I have plantar fasciitis. What do I do? —Jacqueline
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia on the bottom of your foot. Fascia is a sheet of connective tissue that surrounds muscles.
The traditional first step is to roll out your foot on a ball. Next, you’ll want to check other areas that may be affecting it. When you have plantar fasciitis in one foot only, take a look at shifts in the pelvis or torso and look for leg-length differences. If it is in both feet, pick the side that’s worse and try the following.
Sit on the floor and place the ball underneath your thigh. Press your hamstring gently into the ball. When you are in a tight area, take four slow counts to flex your foot. Do that a few more times under your hamstring, before doing the same thing for the calf.
Stand up and see how your foot feels. Is there any less pull on the bottom of the foot?
Now, stand with your back to the wall and place the ball along the same side of the spine as the leg you were working on. A good spot to start is along the spine between the shoulder blades. Lean on the ball with your feet placed about a foot away from the wall. Keeping the ball in place, slowly drop your head toward your chest, stretching the muscles along the spine.
You can repeat that a few times in other spots along that same side of the spine.
Recheck how your feet feel. Do you feel any less strain?
If this made a difference to how you feel while standing and walking, it might be useful to find a massage therapist who specializes in myofascial massage. In addition, I would encourage you to continue exploring and releasing any tension you find above the foot. Pay attention to your daily movement patterns and notice what helps or hurts. Then, adjust your movement to minimize the strain.
To your success,
Director, The Body Series
Got a question for Deb? E-mail email@example.com, and she may answer it in an upcoming web exclusive.