How To Keep Plantar Fasciitis Away Once You’ve Fixed It Through Increased Awareness Of Reality


 Click this link for FitOldDog’s Quick Fix Guide To Plantar Fasciitis.

“It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”  Will Rogers.

Hi folks,

Nick Shirt

Nick, my kiteboarding son, often wears this shirt, and every time I saw it I wondered “why is Nick wearing a shirt with a drawing of a microscope,” until today, when I looked a little more closely – I worked with microscopes most of my life!

Did you know that our brains fill in stuff in our visual field all the time? Many humans also do that with conversations, hearing ‘what they want to hear.’ We label things, or categorize them, in order to simplify the process of dealing with the overwhelming amounts of data out there in the world. Your mind actually makes stuff up, plugs it in, and you believe it, until suddenly, one day, you say, “Wait a minute!” I’ve been looking at one of my eldest son’s tee shirts for a year or so, and each time I wondered why he had a picture of a microscope on his shirt. This question arose in my mind in a subtle way, being insufficiently strong to voice it out loud, but still I was left wondering. The image was in fact that of a kiteboarder, but I have spent most of its life using microscopes. So in my mind the kiteboarder image was labeled microscope, until today. Just compare the two images, Nick’s shirt and a simple monocular light microscope, and you’ll see a vague resemblance, which was sufficient for my brain to apply the wrong label, for a long time. There was always that unspoken question echoing in my mind, “Why a microscope?

light microscope

Light microscope

We make similar mistakes with our bodies, if we don’t pay attention, especially when it comes to pain. For instance, you might say, “My feet ache so I must have a problem with my feet!” This can be very misleading when it comes to treatment. Plantar fasciitis is a common problem that expresses itself as foot and heel pain in runners. I finally fixed mine by using a roller on a tight calf muscle. Overly tense calf muscles yank on tendons that go to your heels and feet, causing painful symptoms remote from the original source, the calf muscle. In fact, the calf may be tight because of even more remote problems in your hamstrings or hips, so you’ll have to track that down or the problem will return.

More recently I suffered from a tight muscle deep in my calf, my right soleus, which pulled on my heel, but rollers, ice, rest, and massage failed to fix it. This time I resorted to intense exercise of my calves through frequent single leg calf raises (in the grocery store, the bank, at home, wherever), taking that tight soleus to the point of deep aching pain (but not sharp pain!!!). About ten days later that muscle is finally letting go. So there are many ways to fix tight muscles, and not all muscle strains are equal or require the same treatment.

“When it comes to muscles, weakness underlies tightness.” Quoted from one of my sports massage therapists, Collette, years ago.

So, if you want to keep your plantar fasciitis away for good, keep those calf muscles fit and limber. This is one important issue to address during off-season weight-room training. A healthy, fit, strong, flexible muscle won’t tighten up on you unless you over exercise it or you have an underlying biomechanical imbalance elsewhere.

It’s great to be running again, now I’ve finally fixed that calf, so I can start training for the 2012 New York City Marathon.

Isn’t the road to a program of safe exercise for better health interesting?

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.