Now the weather is warmer and the days are longer, people are getting out and exercising (myself included) and what I have noticed is an influx of clients asking for help in treating Plantar Fasciitis.
Firstly, what is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammatory condition caused by tissue fatigue in the arch of the foot. Most of the time it is an overuse injury caused by excessive strain (like exercise) or biological functional factors (like the way you are put together). It can be felt as pain in the arch of the foot or the heal and may be worse upon waking or after long periods of standing on hard surfaces.
Most of the time in my profession I see it caused by increased tension in the calf muscles, the muscles that run down the back of your lower leg, from your knee to your foot. The Soleus Muscle which attaches to the Achilles Tendon is particularly to blame for this kind of pain and releasing this muscle through Remedial Massage and Dry Needling can bring about a lot of relief to the sufferer.
Why Remedial Massage & Dry Needling together?
Remedial massage and Dry Needling work extremely well together. Sometimes, as this is an inflammatory condition it can be quite painful to touch the area so with the help of Dry Needling prior to Remedial Massage I am able to target tight and painful areas with fine Acupuncture needles. Dry needling works to release the Myofascial and Remedial Massage techniques follow allowing the muscles to be stretched out and fibrous sections and trigger points kneaded out.
Remedial massage in important in increasing flexibility in the muscles of the ankle, calf and foot in order to treat this biomechanical condition. It has significant benefits in decreasing pain and allowing the client to return to normal weight-bearing activities.
If left untreated Plantar Fasciitis can cause other problems in your body as you will not be walking in your normal gait, subsequently causing muscle imbalances and pain in other parts of your legs, gluteal muscles and lower back.
Remedial Stretching known as PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) will also be facilitated throughout the treatment session to increase joint flexibility.
Some things to do at home.
Stretch! Stretching you calves is very important, especially after exercise.
I recommend when you are suffering from the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis is to stretch for 20 seconds every time you have a drink of water, this way you will be stretching throughout the day which helps a lot.
You will need to do both straight leg and bent leg calf stretches to be sure that all muscles of the calf are being stretched. You can either hang off a step or lean against a wall and hold each for 20 seconds. Another helpful hint is to fill a 500 ml water bottle and freeze. Roll under the arch of your foot to decrease pain and inflammation.
If symptoms persist please see a Podiatrist as they will be able to look at the way you walk, your arch height and determine any other factors contributing to your pain. (Most, if not all of the people I treat with Plantar Fasciitis have seen a Podiatrist prior to coming to see me).
I can also help with showing you some self-massage techniques to use at home. Using a massage ball and foam roller to trigger point painful muscles and release your tight Myofascial is very beneficial and I can show you how to so this at the end of your treatment session.