a pain in the bottom of the heel…and it’s becoming a more common problem for many.
What is it?
For those dealing with this condition it’s usual to experience sharp pain first thing in the morning (which may or may not improve through the day) and again in the evening after resting.
If you study the structure of the foot and it’s biomechanics it all makes sense. There is a band called the plantar fascia that runs from the ball of the foot to the heel. This band doesn’t stretch easily and when it is forced beyond it’s “elastic limits” it can tear at it’s weakest insertion point, the heel bone.
There are many sites with information about Plantar Fasciitis and what causes it…let’s explore what can be done to help heal it. (this is assuming that you have a correct diagnosis)
- Reflexology benefits this condition because it relaxes and stretches the muscles of the foot and the calf. Through specific techniques it also increases circulation to the area…and increased circulation always brings healing oxygen and nutrients to the area, while at the same time taking away toxins. It will likely take a few treatments to help the area to heal…you didn’t develop this condition overnight so be patient with your foot.
- Some times what feels like Plantar Fasciitis isn’t that at all, but instead is actually referred pain caused by tightness in the calf muscle, especially the Soleus. Be sure to have your muscles assessed … if the Soleus is the cause then no amount of treatment to the plantar fascia is going to release it.
- Any term that ends in “itis” means inflammation and Ice is a great help with reducing that. Applying an ice pack to the bottom of the foot, placing your foot on a bag of frozen peas or rolling a can of frozen juice under your foot all help to ice the area BUT remember that ice causes things to contract (like muscles) so BEFORE you get up and move around take a break from the ice and let some warmth return to the muscles.
- Stretching & strengthening the plantar muscles is vital. When something hurts we tend to want to keep it still but these muscles need to be worked (gently!) to begin healing. Warm them up in a foot bath (with Epsom salts to help reduce soreness) and then scrunch your toes, flex them, pick up pebbles with your toes starting with golf ball size and gradually working with smaller ones…
- REST! The area needs to be given a break…this is when you really need to just “put your feet up”! If you have to be up on your feet be sure that you are wearing shoes with a lot of support, especially in the arch. When walking the only part of your foot that should be moving is where the ball of the foot meets the toes.