101 Things I’ve Learned from my Massage Therapist-Day 7
This week my patients are once again dictating the education. I found my self clarifying the difference between plantar fascia and plantar faciitis. After all our thoughts create our reality. In the book “The Genie in your Genes by Dawson Church, PHD we are reminded that our emotional landscape creates our physiological health.
True it is a troublesome little piece of connective tissue that is often a victim to that great pair of shoes or our winter boots here in Canada; however, lets find some footing and unpack the “itis” so we can restore that inner landscape.
Webster dictionary defines “itis” as inflammation or disease. So you can have inflammation in your plantar fascia (fasciitis) or inflammation in your bursa (bursitis) or inflammation in your tendon (tendonitis). Any time we have inflammation we make friends with the ice pack. How to use ice is a whole different story but good to remember that after about 5 minutes of cold your body goes into protective mode and creates more inflammation to protect the tissue; so less is really more.
The plantar fascia is a dense connective tissue that supports the arch on the bottom of your foot. It starts at the medial tubercle of the calcaneus ( inside of the heel) and travels to the base of each toe (metatarsal heads). It commonly feels tight at “the great” big toe.
The most remarkable sign that you have the “itis” is pain with walking when you get out of bed in the morning especially the first few steps. The other thing to remember about plantar fasciitis is that once the inflamation is gone; so is the “itis”. You might still have some adhesions that need to be addressed with manual therapy or massage. There may also be a heel spur that will need to be addressed by a physician, physiotherapist or osteopath. Tight calf muscles can also play a role in foot pain. Trigger points in soleus also refer into the heel. See for yourself
So what can we do.
- keep the calf muscles stretched. Remember that soleus does not attach above the knee. To isolate this muscle try bending your knee.
- Eric Franklin would remind us to Imagine your foot as a tripod. The heel, the base of the big toe and the base of the pinky toe. Think of these points as having a bright vibration. feel them melt and slide apart from each other.
- Yoga with Adrienne always talk about thinking of the foot as having 4 corners, and pushing into all 4 corners of the feet.
- Listen to my mother and find Good Shoes that fit!
- Some self massage for the feet at the end of the day is really just so yummy.
6. If inflammation does occur and your plantar fascia is grumpy try freezing a water bottle and rolling it on the bottom of your foot for 5 minutes 3 times a day.
Try them all; especially 5.
Peace and Love.