor hallucis longus, dorsal and plantar interossei and flexor hallucis brevis (which nicely moves the sesamoids and keeps the process going smoothly)(1, 5).

Suffice it to say, if things go awry, the axis does not shift, the sesamoids do not move, and the phalanyx crashes into the 1st metatarsal, causing pain and if it continues, a nice spur you can write home about!

Treating and needling this muscle is easy, as it is very accessible on the dorsum of the foot and due to the decreased receptor density, is not too uncomfortable. We like to needle the peroneus longus and short flexors as well, as they all have the function of lowering the head of the 1st ray. Check it out in this quick how to video.

1. Michaud T: Human Locomotion: The Conservative Management of Gait Related DisordersNewton Biomechanics; First Edition 2011

2. https://www.physio-pedia.com/Extensor_Hallucis_brevis

3. http://www.wheelessonline.com/ortho/extensor_hallucis_brevis

4. Becerro de Bengoa Vallejo R., Losa Iglesias M.E., Jules K.T.  Tendon Insertion at the Base of the Proximal Phalanx of the Hallux: Surgical Implications (2012)  Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery,  51  (6) , pp. 729-733.

5. Zelik, K.E., La Scaleia, V., Ivanenko, Y.P. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2015) 115: 691. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-014-3056-x

Can you guess why this person has left-sided plantar fasciitis?   This question probably seem somewhat rhetorical. Take a good look at these pedographs which provide us some excellent clues.   First of all,  note how much pressure there is over the metatarsal heads.  This is usually a clue that people are  lacking ankle rocker  and pressuring these heads as the leg cantilevers forward.  This person definitely have a difficult time getting the first metatarsal head down to the ground.   Notice the overall size of the left foot compared to the right (right one is splayed or longer).  This is due to keeping the foot and somewhat of a supinated posture to prevent excessive tension on the plantar fascia.   The increase splay of the right foot indicates more mid foot pronation  and if you look carefully there is slightly more printing at the medial longitudinal arch. This is contributing to the clawing of the second third and fourth toes on the right. Stand up, overpronate your right foot and notice how your center of gravity (and me) move medially.The toes will often clench in an attempt to create stability.   The patient’s pain is mostly at the medial and lateral calcaneal facets, and within the substance of the quadratus plantae with weakness of that muscle and the extensor digitorum longus. She has 5° ankle dorsiflexion left and 10 degrees on the right and hip extension which is similar.    The lack of ankle rocker and hip extension or causing her to pronate through her midfoot, Tensioning are plantar fascia at the insertion. The problem is worse on the left and therefore that is where the symptoms are.    Pedographs can be useful tool in the diagnostic process and provide clues as to biomechanical faults in the gait cycle.

Can you guess why this person has left-sided plantar fasciitis?

This question probably seem somewhat rhetorical. Take a good look at these pedographs which provide us some excellent clues.

First of all,  note how much pressure there is over the metatarsal heads. This is usually a clue that people are lacking ankle rocker and pressuring these heads as the leg cantilevers forward.  This person definitely have a difficult time getting the first metatarsal head down to the ground.

Notice the overall size of the left foot compared to the right (right one is splayed or longer). This is due to keeping the foot and somewhat of a supinated posture to prevent excessive tension on the plantar fascia.

The increase splay of the right foot indicates more mid foot pronation and if you look carefully there is slightly more printing at the medial longitudinal arch. This is contributing to the clawing of the second third and fourth toes on the right. Stand up, overpronate your right foot and notice how your center of gravity (and me) move medially.The toes will often clench in an attempt to create stability.

The patient’s pain is mostly at the medial and lateral calcaneal facets, and within the substance of the quadratus plantae with weakness of that muscle and the extensor digitorum longus. She has 5° ankle dorsiflexion left and 10 degrees on the right and hip extension which is similar.

The lack of ankle rocker and hip extension or causing her to pronate through her midfoot, Tensioning are plantar fascia at the insertion. The problem is worse on the left and therefore that is where the symptoms are.

Pedographs can be useful tool in the diagnostic process and provide clues as to biomechanical faults in the gait cycle.

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tumblr_np3dt87iAK1qhko2so2_540.png

The Mighty Interossei

By request of one of our readers (Thank you Richard S), we were asked to “dig up” some information about the interossei. After scouring the literature, we turned up an interesting paper, talking about their anatomy. 

Of interesting note, the paper found extensive connections of the musculature with the surrounding fascia (talk about myofascial meridians!) as well as a fairly consistent slip of the peroneus longus which contributes to the 1st dorsal interossei. This is important considering the peroneus fires from midstance on, as do the interossei (and other foot intrinsics). Perhaps (since as the fore foot is extending in late midstance and pre swing) it assists in descending the head of the 1st metatarsal and resisting extension (contracting eccentrically) of the metatarsal phalangeal joints, helping to maintain stability of the fore foot for push off. 

“The extensive connections among the interossei indicate that they could be important stabilisers of the foot during those times when rigidity is required. The pull of the interossei is transformed across the tarsometatarsal joints by means of their attachment to the ligamentous meshwork. Thus they will act upon the tarsometatarsal joints. Crossing those joints on their plantar aspect, the interossei are well placed to assist in resisting extension. Even though their close attachment proximal to the joints creates a short lever arm and therefore relative inefficiency as flexors when weight is borne on the ball of the foot (MacConaill, 1949), the large mass of the combined interossei probably indicates that they do have a significant role in resisting extension at these joints. Also, the shapes of the tarsometatarsal joint surfaces restrict angular motion.”

Definitely a good read and available FREE full text online here

PAUL J. KALINt AND BRUCE ELLIOT HIRSCH: The origins and function of the interosseous muscles of the foot  J. Anat. (1987), 152, pp. 83-91 

Sometimes it  is  easy and straight forward.   
  HISTORY: A 56 YO 200 # male construction worker presents with pain at the bottom of his right foot, worse in the am, getting better as the day goes on till midday, then getting worse again. Better with rest and ice. More supportive shoes and a heel gel pad offer him some relief. Past history of plantar fascitis.   
  OBJECTIVE:            Tenderness at medial calcaneal facet right side;  tenderness also in the arch and over the flexor hallucis longus tendon and short flexors of the toes. Ankle dorsiflexion is less than 5 degrees on the right, and 15 on the left.  Hip extension was less than 10 degrees bilaterally. He has mild bi-lat. external tibial torsion. 
 Gait evaluation reveled an increased progression angle right greater than left.  Very limited ankle dorsiflexion noted bi-lat (decreased ankle rocker).  
 There is weakness of the short flexors (FDB) and long extensors (EDL) of the toes on the right. Poor endurance of the intrinsic musculature of the arch as well as interossei musculature during standing arch test. 
 PEDOGRAPH FINDINGS:  
  ASSESSMENT:       From history and exam, plantar fascitis.  
  PLAN:           He was given the following exercises:  lift/spread/reach, the one leg balancing, shuffle walks and toes up walking. These were filmed via ipad and sent to him.  We are going to build him a medium heel cup, full length orthotic made out of acrylic.  We will see him again later this week.  We will do some symptomatic treatment utilizing manual stimulation techniques, pulsed ultrasound and additional exercises aimed at improving dorsiflexion as well as hip extension.   
   

Sometimes it is easy and straight forward.

HISTORY: A 56 YO 200 # male construction worker presents with pain at the bottom of his right foot, worse in the am, getting better as the day goes on till midday, then getting worse again. Better with rest and ice. More supportive shoes and a heel gel pad offer him some relief. Past history of plantar fascitis. 

OBJECTIVE:           Tenderness at medial calcaneal facet right side;  tenderness also in the arch and over the flexor hallucis longus tendon and short flexors of the toes. Ankle dorsiflexion is less than 5 degrees on the right, and 15 on the left.  Hip extension was less than 10 degrees bilaterally. He has mild bi-lat. external tibial torsion.

Gait evaluation reveled an increased progression angle right greater than left.  Very limited ankle dorsiflexion noted bi-lat (decreased ankle rocker). 

There is weakness of the short flexors (FDB) and long extensors (EDL) of the toes on the right. Poor endurance of the intrinsic musculature of the arch as well as interossei musculature during standing arch test.

PEDOGRAPH FINDINGS: 

ASSESSMENT:       From history and exam, plantar fascitis.

PLAN:           He was given the following exercises:  lift/spread/reach, the one leg balancing, shuffle walks and toes up walking. These were filmed via ipad and sent to him.  We are going to build him a medium heel cup, full length orthotic made out of acrylic.  We will see him again later this week.  We will do some symptomatic treatment utilizing manual stimulation techniques, pulsed ultrasound and additional exercises aimed at improving dorsiflexion as well as hip extension. 

 

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tumblr_mfjhywerr21qhko2so2_1280.jpg

Too much pressure for the holidays? Take a look at that midsole of yours…

In the vein of last weeks post on plantar pressures, we find that midsoles DO DECREASE plantar pressures, especially across the midfoot (30% less pressure in this study), again dependent on foot type (In this study, low vs high arched individuals). They also INCREASE plantar contact area. Contact area can be useful for helping to influence biomechanics of different foot types (often more contact area = more force attenuation)

We also saw that they increase pressures LATERALLY (see our post here).

Bottom line? You need to look at foot type and remember that “shoes are medicine”. Watch what you are prescribing and think about what you are trying to accomplish. There is no substitute for good biomechanics.

We are The Gait Guys. Bringing you the best of gait, each week.  

  

Shoe Types and plantar pressures
J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2009 Jul-Aug;99(4):330-8. Effect of running shoe type on the distribution and magnitude of plantar pressures in individuals with low- or high-arched feet. Molloy JM, Christie DS, Teyhen DS, Yeykal NS, Tragord BS, Neal MS, Nelson ES, McPoil T. Source

US Army-Baylor University Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy, Ft Sam Houston, TX 78234-6138, USA. Joseph.Molloy@amedd.army.mil

Abstract BACKGROUND:

Research addressing the effect of running shoe type on the low- or high-arched foot during gait is limited. We sought 1) to analyze mean plantar pressure and mean contact area differences between low- and high-arched feet across three test conditions, 2) to determine which regions of the foot (rearfoot, midfoot, and forefoot) contributed to potential differences in mean plantar pressure and mean contact area, and 3) to determine the association between the static arch height index and the dynamic modified arch index.

METHODS:

Plantar pressure distributions for 75 participants (40 low arched and 35 high arched) were analyzed across three conditions (nonshod, motion control running shoes, and cushioning running shoes) during treadmill walking.

RESULTS:

In the motion control and cushioning shoe conditions, mean plantar contact area increased in the midfoot (28% for low arched and 68% for high arched), whereas mean plantar pressure decreased by approximately 30% relative to the nonshod condition. There was moderate to good negative correlation between the arch height index and the modified arch index.

CONCLUSIONS:

Cushioning and motion control running shoes tend to increase midfoot mean plantar contact area while decreasing mean plantar pressure across the low- or high-arched foot.


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