You must be having a foot problem if you are reading this blog! As a Chiropractor with many of my patients thankfully being active, I still see many with foot problems. This is NOT an issue associated with active people only but it makes sense to see it in people who are more on their feet.
Typically it becomes a bad enough issue to seek care when it comes to the hiker and runner community since it prevents them from doing what they love. Plantar Fascia is the soft tissue at the bottom of the foot that is irritated.
In the video above, I go over the basics of Plantar Fasciitis but on my youtube channel here, you will find a series of videos dedicated to this very issue. In order to understand Plantar Fasciitis you need to understand some basic facts about the structure that supports the arch of the foot.
I promise not to make this a boring anatomy session so let’s just say that the arch of our feet are supported by a muscle that comes from the outside of the knee, goes over the foot and wraps under the foot at the arch, to connect to the outside of the foot. Then there are muscles that keep the arch in the nice curved fashion.
Plantar Fasciitis has to do with the weakness of these muscles so on the surface, the first thing to do preventatively is to strengthen these muscles.
COMMON SENSE FACTS:
Since Plantar Fasciitis typically starts on one foot and later impacts both feet, it is a dead giveaway sign that there is an imbalance in the gait- the way you walk. When it comes to hiking and running, clearly there is more demand on the feet and the postural imbalance that leads to Plantar Fasciitis becomes more prevalent.
This means that the SOURCE of Plantar Fasciitis is NOT on the feet but elsewhere. This is why you ought to use common sense to find the solution and to better understand how to effectively address the cause.
WHERE IS THE IMBALANCE?
Since we already know that the Plantar Fasciitis is an issue manifested in the foot but not a foot problem, it is reasonable to say that unless there was an actual injury to the ankle, the imbalance is certainly from any part of the skeletal system above the ankle. Of course, it is only a matter of time that the ankle alignment is adversely impacted as well.
Typically given that most people have a sedentary lifestyle, it is more than likely the lower back and pelvic area that cause the imbalance. Prolong sitting, staring at a monitor for an extended length of time, and long hours of work cause the exhaustion of the muscles of the back and neck, leading the body to shift in an attempt to find a more comfortable place.
This is assuming that after long hours of sitting, you are not sitting in traffic and driving long hours!! This is simply one scenario that I am focusing on. The options are many and the solution is the same! micro-breaks, stretching and taking active necessary measures to undo the damage caused by the lifestyle are all necessary but not the only thing that needs to be done.
I AM ACTIVE, WHY AM I HURTING MORE?
Believe it or not, the body is more prepared to recuperate from injury due to activity than lack of. The issue with most of us is that we are inactive, sit for long hours every day, then we go home and run!!! or become weekend warriors. Running is fun, I know!
BUT there is a lot of jarring and impacting of our joints that are already over challenged and negatively impacted by our lifestyle which leads the damage to becoming more profound. The simple act of walking, when the condition is bad enough, becomes intolerable. On my Youtube channel here, you will see many videos on what muscles to stretch and what to pay attention to. This is your opportunity to learn more about prevention since that is a much shorter route to health and happiness.
PLANTAR FASCIITIS TREATMENT:
Most people with Plantar Fasciitis see a podiatrist where they get a variety of options from Orthotics to Cortisone shots. By the time I see them at my office, many treatments have failed and I am the last resort. In my office, I may use Cold Laser therapy to address the immediate pain, do Active Release Technique to get some of the knots that contribute to the muscle and arch weakness and have our massage therapist do target sessions.
The key, however, lies in the specific exercises I give (tennis ball and towel exercise) to strengthen the weak muscles. Assessments and adjustments of the spine and ankles is absolutely necessary to INITIATE the balancing of the body. I used the word “initiate” because this is a process and not an event. I review and modify some contributory lifestyle habits, while giving specific strengthening of the weak and stretching of the tight muscles of the lower extremities and back.
With Brain Based Neurology and Postural assessment (click here to learn more), I address the specific brain parts in charge of specific postural imbalances that are then needed to be ‘exercised’. These brain exercises have nothing to do with memory and everything to do with posture. After all, if the command center, the brain, is not able to send proper command, then everything else is ineffective.
Yoga is an absolute must since it not only provides stretching and balancing opportunities but activates the part(s) of the brain that has not been ‘worked out’ due to the limited lifestyle demands. In the video here I share a great video that talks about how to activate the mid-brain, the very part that is a culprit to many of our postural problems including the ones that have to do with Plantar Fasciitis.
Remember, you are the Designer and the Director of your own life so design and direct it the way you wish to live it. If you have not subscribed to my Youtube channel, do so right here so you get alerted of the many exercises that more than likely you need to work on that contribute to not only your Plantar Fasciitis but many other issues you may be experiencing.