Plantar fasciitis is “an inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes.” The most common symptom is a burning, stabbing pain the heel.
Common treatments are ice, splint, ultrasound, shoe inserts, injections, or surgery. I believe there is a time and place for each, but my main question is – “Does it address the root cause?”
Overly tight muscles especially at the calves or below can certainly cause a pull on the plantar fascia since they are connected by the Achilles tendon. As the plantar fascia isn’t meant to carry that much tension, it can tighten, strain and eventually inflame over time. This often leads to the heel pain many describe. Now the next question is “Why are muscles of the calves tight?”
A Better Treatment Option
One reason why calves or muscles below (i.e flexor hallucis longus or soleus) become tight are due to the lack of engagement or strength from other muscles, quite often the glute max or low back muscles (as well as hip flexors). Inhibition of a muscle will lead to an over-engagement of another muscle, ligament, or joint to maintain stability. Your manual therapist should be able to identify the exact muscle to work on, so the plantar fascia is not being strained and there are biomechanical changes to the dysfunctional relationship patterns. Otherwise, icing, splinting, etc are mere band-aids to the consistent irritation of the fascia. Surgery and heel cups may leads to MORE problems afterwards.
If You Have Plantar Fasciitis…
Schedule a session with us and we will be able to treat the cause, not provide a quick cover-up.
Learn more by contacting us at [email protected] or 510-292-177