Six months of enduring foot pain, shoe inserts, night boots, expensive custom-fitted shoes, oral medications, daily exercises, steroid injections (3), cryo-therapy and surgery did little for the desperate and frustrated woman on the other end of my phone. I agreed to see this likable woman, all the while uncertain as to what my approach to plantar fasciitis could accomplish so late in the game.
I was immediately impressed by this woman’s persistence, positive attitude and compliance with the “homework” she had been assigned to treat her stubborn case. After reviewing what she had been faithfully doing on her own, I set out to see what my hands would discover.
The session started with 50 minutes of detailed foot reflexology that she reported, with surprise, relaxed her very much. I then had her shift onto her side (later, her stomach and finally her back) and began the methodical and easy procedures to identify and release constriction within the fascia enervated by the S1 nerve root. Thirty minutes later, the work was completed bi-laterally. All that remained to be seen was the results.
When we talked the next afternoon, she sheepishly said that she felt almost scared to voice how she felt. When I pressed her to say more, she added, “I feel great. I have virtually no pain in my foot, and I’m afraid that I might jinx it if I say so.” She added that she felt one slight “twinge” in her foot during the night, but hardly worth reporting. We agreed to meet two more times within the week.
Plantar fasciitis develops from overuse and stress on the fascia on the sole of the feet. This results in tissue fatigue and degeneration of collagen leading to micro-tearing in the fascial band and its attachment at the heel. Although the symptoms may first appear only in the heel, the condition affects far more than just the heel of the foot. In the case of this client, we discovered a major contributing factor, and reason why earlier interventions performed only on her feet failed, was that she had significant tightness in certain hip muscles that were impeding proper nerve conduction to her feet. A combination of foot reflexology and the procedure to release S1 nerve entrapment within those muscles broke her cycle of pain. All that was left for her to do to prevent a reoccurrence was to keep the fascia in her lower extremities fluid and strong.
During our second session, I offered a couple of new stretches and strengthening exercises, specific to her body’s needs.
She returned for her third and final session elated. She told me that she has slept through the last few nights without waking up from foot pain – a first since this had all started. After so many other approaches had failed, she admitted having been a little skeptical of what reflexology could do, but agreed to go along with her trusted massage therapist’s recommendation to see me. I was glad to blow that myth for her, and regret only that she hadn’t sought out this service before. She’s off on vacation now with stretches to keep her feet happy, happy!
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that brings many people to see reflexologists. It is a very painful condition that afflicts thousands of people in America and is the most common cause of heel pain for which professional care is sought. Reflexologists (conventional and Thai) and massage therapists can learn how to help people with this debilitating condition in just two days of hands-on training.
Saint Augustine, Florida – August 25 & 26
Guelph, Ontario – September 15 & 16
Montreal, Quebec – September 22 & 23