Fascia and Feet: How to Hit the Ground Running

When your feet hit the floor,  can you stand it?  For those with plantar fasciitis, this becomes a real problem.

They have been known to hobble to the bathroom in the morning, clinging to furniture and door frames as they go.  They are miserable when they go to stand after sitting through that long meeting.  Suddenly favorite past times like running, hiking, walking, shopping or just standing to cook a meal are difficult to do.

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the fascia that supports the arch of the underside of your foot.  Location of symptoms can vary, but are typically felt in the heel and along the arch of the foot.  Plantar fasciitis is quite common, but sometimes difficult to manage.  Typical treatments focus on stretching the tissues that pull on the plantar fascia, making it tight.  Stretching the calf and arch of the foot are standard procedures.  Protecting the fascia with tape, orthotics, and heel cups is also common practice.  Night splints may be prescribed as well.  Patient’s will often be prescribed medication or told to use ice to manage the inflammation and pain.  All these treatment techniques are excellent suggestions for getting a handle on this painful condition.  But sometimes, despite all these efforts, the problem persists.

Perhaps the problem is not originating in the foot.  Yes, that is where your symptoms are.  But the plantar fascia can be tugged on from the fascia that connects to it from above.  Tightness of the fascia that supports the low back and hips can cause tightening of the plantar fascia.  For that matter, there is a direct connection through the fascial system from the bottom of the foot, up the back of the leg, through the buttock, to the low back, mid back, neck and top of the head.  Tightness anywhere along this path can contribute to an unresolving plantar fasciitis.

So, if you are experiencing plantar fasciitis that is not responding to traditional treatment,  look at your problem through a wider lens.  Sometimes the pain is there to get your attention.  But the problem lies elsewhere up the chain.  Myofascial treatment balances the whole body.  Perhaps worth considering.  Because let’s face it, you walk kind of funny.

Stay healthy.

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