If you have a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot when you walk, especially when you first get out of bed then you may have Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis affects almost 2 million Americans a year and is one of the most often-reported health problems relating to the feet. The bottom of your foot is called the plantar region and the plantar fascia (connective tissue) is a thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the toe. The plantar fascia is what creates the arch in the foot. If this band of tissue is over-worked or stressed it can become inflamed and tight and can make walking difficult. Another reason that the plantar fascia can become tight is if the calf muscle (the gastrocnemius) becomes tight it will pull and tighten the Achilles tendon, which will then tighten the plantar fascia.
When we sleep our feet have a tendency to dorsi-flex or point under the covers so that the calf is shortened and tight all night. When we first get out of bed and put our weight on our feet it suddenly stretches the shortened muscles and tendons and sometimes creates micro tears in the tissue which results in a stabbing pain in the heel or bottom of the foot. To prevent this from happening your doctor would probably recommend a boot for you to wear while you sleep. This will prevent your toes from pointing so the muscles and tendons remain stretched throughout the night.
Another way to help treat plantar fasciitis is to have Deep Tissue massage or Neuromuscular massage on the calf muscles as well as the bottom of the feet. If massage therapy is done in conjunction with stretches, the calf muscles will remain loose and the pain will lesson and eventually heal altogether.
At Healing Touch Charlotte we have successfully worked on several clients who complain of Plantar Fasciitis pain. If the client is currently under a doctor’s care for this or any other ailment, we work with the primary care doctor to create a comprehensive plan for the client’s health and between massage therapy and the stretches that we recommend, we can usually have the client on their feet again with little or no pain in 1 to 2 sessions.