Correcting Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation in the large ligament, the plantar fascia, that covers the sole of the foot. It is usually described as pain in heel as the first walking steps from standing or resting are taken. It can also be felt in other parts of the foot, particularly the arch of the foot. The bottom of the foot and heel may be swollen as well. It can affect one or both feet.
The pain can be intense, but usually improves as the feet move and lubricate the joints and tissues, softening the pressure on the tight, overstretched plantar fascia.
Looking for the source of pain
Locally, plantar fasciitis is often due to poor bio-mechanics of the foot that put undue stress on the tissues. Fallen arches, flat feet, foot pronation (ankle rolls inward) and poor foot ware can contribute to over-worked plantar fascia.
Repetitive actions such as running, walking or dancing can focus too much stress on the plantar fascia and cause injury when pushed beyond it’s capabilities. Even extended standing on or walking on hard surfaces like concrete or stone can over-fatigue the foot.
Common recommendations for correction of plantar fasciitis address the foot: shoe orthotics and insoles, stretching the plantar surface, replace worn out shoes, buy special shoes, night splints, rest the feet as much as possible, etc. And while these options can bring some relief, they are only looking at the “victim” not the “criminal”.
This is the Line you are looking for!
Our body is hung together in a vast network of fascia or connective tissue. Fascia runs in distinct rivers that flow in specific directions to anchor, span, support and provide leverage and movement to the body. Tom Myers, author of Anatomy Trains, has identified lines of fascia that are structurally connected and interdependent within itself and connected to other lines at certain points. If one area along the line is strained or damaged, it is likely to become scared or hardened as part of the healing process. The rest of the line must then compensate for the loss in flexibility in order to keep the whole working as well as possible.
A fascial line of interest to plantar fasciitus is called the Superficial Back Line (SBL). The SBL runs from the bottom tips of the toes, up the heel, back of legs, center back of body, up the neck to finish at the forehead. Think of this line like a huge connected rubber band that runs from toes, up the back to forehead. this rubber band will stretch and slide along the tracks of the as needed for body movement. Now think of any tissue strain or damage as a nail pinning that spot into a fixed position, tugging the rubber band on either side of the nail. The further away from the nail, the tighter the stretch and the less ability to compensate.
So in our case of plantar fasciitus, the tight and over stretched fascia at the bottom of the foot is very likely due to an issue further up the line. Examples like a corked hamstring fascia, seized lower back fascia, or tight neck fascia can affect the bio-mechanics of the foot. Working on the feet alone and wearing orthodics will not fix the neck or lower back fascial issues.
This is why we say “Feet are often the victim of a culprit elsewhere in the body.” They are the endpoint of the whole line and will be asked to compensate more when other places are in need of help. It can result in the restricted foot movement and gait that often accompany plantar fasciitus.
Bowen makes bodies feel better
Bowen Therapy is a gentle bodywork that acts specifically on fascia. At Shining Light Energy Works, we use Bowen along the facial lines that are connected to the area of pain and damage. For plantar fasciitus, the bottoms of the feet AND the back of the legs, pelvis, center back and neck are all addressed to relieve any hardened fascial areas, promote flexibility along the SBL and bring comfort to the feet.
Often even one Bowen session can bring some relief. Chronic cases take more sessions, of course. But it is better to work the whole fascial line–get all the kinks out, so to speak, than to work only on the foot of the story.
If you suffer from Planter Fasciitus, give Bowen Therapy a try. You will be greatly relieved, if you do.