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Treatment Work - Conditions

Plantar Fascitis

A very common, very painful, condition is plantar fascitis. This is a bunching up of the plantar fascia on the sole of the foot, resulting in cramping. It typically is most prevalent first thing in the morning. The following photos illustrate the hand positions for performing myofascial release treat the problem. The first and most important position is at the ball of the foot. Apply ONLY enough pressure to engage the tissue into a stretch towards the sides of the foot. As the fascia releases, it will feel like a quivering under the skin and the fingers will start to slide apart. Repeat in the middle and at the heel. Final position is in the arch, but the direction of stretch is toward the toes and heel.


Plantar Fascitis Plantar Fascitis
Plantar Fascitis Plantar Fascitis

Here is some additional information on Plantar Fascitis. It is an excerpt from pages 123-124 of “A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology” by Ruth Werner. It is an excellent reference book, by the way, and one I would recommend hands-down to anyone.

At any rate:

“Plantar Fascitis

Definition: What Is It?

This is a condition involving pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia, which stretches from the calcaneus to the metatarsals on the plantar surface of the foot.

Demographics: Who Gets It?

This is a common problem; 95 % of all heel pain is diagnosed as plantar fascitis. Up to 2 million cases are reported per year, and that includes only people who seek treatment. …

Etiology: What Happens?

When the plantar fascia is overused or stressed by misalignment, its fibers tend to fray. This is essentially the same as a tendon or ligament tear. Radiographs very frequently show that a bone spur has developed at the attachment to the calcaneus. It was once assumed that these bone spurs caused the pain of plantar fascitis. It is now clear that the chronic irritation of injured fascia stimulates the growth of the bone spurs, not that bone spurs cause fascial irritation.

The pain that accompanies plantar fascitis occurs when the foot has been immobile for several hours and is then used. The fibers of the fascia begin to knit together during rest and are re-torn each time the foot goes into even gentle weight-bearing dorsi-flexion.

Signs and Symptoms

Plantar fascitis follows a distinctive pattern that makes it easy to identify; it is acutely painful for the first few steps every morning. Then the pain subsides or disappears altogether, but becomes a problem again with prolonged standing, walking or running. A sharp “bruised” feeling either just anterior to the calcaneus on the plantar surface or deep in the arch of the foot often marks this disorder.”

I won’t bother including her treatment recommendations because I have found the myofascial release technique I described earlier to be incredibly effective and something that anyone can easily do for themselves.

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