Plantar fasciitis is a type of foot pain that occurs in the heel and sometimes in or around the arch of the foot as your plantar fascia is the thick connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. Symptoms are usually worse in the morning, and tend to ease off or go away as you walk throughout the day. The pain can be sharp over one specific point, or more diffuse throughout the fascia (sheath of muscle) of the foot. Today this is treated conventionally with “night splints” to help stretch the fascia, and reduce muscle contracture. It is not a very comfortable way to sleep and the therapy is about as beneficial and primitive as a caveman making a square wheel. As with most pain, anti-inflammatories are prescribed as are orthotics, which only support the dysfunction and weaken foot muscles. Here’s why you really get it, and really fix it .
Plantar fasciitis occurs most often from the fatigue of the tibialis posterior muscle. This muscle is behind your lower leg bone and supports the main arch of your foot. Problems arise from injury, lower leg dysfunction, and/or adrenal gland (hormonal) stress. Pretty much if you have plantar fasciitis you are under more stress than you can handle – whether that be from overtraining (too much anaerobic activity, or lack of an aerobic base), working too hard, dietary stress (too much sugar, not enough protein or nutrient-dense foods), emotional stress, or other physical trauma/stress – ANYWHERE in the body, not just in the foot. Even a poor fitting pair of shoes can cause this problem. The calf muscles are often involved as often are other leg muscles in the thigh and hip. The imbalance in the muscles causes the plantar fascia to tighten and spasm as it tries to support the foot. Addressing the reason for the muscle imbalances will address the plantar fasciitis problem, and the reason is not because you need to stretch it more, or didn’t stretch it enough. Often treatment involves dietary modifications, nutrient supplementation such as natural anti-inflammatories, exercise & training adjustments (more aerobic, less anaerobic), and local muscle therapies.
Here’s What You Should Do Instead if You Have Plantar Fasciitis:
– Rub out any muscle trigger points behind the shin bone all the way down to the Achilles Tendon
– Strengthen your foot muscles by walking barefoot as much as possible and trying to pick up small objects (like marbles) by crunching your toes
– Wear minimalist-type shoes with a wide toe box, low to zero-drop, and little support.
–You may need to ease into these if you’ve been in thick-heeled supportive shoes for a long time
– Do not stretch your calves, since this will only lengthen the injured muscle.
Check out the Sock Doc Plantar Fasciitis video here.
There is an updated Plantar Fasciitis article here! (2018)