(…Or just about anything else we tell ‘em.)

Patients are predictable I’m sorry to say. Non-compliance is a very large problem with patients.

I give approximately 85% of my patients explicit, written directions to do calf stretching and – even with the most compelling reasons – they leave the office sold on the concept and the exercise and then… more than 50% of them won’t do it. Did I say my directions even have pictures?

I don’t know, maybe they go home saying, “What? I paid for an office visit, and this guy just told me to stretch? He must be crazy.”

Then, they come in for their follow-up and some version of this conversation occurs:

“Doc, your stretching is not working.”
“What’s wrong with it? ?”
“Are you DOING the stretching?”
“No. Should I? Did you really mean it?”
“Yes I meant it! What about, ‘the calf stretching is the ONLY thing that will FIX your problem,’ did you not get?”

C’mon, people. I’m telling you what, 95% of the time, is effective! However, the stretching is effective 0% of the time if they are not done.

I’m asked why I focus so much on calf stretching. It’s simple. It works. Stretching is prevention and cure rolled up into one. If you have pain now, this stretching will make it go away. If you don’t want pain later, KEEP STRETCHING.

Five to 10 new patients every week are ones I saw 10 to 15 years ago for plantar fasciitis, heel pain, or other ailments. I prescribed stretching, they complied, and the pain went away. However, I told them to continue with stretching, but for whatever reason, they didn’t. Now, a decade later, they show up for something else, like mid-foot arthritis or achilles tendonitis.

They think that one has nothing to do with the other, but I say they have EVERYTHING to do with one another. When it comes to stretching your calf, compliance is key.

Calves get tighter as we get older; the calf contracts as we age. It’s just a fact and there are many reasons this occurs. (More on that later…)

Frankly, if you don’t do the stretching, it’s okay by me. I get more business that way. Don’t stretch and we’ll be cutting on you soon enough. But I’d rather send you away from my office fixed for good instead of creating a repeat customer.