Richard Bailey
Your Body: Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is the most common condition of heel pain. This condition occurs when the long fibrous plantar fascia ligament along the bottom of the foot develops tears in the tissue resulting in pain and inflammation. The pain of plantar fasciitis is usually located close to where the fascia attaches to the calcaneous, also known as the heel bone.

Plantar fasciitis causes the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament which runs along the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia ligament is made of fibrous bands of tissue and runs between the heel bone and your toes and stretches with every step. Inflammation develops when tears occur in the tissue. 

The most common complaint from plantar fasciitis is a burning, stabbing, or aching pain in the heel of the foot. Most sufferers will be able to feel it in the morning because the fascia ligament tightens up during the night while we sleep, causing pain to diminish. However, when we climb out of bed and place pressure on the ligament, it becomes taut and pain is particularly acute. Pain usually decreases as the tissue warms up, but may easily return again after long periods of standing or weight bearing, physical activity, or after getting up after long periods of lethargy or sitting down. 

In most cases, plantar fasciitis does not require surgery or invasive procedures to stop pain and reverse damage. Conservative treatments are usually all that is required. However, every person's body responds to plantar fasciitis treatment differently and recovery times may vary. 

There are a number of plantar fasciitis causes. The plantar fascia ligament is like a rubber band and loosens and contracts with movement. It also absorbs significant weight and pressure. Because of this function, plantar fasciitis can easily occur from a number of reasons. Among the most common is an overload of physical activity or exercise. Athletes are particularly prone to plantar fasciitis and commonly suffer from it. Excessive running, jumping, or other activities can easily place repetitive or excessive stress on the tissue and lead to tears and inflammation, resulting in moderate to severe pain. Athletes who change or increase the difficulty of their exercise routines are also prone to overdoing it and causing damage. 

Another common cause of plantar fasciitis is arthritis. Certain types of arthritis can cause inflammation to develop in tendons, resulting in plantar fasciitis. This cause is particularly common among elderly patients. Diabetes is also a factor that can contribute to further heel pain and damage, particularly among the elderly. 

Among the most popular factors that contribute to plantar fasciitis is wearing incorrect shoes. In many cases, shoes either do not fit properly, or provide inadequate support or cushioning. While walking or exercising in improper shoes, weight distribution becomes impaired, and significantly stress can be added to the plantar fascia ligament.

How Massage can help Plantar Fasciitis

Deep Tissue Massage is a technique that concentrates on the deeper muscle tissues by applying deep finger pressure on the fascia, Achilles heel, and calf muscles through slow strokes. The muscle fibers can be followed or pressure can be applied across tendons. Deep tissue massage can help to release the muscle tension, break scar tissue, and lead to its elimination. It concentrates on specific areas, leading to soreness before and after the massage, yet the results are definite and can be felt within just a couple of days.

Deep tissue massage loosens the muscle tissues, remove muscle toxins, and ensure proper circulation of blood and oxygen which had been affected by plantar fasciitis. Following the treatment, it is advisable to drink a lot of water to help remove the toxins from the body. Deep tissue massage is not recommended, however, if there are any open wounds on the plantar fascia or in nearby areas. It has to be avoided if surgery has taken place and if other conditions like osteoporosis exist. Persons who have a history of blood clots should also not undergo deep massage therapy as these blood clots can be displaced and get to areas where they cause greater problems.

Deep tissue massage works because it physically breaks down the adhesions that are formed by muscle tissues in the muscles caused by over exertion or strain.

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