Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo. Let’s say you have a pain in your foot that will not go away. You’ve tried stretching it. You’ve tried massaging it. You’ve iced it. Nothing is helping. Finally, you end up at the doctor and they call it Plantar Fasciitis.  First of all, that’s a huge term. Secondly, what can you do about it? That’s exactly what I’ll be talking about today. If you have questions about today’s blog or would like some more tips on reducing your discomfort (regardless of diagnosis), give us a call: 806-322-3188.

Plantar fasciitis can be a “catch all” diagnosis. Meaning a doc may not be able to pinpoint exactly what’s going on, but based on the area of the foot and the symptoms, it’s likely.  Keep in mind there is no test to confirm plantar fasciitis over X foot pain.

Before I go further I’d like to explain a bit of the anatomy involved in plantar fasciitis. The pain that is experienced can be anywhere on the bottom of the foot from the back of the heel to the middle of the arch. The calf muscles that run down the back of your shin connect with your achilles tendon to hold the musculature together. That tendon then wraps around the bottom of the heel and stops mid-sole. If your calves or achilles have excess tension from things like wearing high heels or walking on the front of your feet, that could be the culprit for your pain. Due to the broad symptoms one could experience with this condition, the treatments are varied.

Some podiatrists and doctors suggest rolling a frozen water bottle under your foot. Makes sense; ice can reduce swelling in inflamed areas. For some people, this doesn’t help much. Extreme specialists encourage surgery. Sometimes that works, but I’ve seen many individuals come out of recovery worse than when they went in.  Then there is the internet housing heaps of contradictory opinions for what works. It can get to the point where a plantar fasciitis patient gets so overwhelmed, they’d rather just live with the pain than in the weeds of treatments.  As a personal trainer in Amarillo, I’ve had hundreds of clients come to me because they can’t seem to find anything that works for them.  

My guiding rule is to see what solutions are available to resolve my issue before I have to be cut open. Surgery has become so common that the severity of what is happening is lost on those under the knife . Anytime someone is rooting around inside the body, it is a very big deal and could have serious consequences. In my opinion, it is better to start with non-invasive options before taking on something as extreme as surgery. I’ve got a few non-invasive suggestions for you to try out:

First off, is The Stick. You can use this to roll up and down the calf muscle. Rolling will release the fascia tissue and relax the muscle. Then you can work on targeted stretching. Overstretching the calf will not necessarily help you. You need to stretch through the entire achilles tendon.

Then you can roll out the attachment point in the achilles (middle of the arch) by using something like I have here called a foot wheel (time stamp 4:31), a water bottle, or a tennis ball. You want something that will apply pressure to the middle of your foot while you roll back and forth to release the tendon. Rolling is supposed to be therapeutic. For it to work, you need to be doing it about 3-5 times a day for each the leg and foot. This ensures the muscles do get to relax and are not being tensed beyond their threshold.

Then there are days when you stand more than usual or you’re out and about when suddenly the pain just hits you. If your pain is chronic and the rolling feels good, but it is not enough. There is a solution out there that you may feel some benefit from, but shouldn’t be used by itself. It’s called KT-Tape.

If you watched the Olympics and saw the athletes with what looked like multi-colored duct tape plastered all over their bodies, that was KT-Tape. It is an elastic tape that applies supportive pressure.  You can wrap the foot in it and stretch the tape so that it will support the arch while relieving the tension on the tendon. KT-Tape is sold in most first aid sections of stores like Wal-mart and Target.  There are plenty of videos on the internet explaining how to put it on yourself, but I suggest having a certified trainer or therapist apply the tape for you to see the maximum result.  KT-Tape, depending on the quality you purchase, can last up to 5 days.

When you have pain on the bottom of your foot, you want to see if it localized between the heel and mid-sole. If so, it could plantar fasciitis. From there, you want to release the calf muscles and tendon by rolling out with The Stick, a water bottle, or a foot roller. If all else fails and you’d like more support, try the KT-Tape.

It is important to listen when your body tells you it is hurting. Ignoring the discomfort can lead to amplified issues later on.  When you feel better, you’re able to do more. You can move better, feel better, and burn more calories. When you’re hurt you’re not moving at your full potential. This causes you to burn less calories than you can when you’re healthy. Take inventory of what hurts right now. How does that pain, if any, correlate to your day to day activities?

Recently we had a woman come in to us complaining of Rheumatoid Arthritis pain and within a few days her pain diminished. You can watch her testimonial here. We’ve worked with several clients on reducing their discomfort via myofascial release (rolling), applying KT-Tape, and other treatments for what bothers them.  If that sounds like something you’d like to try, contact us today at 806-322-3188 or info@customfitness.biz. Right now we are running our Jump the Gun special. If you’ve been wanting to try us, but aren’t ready for the New Year’s resolution crowds, jump the gun with us and sign up for a consultation before November 30th. This will get you a free consultation, a 21 day guarantee, and half off your first month.  We look forward to seeing you before the New Year. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day.