Plantar Fasciosis: The New ‘Plantar Fasciitis’
Perhaps you’ve heard of plantar fasciitis? Well, doctors have found that it’s not always inflammation (i.e. “-itis”) that causes this heel pain. Overuse and degeneration can lead to poor circulation and tissue death of the plantar fascia. For this reason, the condition is now mostly referred to as “plantar fasciosis.” Here’s what natural sports podiatrist Dr. Ray McClanahan has to say on the subject:
Physical Medicine for Plantar Fasciosis
Proper Foot Positioning
Correct Toes (see: adjacent image) are the product mentioned in Dr. McClanahan’s video. I purchased a pair quite a while ago to try for correct toe positioning (not for plantar fasciosis) and I love wearing mine; however I do have to say I have a hard time finding shoes wide enough to accommodate them in the toe box. They’re made of silicone and are overall quite comfortable. They are, however, silly expensive. I’ve seen some similar products on Amazon. If anyone tries another brand and likes them, let us know in the comments please!
As Dr. McClanahan also mentions, metatarsal pads might be helpful in increasing circulation to the area. I’ve had these (see: adjacent image) in my shoes for the last two years and haven’t had to replace mine yet. I stuck them right onto a pair of Superfeet insoles, that way I can switch them out into any shoe I use (rain shoes, walking shoes, etc) without having to purchase multiple pairs. It’s important to remember that if you wear slippers, you’ll want keep these in there too. (No cheating!)
Acupuncture for Relieving Plantar Fasciosis
You might remember my piece on acupuncture and moxibustion for treating heel pain. The acupuncture group achieved an effective rate of 97%, higher than the drug group which came in at 76%. Acupuncturist for the 1984 Olympic Games athletes, Whitfield Reaves, suggests most uncomplicated cases show improvement with a treatment plan of twice a week for three weeks.
Energy Work for Treating Heel Pain
“Are you serving as the ‘shock absorber’ for others?”
Holistic nurse, Maureen Minnehan, says it quite well when she writes:
“The emotional component of [plantar fasciosis/fasciitis] can be reflected in the statement ‘I don’t dare!’ …They have a huge fear of what might happen if they ‘let go and let fly’ with themselves. Also, they feel frustrated, conflicted, and irritated about what’s happening in their lives. So they sit and seethe. …If you are the ‘shock absorber’ and feel angry or ‘inflamed’ about it, this thought pattern, repeated often, can inflame the plantar fascia to ensure you ‘get the message’ through your body. If you have plantar fasciitis, chances are you’re not able to exercise until the inflamed tissue heals. This [italics] makes [end italics] you take care of yourself.”
So how do you care for this pattern? Start with caring for the anger. I find Reiki quite helpful in creating a safe space to be with and listen to this important emotion’s message. What do you need that you haven’t been honoring?
Take up an affirmation practice
Louise Hay recommends a statement like, “I move forward in life, with joy and with ease,” for any kind of foot problem. As an extension of the Root Chakra, you might also consider related affirmations to the expression of safety, security, and self-worth/belonging. Examples might include those listed in Liz Simpson’s book, The Book of Chakra Healing:
- “I am taking responsibility for my life. I can cope with any situation.”
- “My internal mother is always here for me, protecting, nourishing, and soothing me.”
- “I deserve the best that life has to offer. My needs are always met.”
For any affirmation practice, it’s best to repeat the statement as often as possible, ideally no less than 324 times a day. This practice is enhanced by using a mirror while reciting, connecting with your inner child as you speak your new and improved truth.
It can be helpful to remember you don’t just have to be the ‘shock absorber;’ you can be the lightning rod, grounding what’s coming at and through you into the Earth. Fellow Reiki practitioner Katalin Koda has some great techniques described in her article, “The Grounding Cord Exercise and 8 Other Ways to Ground and Center.”
If you’re in the Seattle area, come on in for a full assessment with Melissa. She’ll look at your complete picture and recommend the best appropriate treatment. Melissa also conducts distance Reiki for anyone seeking energy-work support outside the Seattle area. For those unable to afford one-on-one treatments, community acupuncture clinics offer an affordable treatment option in a group setting (often $15-40/treatment). To find a clinic near you, search by state on POCA’s site.