This is the first of a series of blog posts for you on the subject of Plantar Fasciitis, which is something I have noticed that many of my women have been dealing with and it is affecting their enjoyment of walking.
This one is from the perspective of Nikki Robinson, who is a Myofascial Release Therapist, and whose advice, guidance and treatment has played a big part in my life. Nikki runs her own practice Holisticare in Essex and you will find a link to it at the end of the blog.
“The plantar fascia is the strong membrane on the sole of your foot that holds everything in its place. Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the membrane under your foot.
The main symptom is pain, either in the heel or spreading under the foot or up into the Achilles tendon. The pain is particularly bad when you put weight on your foot first thing in the morning or after sitting for a time.
In relatively mild cases, the pain wears off once you have started walking. My patients often describe having to hobble to the bathroom in the middle of the night or in the morning, but being able to walk normally after that.
Some people also develop bone spurs on their heel, which are small extra growths of bone that gradually develop in response to the irritation caused by chronic inflammation in the plantar fascia. While they are not themselves painful, they do cause pain in the surrounding tissues.
In my experience, the inflammation that starts this condition is caused by tightness in the muscles attaching into the sole of your foot, which is linked to tightness in the muscles in your upper leg, which tense up because the bones of your pelvis are rotated. I have successfully treated many people with Plantar Fasciitis without ever touching their feet. If you find and treat the cause of the problem, your body is normally able to heal the area of pain by completing the inflammatory cycle.
How to help yourself
Foot release with ball: Sit with the sole of your affected foot resting onto a small ball. Some people use golf balls or spiky Pilates balls, which is fine if it works for you, but please go gently as too much pressure can cause bruising.
Slowly roll your foot over the ball for a couple of minutes. If you find a spot that is very tight, just rest in that position until you feel it change and release. If any points are too painful to apply pressure into, then don’t – you will still be helping those areas if you work around them.
Treat yourself: Sit with your affected foot on the floor and your knee bent at right-angles. Place your other foot on the top of the affected foot in whatever position feels right.
Apply gentle pressure from your top foot and hold for at least five minutes. If you feel that you need extra pressure, you can also push down through knee of the affected foot.
But remember that you are not looking for pain, just your barrier. Then wait and sink down as your foot opens up. Stop if you have any increase in pain.
Finding a therapist who can assess and correct your pelvic alignment may be needed before these exercises are fully effective.”
Our Guest Blogger is Nikki Robinson and you can find her and her team at Holisticare, www.holisticare.co.uk