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What doctors are not telling you about Plantar Fasciitis

Two million Americans suffer from plantar fasciitis every year and 10% of the population will experience it in their lifetime. It is become recognized as one of the most chronic and difficult foot problems to treat. 

Your feet are the foundation of your physical form...literally the base on which you are built. Most of us treat our feet as though we are able to take them off like shoes at night. We mindlessly abuse our feet until we are feeling pain. We want to give you not only treatment for the symptoms (immediate pain) but also diagnosis of why the feet starting hurting in the first place...the source of the problem. This is when you will find true relief! 

Lets start with what is plantar fasciitis? It is the symptom of pain located at the heel or plantar fascia of the foot (the thick connective tissue) which supports the arch of the foot. 

What treatments will help pain? 

  • Ice and massage 
  • Stretching
  • Foam roller, tennis balls or golf ball rolling
  • Night Splint
  • Shoes and inserts

If you want to heal your foot you need to treat the whole body. The pain in your foot diagnosed as plantar fasciitis can often be traced back to your Gluteus Maximus. How? We live in a cultural where there is "Sitting Disease." When we sit too much we put our muscles to sleep and contract them (shorten them) causing a pull from your hips down to your knees. The muscle we put to sleep (Gluteus Maximus) is a powerful muscle stabilizing our upright position and pelvic/hip extension. This pelvic stability allows us to go upstairs, rise from sitting position, lower back support, climbing, running and balance. 

When our pelvic stability is weak your entire movement system will be negatively affected and compensate in many different ways. With plantar fasciitis, the calf muscle are recruited with weak glutes to stabilize the pelvis and over compensate causing them to over work.

 

You see the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) attach to the heel via the achilles tendon. The achilles tendon wraps over the heel bone where it then becomes the plantar fasciitis. The plantar fasciitis stretches across the bottom of the foot to the base of your toes. The continuous fascial tissue structure gets overused causing inflammation and pain. When the pain shows up in the heel we call it plantar fasciitis. If it happens above the heel, it is called achilles tendonitis. Ultimately the calf is over worked because the hip and glute muscle are weak! This is the source of your plantar fasciitis. This is one example of many scenarios where the body over compensates and causes pain in another area of your body. 

Most people will get cortisone shots to help relieve pain by blocking inflammation but know this is ok for immediate relief but over time this shot weakens the fibrous tissue (all connective tissue like tendons, ligaments, and joint tissue). Plantar fasciitis is fibrous tissue so its not a great idea to take medicine weakening this tissue. Ultimately we want to strengthen and and heal this tissue. 

The first step is relieving some immediate pain thru exercises above. The next step in treating plantar fasciitis is making an appointment with a movement specialist. They can assist you in strengthening and balancing movement patterns associated with glutes and hips. If you have additional questions regarding this please contact [email protected] 

 

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