Effective Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia—the connective tissue on the bottom surface of the foot (sole), a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the heel bone, and extending along the sole of the foot toward the toes. PF is an overuse condition of the foot causing disorganization and irritation of the plantar fascia.

 The primary role of the plantar fascia is to absorb shock from the weight of the body by maintaining the longitudinal arch of the foot.

 It has been reported that PF occurs in two million Americans a year and in 10% of the US population over a lifetime.

 The pain is usually felt on the underside of the heel, and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. Another symptom is difficulty in dorsiflexion—bringing the toes toward the shin. A symptom commonly recognized among PF clients is an increased probability of knee pain, especially among runners.

The most common causes are two tight calf muscles, fallen arches, pelvic imbalance, trauma, weight gain, high heels, and pregnancy.

Softening and lengthening the plantar fascia

Softening and lengthening the plantar fascia trauma

 Clinical massage and bodywork treatment consists of lengthening the muscles in the calf first and then the plantar fascia, working between each long bone of the foot (metatarsals) to create movement, separation and space, bringing blood and oxygen to the intrinsic muscles,  softening the deep interosseous membranes between the bones and adhesions to create joint space, and to help reduce calcification or bone spurs.

 Home self-care is important: Specific stretching both calf muscles, one with a knee bent and the other with the knee locked, and the plantar fascia are critical in eliminating the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and maintaining the new healthy muscle lengths.

Relieving Tension from Stress with Acupressure

Living with stress can exhaust our vital energy, cause shallow breathing, irritability and frustration, which can eventually lead to chronic fatigue, and dramatically affect the quality of our lives.

Acupressure releases tension, increases the circulation of blood, boosts the body’s resistance to illness, heightens the body’s vital life energy to aid healing, and promotes a longer, healthier, more vital life. It stimulates key pressure points, releasing tension and promoting the flow of blood and life force energy, known as Chi. Unlike acupuncture, that uses needles, acupressure relies on the gentle, firm pressure of thumbs, fingers, palms, knuckles, and sometimes feet. When our blood and Chi circulate freely, there’s a greater sense of good health, harmony, and well-being.

 I still regularly use this ancient healing art, derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine over 5,000 years ago, a powerful acupressure protocol that I learned several years ago from one of my talented and experienced mentors, Don McCann, founder and owner of Structural Energetic Therapy®. It’s called the Quick Release Technique (QRT) and focuses on 5-7 acupressure points around the head, neck, and shoulders.

 A typical QRT session lasts approximately twenty minutes, but often becomes a longer more comprehensive healing session when a client’s body unwinds, further reducing the level of anxiety, physical tension from stress, and subconscious bracing patterns. Stimulating an acupressure point of past trauma can initiate a myofascial unwinding, which safely and efficiently releases structural fascial restrictions, and chronic tightness, from unresolved traumas.

 Muscle tension yields to the applied pressure, enabling the muscle fibers to elongate and relax, blood to flow freely, and toxins to be released and eliminated. Increased circulation from relieving stress also brings more oxygen and other nutrients to affected areas.

Treating Headaches and Stiff Neck with Acupressure

Acupressure Points at the Base of the Skull

Clinical Massage Therapy-A Structural Approach to Pain Management

Releasing Achilles tendon fascia

Lengthening the tissue on each side of the Achilles tendon

Clinical Massage Therapy – A Structural Approach to Pain Management by James Waslaski, is my main textbook and resource for treating and eliminating most forms of complicated musculoskeletal pain patterns due to repetitive stress and sports injuries. Waslaski teaches Clinical Massage Therapy internationally, and his work includes an effective range of therapeutic approaches for evaluating and treating clients with chronic pain, sports injuries, and structural imbalances.

It’s a multi-modal and multidisciplinary approach that enhances skills and training practices for a variety of health care professionals including physical and occupational therapists, athletic trainers, personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, chiropractors, osteopaths, nurses, manipulative therapists, and physicians.

Waslaski’s, pain-free approach, which I have found most effective in treating my clients, is a unique system that helps quickly identify the key areas of pain and dysfunction so that appropriate treatment techniques can be matched to the underlying pathology. The work must always be performed pain-free. Consistent attention is given to restoring musculoskeletal balance by correcting structural asymmetries prior to treating each individual clinical symptom.

The recommended treatment sequence is to restore balance to opposing muscle groups throughout the body. This is accomplished by first lengthening short, tight muscle groups, and then strengthening the opposing weak, inhibited tissues.

It’s my belief that no single modality is the answer for treating all conditions. Rather, it’s the synergy of many modalities and disciplines integrated together that allows me to treat each client in a truly individualized manner.

 

 

Bodywork Maintenance for Cyclists

 

US Studies estimate that large numbers of bikers experience physical problems; The most common:   Neck – 48%,  Knees – 42%, Groin & buttocks – 36%,  Hands – 31%, Back – 30%.

Most injuries occur from a poor fitting bike—a saddle that’s not level or the right height, falls–usually from not paying attention, riding in one position too long, locked elbows, that don’t absorb road shock, over-training, and falling without helmet.

The easiest way to prevent pain and injury is to buy a bike that fits you properly. Visit a local bike shop that has knowledgeable employees; pay them to select the right sized frame, one that fits your body correctly. Something as simple as adjusting saddle height or handlebars to redistribute your weight evenly, takes pressure off over-used muscles, and will provide enjoyable pain free rides.

My cycling clients will be presenting again soon with the typical aches & pains: Posterior neck & upper back, shoulder, legs, arms & wrists, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Tight hamstrings and or hip flexors can also cause cyclists to round or arch the back, which causes the neck to hyperextend. Stretching these muscles regularily will create flexibility and make it easier to maintain proper form.

Stretching can also protect you from injury, in addition to reducing muscular tension, and improving flexibility. Most stretches for cyclists focus on the lower body; your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, IT band, gluteus maximus, in addition to the neck & shoulders, and your core. Correct stretching techniques should be learned from a current stretching textbook,

Cervical Decompression and Traction

Gentle Cervical Decompression and Traction

or from an experienced health and fitness professional.