TREATING YOUR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
by: Dr. Kelli DuCloux
What are all these medical terms ?
To understand the term “plantar fasciitis” let’s break it down.
“plantar” = the bottom flat surface of foot
“fascia” = the loose covering around muscle and tendon in the body right below the skin. Think about the water hose for your lawn. Just like the water goes through the hose, think of the fascia as the hose and your muscles and tendons as the water (but of course the muscles and tendons never exit or leave the “hose”. They are always inside the “hose” or “fascia”. )
So “plantar fascia” is the thick membrane covering
tendons and muscle in the bottom of the feet
To understand the word “fasciitis” let’s break that down as well.
“itis” means ‘inflammation’
So the term “plantar fasciitis” is an inflammation of the tissue that covers your muscle and tendons found in the bottom of your foot.
Easy to get, right? If not, then re-read the definitions above a few times to wrap your brain around each part while simultaneously visualizing the words.
What causes this tissue to get inflamed?
People who are runners or people who stand on their feet for great lengths of time may have inflammation of this thick membrane that covers their foot tendons and muscles.
That tendon and fascia become very tight and stretched out instead of a more loose or relaxed muscle.
This leads to pain on the calcaneus, or heel bone. The calcaneus is the location where the plantar fascia actually connects to the skeletal system of the foot. So the inflammation of plantar fasciitis may be concentrated at this particular spot of the foot.
MEDICAL & SAFETY DISCLAIMERS!!!!
IMPORTANT NOTE: For all exercises, see your personal physician before beginning any new exercise regimen to ask for guidance, assistance, and/or ‘approval’/recommendation.
ALSO: Always use something stable to balance yourself with so that you do not fall or get injured.
FINALLY: With any exercise, if you feel pain, stop immediately!
Ok now let us proceed with treatment!!!
PHYSICAL THERAPY EXERCISES
1) Bottle Roll. Place a frozen water bottle on the floor and roll your foot back and forth along the bottle for about 3-5 minutes.
2) Big Toe Stretch. In sitting position with right leg crossed over left knee, hold your big toe and stretch it backwards. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times
3) Towel Pull. Lay a towel on the floor. Place foot firmly on the towel toward the back of the towel. Pick up the front of the towel and pull it up toward the
ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
DOCTOR RECOMMENDED FOCUS POINTS FIRST FOCUS POINT – Stretching
#1) Stand in front of the wall. Angle your foot so that your toes are up against the wall and your heel is on the floor. Keeping your knee straight, slowly lean forward. Feel the stretch along the bottom of your foot. This stretching of the plantar fascia is key to helping alleviate the inflammation in that area. Hold stretch for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
#2) Repeat stretch #1 and then if you are able, you can unlock your knee VERY SLIGHTLY, to feel an even greater stretch along the back of your calf and along the bottom of your foot. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
#3) Stand in a lunge position. Balancing yourself with a chair or the wall, SLOWLY lower your body toward the ground so that your back foot rolls up and the heel comes off the floor with your weight balanced on the toes and ball of foot. Hold stretch for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
#4) Kneel on the floor. Position your toes so that they are pointed to and touching the floor. Then slowly lean back onto your heels to feel the stretch in your foot. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Repeat up to 10 times.
SECOND FOCUS POINT – Eating
Increase your nutrient intake. Many of us do NOT get the proper nutrients in our diets due to the foods we eat. We live in a fast-food society and most of these foods do NOT contain any nutrients.
So the first thing is change your diet to more nutritious foods.
#1) Choose an Anti-inflammatory diet
Also, you can add the following nutrient supplements.
#1) 500mg of Magnesium before bed to relax the muscle
#2) Vitamin B5 w/ Vitamin C – also relaxes the muscle and helps heal the plantar tendon. The vitamin C increases the absorption of the Vitamin B5 in the body.
#3) Fish oil omega 3’s – increases healing of the plantar tendon
THIRD FOCUS POINT – Massages
#1) Deep tissue massage –
Use a rolling pin and roll your foot along the rolling pin back and forth for 3-5 minutes. Really try to get to the arch of your foot. You are seeking a very deep tissue massage but just be aware that with all deep tissue massage techniques, you will experience some pain during and afterwards.
FOURTH FOCUS POINT – Shoes
CHANGE YOUR FOOTWEAR!!!
Make a point to go buy a set of shoes that are designed to assist in the healing of plantar fasciitis.
About 2 years ago, before I had plantar fasciitis, I found the most comfortable shoes with what I thought was the best cushion. Fast forward to now, if I put my foot in those shoes, within 10 minutes, my heel (the calcaneus bone) starts to have an intense stabbing pain. Once I take the shoes off, the pain goes away. So as hard as it was to part with those shoes, I had to throw them away!! And I had 4 pairs of them!!!
So, try to utilize all the physical therapy exercises and incorporate into your day, the four doctor recommended focus points:
3) Stretching 4) Shoes
This concerted attack will be a huge benefit in your fight against plantar fasciitis. Over time, with persistent work with these strategies and exercises, you will find it easier to manage and treat your pain.
Finally, let me congratulate you!!! Most people are not informed and suffer silently in pain. Just by reading this quick book, you have empowered yourself and taken greater control of your life, your comfort, and your happiness & well-being! That is to be commended.
**LIVE AND FEEL BETTER!!!**