Plantar fasciitis can simply be explained as foot pain experienced at the bottom of a foot or feet. It is typically common in athletes or people with occupations that apprehend them to stand for majority of the day. It can be accompanied with muscle spasms to the plantar fascia, and sometimes may lead to spasms in ones calf. The reasoning behind this is because of how our feet, ankles, and legs are made up.
One of the main foot bones, the calcaneus is what we referred to as the heel. If we look at the anatomy of the leg and foot we will see that the plantar fascia extends from the inferior portion of the calcaneus to the metatarsals of the foot (being the joints that the toes extend outward from). When the plantar fascia gets tight from overuse, say from a prolonged run, or inflamed from standing on your feet all day on concrete floors. Pain starts to form at the base of the foot close to the heel. This can make it difficult to walk or complete your daily activities. When the fascia gets tight it pulls the calcaneus (heel bone) in the direction towards the toes. When this happens it can put a strain on the achilles tendon, which also attaches to the calcaneus superiorly. This is why when treating someone with plantar fasciitis it is important to not only massage the foot, but the leg as well.
It is best to get treatment for this condition when the foot is not in a state of inflammation. With that being said I would suggest to rest the leg and foot. Advil may help relieve any inflammation to calm down the pain and discomfort. Once the foot is feeling rested make an appointment with your massage therapist. One must keep in mind that the discomfort that they may be experiencing may be from tight muscles of the leg and foot. Wearing the proper footwear will help decrease the chance of causing this condition, and always make time after your workouts to properly stretch out. One can easily stretch out their calfs and plantar fascia by using a staircase. To target the plantar fascia one can balance themselves on the ball of their feet, then push heel down towards the bottom step. To extend this stretch to the calf simply lay the plantar side/base of foot against the stair, with the heel supported on the ground. Then push your weight towards the stair case creating a stretch on the achilles tendon. There are other stretches and yoga poses for both the plantar fascia and calf muscles. I would gladly show you after a treatment, or if you catch me with some free time at the gym.
I hope this little article helped you to better understand why you may be having some discomforts with your feet, leg, or ankles. Please don’t hesitate to book an appointment with me, and let me help you, help yourself!
Amanda Jackman; R.M.T.