Last week I had two inquiries asking if BodyFix Method™ could help alleviate the intense pain of plantar fasciitis. One was a young woman who approached me after my Pilates class. She has been suffering with heel and foot pain on and off for years now. She started coming to Pilates to help heal her lower back pain, which has improved. However, she still has recurring heel and foot pain.
“What was her current pain level?” I asked. “About a 7 on any given day!” Enough to keep her up at night… Enough to distract her from her from her work as a non profit administrator…. Enough to keep her from hiking and doing some of things she loves to do…
Two days later, I received a referral from a friend. This man is in his early 50’s and an avid athlete. He’s a basketball and tennis player, and he runs. He lives for high intensity, high velocity sports. In our conversation, he tells me that he has a sports-related injury and wonders if I could help. He goes on to describe plantar fasciitis pain in his left foot that has plagued him, on and off, for years. He tells me that it has been acting up again. Then, two weeks ago, he tore his right hamstring, and now, he is having sciatic symptoms and lower back pain. He describes his pain level as fluctuating from a 6 to a 10. Can we help him, he asks? Absolutely, I assure him. He wonders if his hamstring tear and back pain had anything to do with his foot pain. I explain that that they most certainly do and here is why.
The plantar fascia is the tough sheath of connective tissue that runs from the heel to the toes like a fan on the underside of the foot. When you have this foot pain, it is because there is inflammation in the fascia. The question to ask is: why is the fascia inflamed? The answer is that there is improper loading at foot strike. This means that there too much impact going into your heel with every step that you take. Plantar fasciitis is not a foot problem in and of itself, it is an alignment problem.
If you are not appropriately using your big leg muscles and hip muscles, your feet are left to fend for themselves. Your heels are pounding down on the ground with each step bearing the brunt of the entire weight of the body without the support of your legs, hips and back working as a team. It is essential for all these muscles and joints (in your legs, hips, and back) to work in unison in order to keep you out of pain.
Try this little experiment: Stand sideways in a full-length mirror and imagine a vertical line from your ankles extending straight up. Do your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, and head line up on the vertical line? If they don’t, that’s the reason you have foot pain (and hip pain, shoulder pain, knee pain and who knows what else)!
Now, turn and face that mirror. Are the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles in parallel horizontal lines, and do your feet point straight ahead? If not, then you cannot use the muscles of your legs, hips, and back to help your feet do their job. You are leaving them at risk for this intense pain called plantar fasciitis.
At BodyFix Method™ our solution is simple. Alignment matters. We re-establish the body’s natural alignment, beginning with the relationship of its load bearing joints. Chronic pain begins to vanish.
If we learn to walk properly, using our muscles and joints as they were designed to be used, we won’t be pounding our heels into the ground. And we won’t be developing plantar fasciitis! Our gait should be graceful and smooth. There should be no pounding reverberating up from our heels into our lower backs.
So, what is the common thread for this young woman and middle aged male athlete? They are both suffering with plantar fasciitis and lower back pain. Neither recognized that there was a connection between the two or that there could be a connection with their alignment, gait pattern, and their foot pain. But now they are in the know. And you are too. So, if you are suffering with plantar fasciitis, foot pain, or any other chronic pain condition, please come to see us for a complimentary consultation. There’s no obligation on your part, just healthful knowledge to be gained.