If I had $1 for every time a client came in complaining of foot pain, I would have a LOT of dollars. And 9 times out of 10 that pain can be attributed to those 2 little words that no one likes to hear….
What is plantar fasciitis, you ask? Take a look at your plantar fascia, it is a flat band of ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot and if you strain it, you can end up with weakness, pain and inflammation. A telltale sign of PF is when you get out of bed in the morning and the first few steps that you take (or getting up after a prolonged period of sitting) it feels like you’re walking on glass.
Fortunately, there are a LOT of self care options when it comes to treatment. Unfortunately, a lot of people (both in the medical field and your everyday person) still believes in the old school method of treatment: supportive shoes, custom fit orthotics, and going barefoot as little as possible. Personally, I think that is the worst thing that you can do for it. To me, an orthotic or those $150 shoes are merely a band-aid and you’re not getting to the root of the problem, which a lot of times, isn’t even directly in your feet!
I love plantar fasciitis so much that I created a service specifically for it. Combining MPS Therapy and Lokte Method (not to mention homework), clients have experienced tremendous relief.
Now personally, I go barefoot as often as possible. When I do have to wear shoes, I make an investment into Birkenstock, Merrell and Teva. You’ll never catch me in a $1 pair of Old Navy flip flops again. Think about it, your feet carry your weight each and every day, they get you everywhere you need to go. Don’t you want to treat them nice? (And I don’t mean with pedicures).
Why go barefoot, you ask? Everyone says that you need support! And then you need to roll on a frozen water bottle when it hurts! And get cortisone injections when that doesn’t work! My plantar fasciitis was so bad that I thought I had actually broken my foot. But, I have never worn orthotics, I have never rolled on a frozen water bottle, and I have been wearing minimalist shoes (or no shoes) almost exclusively for the past decade or so.
I roll my feet out regularly on the Yoga Tune Up balls (these videos are super helpful) and I ditch conventional wisdom.
Did you know that there is a chance of tendon rupture from cortisone injections? I heard a story from a friend about her friend who got an injection and boom, tendon ruptured, followed by surgery and months of rehab. Did I mention that she is/was a competitive runner?
Think about it-when you are constantly using all sorts of high end orthotics and footwear, your feet and legs never get a chance to operate how they are supposed to. A friend of mine calls shoes foot coffins, and judging by the looks of some of them, I can see why! You end up atrophying muscles because of all of the support you are giving them, they aren’t getting a chance to function properly, and your gait gets thrown off. It’s a classic case of use it or lose it. Your feet lose their strength, the bones and ligaments don’t move like they should, and then you can’t even walk to the bathroom in your house without putting shoes on. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be walking on the beach in a pair of clogs because my feet won’t move properly on their own.
Anatomically speaking, it’s probably one of the best things that you can do-going barefoot. Plus, going barefoot, getting out into nature, rolling your toes in the sand and doing some earthing.
So if you’re suffering with that foot pain that won’t go away despite what conventional medicine is telling you, book a plantar fasciitis session and let us hopefully keep you away from injections, ice bottles and surgery.
In good hands (and feet),
Rebecca Tamm, LMT