A Orthopedic Massage blog for Manual therapists. Orthopedic manual work is more than just massage, it is a way to assess, test, and structure work to get medically relevant results. I will discuss step by step treatments, how to's, and information I have learned working in the medical industry as a medical massage therapist, a prenatal care expert, and as an orthopedic manual worker. Information might range from really basic to advanced...we all are on our own journey.
By Beret Kirkeby
Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage
Manual experts for your body. Life is too short for limits.
Friday, September 27, 2013
It is running season, how about a little foot pain??
It's every runner's
nightmare: waking up one morning and feeling a stabbing pain on the
bottom of the foot near the heel. Plantar fasciitis affects around 2 million
Americans a year, and it's not just limited to runners. Anyone who is bearing
extra weight on their feet, who has body-structure problems, is over-training,
is pregnant, or has compounding injuries could be at risk.
If you search the
internet you will find loads of boots and strange supportive gear that
help you deal with plantar fasciitis after it appears. Doctors might prescribe
pain killers, anti-inflammatories or cortisone injections to help you deal with
the pain. All these things are geared strictly to managing the problem.
They are a mere band aid in for something that many people find literally
The plantar fascia is
located on the bottom of the foot. It stretches from the heel to the ball of the
foot, supporting the muscular arch above as well as interlocking bones.
Technically, plantar fasciitis is billed as an inflammatory condition, however
it's not that the body is randomly creating inflammation---rather, the
inflammation is being created at the heel in order to try and repair the micro
tearing that is occurring there, In truth, the problem is actually over-stress
or tearing of the delicate foot fascia. and the inflammation is just a
So here is the skinny.
Understanding this problem for your body is key. The tissue on the bottom of
the foot is very delicate when you compare it to the things it's being asked to
do. The plantar fascia is not an isolated tissue, it is one small part of a
long chain of tissue that runs from the top of the back of your body, down to
the tip of your toes. Picture this tissue as something like how, when you
tie a rope around a box, it helps stabilize the box wrapping the whole way
around If for some reason the rope were to get shorter, things would become uncomfortable
for the box....there would be less and less space until finally the tension
would be so great that most likely the rope would begin to fray at one of
the corners (just like your heel) in order to create more length. That is
exactly what is happening to your foot. The rope is tearing at its weakest
point. When you have injuries that thicken the tissue and make it less
contractile, or add extra stress to the "rope", it is at risk
By the same token,
slackening the 'rope' can take pressure off the weaker tissues. Adding length
visual of the 'rope'
hamstrings and calves takes pressure off the bottom of the foot.
Treating plantar fascia issues is a two-fold process. You must examine what
caused the flair in the first place. Is it too much tension? A structural
defect? Training? Extra weight? Or is it another muscle pulling it tight?
The second step is to create less pressure on that plantar fascia by
lengthening the tissue on the posterior chain, which will decrease the
inflammatory reaction from the micro tearing. Professionals in sports medicine,
physical therapy, massage and orthopedics can help you with the various parts
of this painful problem to get you back on track, but I have also seen a good
number of people help themselvesonce they truly understand the problem. A good foam roller and a
trigger point ball are always a good investment for preventative care if you
know you are prone to this malady. Once this is done and the cycle is
broken, it is essential you give it time to heal...after all time heals all
wounds. If you are experiencing problems that are diagnosed or that
do not resolve, it is very important to visit your primary care physician. For more info visit http://www.bodymechanicsnyc.com/
or see our sports massage program in NYC
By Beret Kirkeby