Dr Les Bailey from the back and joint pain centre, caterham, discusses plantar fasciitis , and his unique approach

ORTHOTICS AND PLANTAR FASCIITIS… Dr. Les Bailey, back and joint pain center, Caterham.

•Dr. Les Bailey has specialized in orthotics for over 30 years.

•He is the author of “the layman’s guide to foot and heel pain”, which sold over 35,000 copies over 3 editions.

•He has appeared in the national press, TV, and radio talking about plantar fasciitis and orthotics.

•Amongst his past celebrity patients, Dr. Les Bailey was the practitioner who cleared up, snooker player, Jimmy Whites severe plantar fasciitis, which became widely publicised, as it threatened his career.

Dr. Les Bailey is based at the back and joint pain center, 175 Coulsdon Rd, Caterham, Surrey, cr3 5nu. Tel 01883341949 or 07801418080. Email:


My first foray into the world of orthotics, was when my own feet acquired plantar fasciitis, some 35 years ago.

I was a Muay Thai fighter, which meant I was road running many miles every week. The pronation in my feet caused strain on the plantar aponeurosis, and although the pain began by running, this was not the “cause”.

What pushes plantar fasciitis into starting, is not its root cause. After all, one does not see all runners suffer this dreadful condition.

Patients often relate to me, that maybe walking, climbing ladders, or some such activity, has caused their plantar fasciitis. This is wrong, as one has to have the biomechanical faults in the foot for it to manifest, and the activity merely “kicked it into action” .

Many medical sources will profess that plantar fasciitis is caused by {X}, and results in {X}pain to {X} area.

This is simply not true, as plantar fasciitis has multitudes of individual causes, from many individual foot types, and the pain manifests differently for each individual.

This is coupled with the fact the pain can range anywhere, from the arch, right down to the start of the metatarsals.

And when we consider that these faulty foot types also produce pain in other areas ,eg the ankles, Achilles, metatarsals, knees, hips , sacro iliac joints, etc, we can see how plantar fasciitis requires specialization within the practitioners field, to get to the root of, not only the plantar fasciitis itself but the other issues the faulty foot posture is causing .

Then, by correct and accurate prescribing, we can clear all the symptoms arising from the faulty foot posture at once.

Moving back to just plantar fasciitis, there are differing types/symptoms , of plantar fasciitis, arising from, for example, the foot types, pes planus, pes cavus, pes excavatus, hypermobile sub talar joints, or combinations of differing origin. These all exert a different set of symptoms to the plantar aponeurosis.

I hope this illustrates the point I always make, being, that off-the-shelf orthotics, or orthotics that are not supremely accurate, will not only fail to work, but only push the foot from one wrong position to the next, and set up a list of new issues.

Plantar fasciitis is way too complicated and individualistic to respond to a “one size fits all” approach.

An example of this, is shop-bought arch supports, or orthotics that do not take into consideration, rear foot instability, or even forefoot drop, and merely just raise the arch, will then cause impounded irritation to the sub talar joint (ankle) by causing an extra torsional twisting at the ankles delicate structure.

Furthermore, we see practitioners prescribing very rigid orthotics, that can actually bruise and compound the plantar aponeurosis, thus worsening the already micro-torn aponeurosis.

Orthotics must be deadly accurate, and all permutations of the foot must be taken into consideration.

My method of obtaining supreme accuracy starts at, not only the brilliant orthotic lab, who makes them for me but giving the lab the ultimate blueprint to work from.

Many practitioners nowadays, use laser measurement to scan the foot and give their lab the computer imprint from this.

I used laser foot measurement for years when lasers were first in the Uk and found that, although they captured the arch very well, it was not possible to retain the foot into talar neutral while using laser measurement.

This resulted in many orthotics being returned to the lab for adjustment, a ratio of one in three pairs.

My favored method is the,  now considered old fashioned, foam cast, where I can use my two hands, to hold the foot and ankle in perfect talar neutral, and the lab can then laser read the cast by reverse reading, using appropriate lasers, etc.

I can, therefore, achieve the best of both worlds, viz, the practitioner flexibility of a cast, coupled with the supremacy of laser measurement of the said cast.

This method, although unusual amongst practitioners nowadays, allows me to capture the foot in my own unique and experienced way, which has not only proved a great success in results for my patients, but also means only around one in two hundred pairs are returned to the lab for adjustment, rather than one in three . A sizeable difference.

This saves time and works for the patient, myself, and my esteemable lab.

I would strongly insist that this is proof in itself of the efficacy of this approach.

The lab is not fans of this way of prescribing, as it requires more work at the manufacturing stage, but the end result means a whole lot less work carrying out adjustments afterward.

To summarise this article, and in testimonial to my approach, not taking just my word for its success, you can read hundreds of happy patient testimonials to the end results of my work , both with plantar fasciitis, and back/ joint pain, by going on to the testimonials page of our website, or , there are 350 written testimonials in four A4 folders in my waiting room. These are from both orthotic, and physical therapy patients.

Anyone is welcome to call in and browse through these before making an appointment.

I prefer to let my past patients do my boasting for me, and no possible detractor can argue with happy former patients singing praises.

One cannot argue of any practitioner’s efficacy when past patients are happy to write that many testimonials! This number of testimonials is growing by the week, and I can truly say, even after over 40 years of doing the work I do, it still makes me proud when I receive these!


Dr. Les Bailey, back and joint pain center, 175 Coulsdon rd, Caterham, CR3 5NU.

Tel 01883341949 or 07801418080. email:


•Diploma osteopathy (NCSO), •Diploma osteopathy (OIUCM) 1992, •Osteopathy lecturer diploma (NCSO) 1993,

•Biomechanics diploma(CFHP)2008

•Diploma manipulative med science (OIUCM) 1992

•PhD (OIUCM) 2009

•Acupuncture pain control (ATM)1995

•Soft tissue manipulation (ASC)1983

•Massage (LAMPC)1981

•Life member medicine alternativa 1992

• International laser therapy association 1994

• NLP master(Pro Noctis )2018

•Hypnotherapy master (Pro Noctis) 2018

• Master timeline therapy (Pro Noctis)2018

• Registered with ACOPM/APTA. And proudly not registered with the general osteopathic council!



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