OBJECTIVE: To account for the apparent high incidence of pain in the feet of elite women kendo players. METHODS: A clinical evaluation was done by a chiropractor, the women were interviewed about their kendo experience, and the conditions and frequency of training and ground reaction forces were measured on a Kistler force plate during the kendo attacking action. RESULTS: Four out the five women presented with plantar fasciitis. They had all practised for some time on wooden floors laid on concrete, for between two to four hours a week. They warmed up conscientiously but cool down was more cursory. The force plate results showed that they were hitting the floor with a mean force of four times body weight during a transient impact. CONCLUSIONS: High motivation for practice and training, hard floors, ignoring painful feet, and cursory postpractice cool down probably produced the condition. Postpractice icing and stretching were found to be most effective in the short term. In the longer term reducing the level of impact, either by training on sprung floors or changing the footwork, might reduce the incidence and intensity of the fasciitis.
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