Monday, 11 June 2012

Foot Pain - Plantar Fasciitis


Source: myphysio.ca
 


P
lantar fasciitis…left uncontrolled, the condition can become so painful that every time you take a step the pain shoots up from the bottom of the foot as though you’ve just stepped on glass.

I’ve had it. But I cured it in 15 minutes using acupuncture point Liv 3.




Source: acupunctureonline.com


One of the recognizable symptoms is to rise from bed after a night’s sleep to find pain in the bottom of the foot with the first few steps. Miraculously, after 5 minutes of walking about, the pain seems to lessen.

That’s because the entire leg structure from the calf muscles through the Achilles tendon to the plantar fascia (the connective tissue that runs from the heel to the base of the toes) has loosened up.

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of that connective tissue caused by microscopic tearing at the cellular level. That can occur in 2 ways – sudden trauma to the fascia through such activities as jogging, tennis, etc. or a slow form of accumulative wear and tear such as working on concrete floors in factories, etc.

I’ve helped a fair number of people overcome this condition. Most recently, I’ve been helping a woman who works on concrete flooring and has been experiencing the same type of pain issues. After only a week, she’s seen 55% improvement.




Gastrocnemius stretch

This is what I’ve shown her –

1.  During work, stretch the legs from the calves down to the bottom of the feet. I showed her 3 stretches – one for the gastrocnemius muscle, one for the deeper soleus muscle, and one for the entire area from the calves to the toes.

She uses the latter stretch because she can do it right while standing at the assembly line.

Why stretch? If the calf muscles are tight, they’ll tighten up the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia. The entire structure will be as tense as a strung wire. Stepping on an inflamed foot (and on the associated scar tissue) will be very painful!



Soleus stretch


2.  After work, I’ve suggested that she roll her foot back and forth on a frozen bottle of water. It feels great, especially on hot summer days when feet tend to swell in work boots. It reduces inflammation. And the rolling action acts like a massage, helping to reduce scar tissue. (I met a man who cured his plantar fasciitis by rolling his foot back and forth on a golf ball).

3.  Before sleep, I recommended that she stretch again and massage her feet. I don’t want her to take the tightness and pain into her sleep. At night, our body temperature drops slightly, circulation can slow down and our calf muscles can tighten as they remain in one position of sleep. I want her to loosen up the calf muscles. The massage will help to further eliminate scar tissue. At night the body tends to heal itself, so the massage may also help in the healing process.




This all-purpose stretch can be done standing or sitting


4.  In the morning, I suggested that she stretch right in bed, flexing her feet, massaging her calves, etc. Then only should she try to take her first steps. I recommended that she go through her series of standing stretches once her legs are warmed up.

Special shoes or work boots? They may be a solution. But I would start with insoles first. They’re inexpensive plus they can help cushion the foot against the pressures of walking.

Here’s a story I’d like to share with you –

A man I was helping told me of a friend who went to a foot specialist regarding his plantar fasciitis. The doctor recommended special work boots which cost the man about $500 - $600. The pain continued. He booked an appointment to see a second specialist. That doctor showed him a series of leg stretches. His plantar fasciitis disappeared. The only pain his friend had left was from the hole in his pocketbook!

That having been said foot pain can be a sign of structural problems. And self-diagnosis can lead to further problems. If you find no relief from stretching, massage, etc. after the first week, it’s time to get a medical assessment. Always err on the side of caution.

If these suggestions work for you, please let me know. The techniques above are field tested and the reports back over the years have all been positive.






5 comments:

  1. This is a great post! The exercises you recommend are also on point.

    With Plantar Fasciitis, often it can lead to tight calf muscles - which can make things worse. Ironically, a common treatment method for plantar fasciitis is exercise. However, there is a fine line. While exercising can strengthen the muscle, if too much pressure is applied, the condition can get worse, making it more difficult to treat.

    I've written a wealth of information about Plantar Fasciitis here http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/foot-heel-pain/plantar-fasciitis you can find other sports injuries here with associated treatments and exercises.

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  2. Hi,

    Good advice! I just had a look at your site. Very thorough. Please comment any time you wish - it can only benefit my readers!

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  3. Stretching is one of the most under-utilized techniques for improving athletic performance, preventing sports injury and properly rehabilitating sprain and strain injury. Don't make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won't be effective.
    http://www.footcentersofnc.com/doctors.html

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  4. foot massage machine softens our feet as well as help us to get relaxed and relieved after a long tiring day. I use foot massager and its like my daily companion.

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  5. Great post! I have recently written an article with a list of the top 10 running shoes for people suffering with Plantar Fasciitis.

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