Updated: Feb 26
Most of us have (or knows someone who have) suffered from heel pain, felt the feet really tired and heavy at the end of the day or simple just felt the need for a really nice foot rub from time to time. Why is that?
There can be many reasons why you are suffering from pain or discomfort in the plantar area of your foot, so my first suggestion is that you seek help from a professional who can make a proper foot assessment. But for the majority of people, independently of how your feet are feeling, you can always benefit from a daily (twice daily would be even better) plantar fascia release.
The Plantar Fascia
The plantar fascia is a connective tissue band at the bottom of your foot that is extremely rich in sensory nerves. The purpose of this sensory input is to make your brain and the rest of your body aware of where you are relative to the ground, creating stability and a sense of safety while both standing and moving.
As if that wasn't important enough, this connective tissue also has elastic properties, which means that when you use it in conjunction with the intrinsic muscles of the foot (all 4 layers of them), the foot becomes a powerful instrument in converting gravity forces in elastic propulsion forces.
So, why is it sore? Why does it hurt? Unfortunately today's shoes are designed for fashion, not function. Yes, even the very expensive athletic shoes, unless they have a functional design (I'll have to write another post about that). They are usually narrow in the toe box, rigid in the midfoot, and have an elevated heel that puts you in a downhill position all day, altering the natural curvature of your spine. They also work as a cast, and we all know that if you're in a cast for while, you loose muscle tone. In the foot, the poor plantar fascia ends up doing it's job and the job of the weakened intrinsic muscles of the foot, and after a while..... it hurts!
What to do!
What's the solution? Well, if it really hurts, seek professional help. If it's just sore or you just want to keep your feet strong and healthy, start by incorporation plantar fascia release in your daily routine, followed by strengthening with short foot exercises (I promise a blog entry on this soon, or you can look up Dr. Emily Splichal short foot exercises on YouTube). Here are some of the things you can use. I love using the Naboso Neuro Ball just because of the sensory stimulation, the dome and the RAD ball inside, but if you don't have one or don't want to invest in one, you can use one of the other options.
The Plantar Fascia Release Routine
Ideally, we should all be doing this routine morning and evening to offset the damage caused by shoes (and socks, yes, socks too). But if you are lucky enough to be able to take off your shoes while at your desk, why not keep a release ball there as well?
You can do this while brushing your teeth, watching the news.... or Netflix.... try to incorporate in your existing routine so it becomes easy to do everyday. Or as often as possible.
For the routine, a small video is worth more then words right?
The video is in fast forward to make the content easy to watch. I suggest you try to spend 20 to 30 seconds in each point to get a good plantar stretch. If you have questions please feel free to email me anytime.
Being a Reflexologist, this blog entry wouldn't be complete without how this release connects to the Reflexes of the Foot.
How it also works the reflexes:
1- Solar Plexus/ Diaphragm
4- Knee/ Elbow/ Lateral Line
Ultimately, it helps with the blood supply to the Diaphragm and Abdominal Cavity. What’s not to like about that?
Stay Healthy, Stay Safe!
DISCLAIMER: The Naboso Neuro Ball link contains an affiliate links, which means that if you buy one of the products, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support the practice and allows me to continue to maintain my treatment prices low. Thank you for the support!
(I only mention products I truly believe are beneficial to my client's health.)