How to get to the Root Cause of Plantar Fascia & Heel Pain
The soft, deep heel cup, cushy arch, and met pad of Bridge Soles are designed to help the Plantar Fascia relax while the foot is stressed.
Various research(1) has shown that chronic Plantar Fascia problems are not the result of inflammation, but rather from poor blood flow & weakness causing tissue degeneration. Because there is no inflammation present, the old term "plantar fasciitis" should be replaced with "plantar fasciosis". This knowledge completely changes the way this condition should be treated.
Typical modern shoes with elevated heels, tapered toe boxes & support devices have been shown to significantly reduce bloodflow(2) & are believed to weaken the feet. One look at, or google search of the feet of people who don't wear modern footwear makes this quite obvious. Research has also shown that plantar fascia problems are basically non-existent in people that don't wear shoes with elevated heels and tapered toe boxes(3).
In addition to wearing Bridge Soles when the feet are being stressed:
- Start the day with heat & vibration (like the Myostorm Meteor Mini Ball). Massage often if you can't do heat and vibration.
- Prioritize top of foot toe extensor (toes down) stretches to release the antagonist muscles---allowing the arch side of the foot to relax & heal. This is often the missing element for those that are doing everything else right.
- Wear shoes with true foot-shaped toe boxes to improve blood flow, ideally with Correct Toes---which should also be worn as often as possible---with or without shoes. If you've never worn foot-shaped shoes before, they should feel "too big" or uncomfortably loose in the toes at first.
- Strengthen the weak tissue by going barefoot whenever possible on carpet & grass (as long as pain free)
- Although many experts have recommended this for 20+ years, new research(4) has shown that 95% of those who did barefoot running on grass for 6 weeks experienced improvements in their plantar fascia pain. Start with 30 seconds of barefoot running (on soft ground like grass or carpet) & add 30 seconds every few days (as long as it is pain free). Slowly working up to 20 minutes of regular barefoot running seems to be as close to a magic bullet as is known for long term healing of Plantar Fasciosis.
- Balance on one foot in shoes whenever possible, such as when standing in line at the store, etc.. Also balance on one foot as an exercise barefoot with the eyes closed. Don't overload & slowly work up.
- Single leg heel-raises with 1" of towel, etc. under the toes has shown promise in some new research (5) (running-physio.com/pf-new-research)
See GoldenHarper.NET/PF for more Plantar Fascia detail & information