Plantar Fasciitis is pain and inflammation of the tough and fibrous tissues of the sole of the foot. Anything and nothing can bring it on from running, wearing high heels to just stepping off a curb or getting out of bed in the morning. Usually it hurts the most first thing in the morning and then starts to loosen up as the day goes on, but this isn’t always the case. Some people suffer pain for an extended period of time and some only a day or month. There are no clear cut rules for this frustrating source of pain.
All kinds of treatments exist from stretches, taping, orthotics, foot supports, injections and even surgery. What works for one person isn’t necessarily going to work for the next and many times it seems that nothing helps. Rest is usually recommended as well as changing your foot wear.
If you are dealing with Plantar Fasciitis, here are some down to earth ways to decrease and help eliminate the problem:
1 – Walk barefoot as much as possible, especially on grass, soft sand, wood floors and carpet. This will stretch and strengthen the feet and by working the tissues, will increase circulation to the area. By walking on the earth you are also connecting with natural healing energy that has proven to reduce pain and inflammation.
2 – Stretch! Believe it or not, you are connected from the base of you toes, along your soles, up the back of your legs, glutes, back, neck and up over your head to right above your eyebrows. If you have tight muscles anywhere along this area, it can have an effect on your feet. I highly recommend 5-10 minutes of stretching, preferably right after a good walk or any aerobic activity, everyday. Stretching after activity has the most effect and increase in flexibility.
3 – Massage your feet. Use a small hard ball, like a baseball or lacrosse ball. Some people use tennis balls, but they tend to be too soft. You can try a frozen water bottle or wooden dowel too. Rub from the base of the toes to the back of the heel with as much pressure as you can stand. After massaging, stretch the sole of your foot by bending the toes toward your shin.
4 – Keep moving and stay positive. You will hear all kinds of horror stories about pain and suffering. This doesn’t have to be your experience. It is only a temporary problem with many ways of resolving it, so don’t give up and don’t give in to being told you have to accept it as permanent.
There are many medical procedures for helping Plantar Faciitis, however there is also a high percentage of failure too. If you are asking for treatment from your doctor, make sure you follow up any recommendation with your own research and/or a second opinion.
Plantar Fasciitis has been recognized as having psychosomatic origins as discussed in “Healing Back Pain”, one of the books written by Dr. John Sarno, M.D. He talks about how our brain creates pain as a distraction to protect us from painful and unwanted emotions. Based on my observations in the massage room, I agree that our emotions have a big impact on our bodies and how we feel.
If you have over come or are currently working through Plantar Fasciitis, I would love to hear your story.