Speedplay Hips, Another ‘So-Called Plantar Fasciitis’ Insight

Speedplay Hips For Better Foot Float

A ‘So-Called Plantar Fasciitis’ Insight?

Believe it or not, this crudely made, old video has had over 15,000 hits!

Those eight years of research on so-called plantar fasciitis drew my attention to the role of hip muscles in freedom of rotation of our feet. During today’s 5k road race, I had an epiphany. It’s just like those Speedplay pedals. It’s all about float, or freedom of motion.

plantar fasciitis insight

One tight muscle can limit internal and external rotation of your foot, reducing healthy ‘foot float.’

Pedal Float. “Most pedals and cleats have a degree of float to allow your feet to pivot slightly as you pedalFloat is measured in degrees and is the amount by which the foot can move before releasing from the pedal. Some cleats are zero-float, or fixed, which, as you can imagine, keeps your feet ‘locked in’ to the pedal.”

You can learn a lot by studying how your body moves. This especially true for hips and foot pain or discomfort.

I learned that a serious knee pain came from a tight, damaged ankle; finally fixed with the help of Feldenkrais. That ankle was tight – not enough float!

plantar fasciitis insight

Moshe Feldenkrais developed the Feldenkrais method, which FitOldDog really admires because it is so effective. It helped him return his hip float to normal, and start his Ironman adventure.

If you walk or run in a healthy way, you will counter rotate your hips and shoulders. This causes the feet to roll in from the outside edge, onto the ball, avoiding damaging heel strikes. Limiting movement of the hip rotators (internal and external) will impede this normal motion. It will reduce rotational float of the leg, impeding foot rotation to interfere with healthy ground engagement.

See how those Speedplay pedals allow my heels to float. This reduces tension on my knee, as the knee can now follow the line of least resistance, which is pretty wiggly in my left leg.

During a local 5k run today, I focused on relaxed hips, to maximize float. This made my running more fluid, reduced claudication dramatically, and permitted me to do a another steady 3-mile run with Deb after the race. I allowed my hips, and thus my feet, to float.

This was clearly a valuable ‘so-called plantar fasciitis insight.’ Let your hips float, which is the best I can do to run like a girl; a highly recommended running tip for men.

All of this is consistent with Tom’s working hypothesis for the cause of so-called plantar fasciitis, aka nociciptive foot pain.

plantar fasciitis insightTom’s Working Hypothesis as explained in the book.

So-called plantar fasciitis, acute morning heel pain or runner’s heel pain, is a progressive condition. In its early stages, it is a nociceptive (pain-causing) response to body movement stresses. This pain is a warning of worse to come, including tissue damage, if you don’t change the way you move! Hence, this foot pain is nociceptive in nature. Thus Tom recommends the name, nociceptive foot pain (NFP).

Think about it!

Wishing you happy trails and happy feet,

kev aka FitOldDog

plantar fasciitis insight

They said I was the only one in my age group (75-79), so they gave me this ribbon. That was nice. My phone said I averaged 11:07, but who knows. It was a hell of a hilly course, and NO claudication!


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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.