Common problems helped by KMI

Plantar Fasciitis / Heel Pain/ Heel SpursPlantar Fascia

Many people can suffer from Plantar Fasciitis at some point in their lives. It is a very common condition that presents itself as pain in front or side of the heel bone (Calcaneus).

What is Plantar Fascia?

The soles of our feet have a tough complex layer of Plantar Fascia (PF). This dense fascial web creates a flexible springy cushion under the soles of our feet.  It protects the bones by reducing impact and reinforcing the musculature giving our feet strength and resilience.  It connects the bones of our toes to the Calcaneus, merging into the Achilles tendon and calf.  In Anatomy Trains this is just one part of the Superficial Back Line. (Image showing part of Superficial Back Line in Anatomy Trains, Myers 2000)

What is Plantar Fasciitis / Plantar Heel Pain / Heel Spurs?

Plantar Fasciitis is the medical term for thickening of the Plantar Fascia (PF) in the sole of the foot.  The thickening causes shortness in the length and breadth of sole pulling the Calcaneus forward causing inflammation - Plantar Heel Pain.  If untreated Heal Spurs can also develop.  The thickened / shortened PF pulls the heel bone forward towards the toes, it tugs on the periosteum (membrane) of the Calcaneus creating a gap between the edge of the Calcaneus and periosteum.  Over time Osteoblasts fill this gap with new bone which forms into a Heel Spur. (Image from Anatomy Trains, Myers 2000)

Heel Spur

The cause of pain underneath the foot and heel is commonly suggested to be from over-use, weight gain and age.  KMI Structural Integration Practitioners can recognise the signs and treat before the pain begins, meaning Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Pain and Heel Spurs are unlikely to develop. 

In practice it is extremely common to find feet that are stiff and tight. Their movement into dorsi flexion (lifting foot/toes towards head) and plantar flexion (pointing toes/foot towards floor) is limited and the arches of the foot have lost their spring.  If left untreated and an individual either over-uses their feet and/or increases in body weight, the PF may begin to show signs of strain resulting in Plantar Fasciitis.

When we walk, run and play; feet are our shock absorbers, they need to be flexible.  The arches should be sprung to allow the foot to spread on impact and propel us forward on strike off. Over time the whole foot can lose its shock absorbing ability. This could be due the types of shoes worn which prevent the foot from moving freely; physical inactivity; poor flexibility and tightness in the whole Superficial Back Line.

Postural Problems Associated with Plantar Fasciitis.

Sufferers of Plantar Fasciitis can present aches and pains elsewhere in the body because of subtle subconscious compensations needed to avoid exacerbating the pain.  If for example pain is felt in the right heel we naturally avoid putting weight onto this area.  Weight may be taken 1; on the sole of the foot, 2; to the inside or outside of the heel or 3; carried through your left foot.

  1. Putting weight on the sole of the foot to keep our heels off the ground shortens the calf which is myofascially linked to the sole of the foot through the Achilles tendon.  A shortened calf puts more strain on the Achilles tendon, Calcaneus and PF. Although this relieves the pain it shortens the Superficial Back Line further and can make the overall problem worse.  
  2. Putting more weight onto the inside or outside of the heel avoiding the sore spot directly effects left to right foot balance. Your inside arch will be higher when protecting the inside of the heel, or collapsed if protecting the outside of the heel.  The balance of the arch immediately affects the balance of the knee. If the inside arch collapses the knee will also collapse which may develop into a weakness and over time cause uneven wear to the knee joint.
  3. Carrying more weight on the left foot, we alter the forces going through the pelvis which impacts spinal function. Optimum pelvis function comes from both horizontal and front-to-back balance. By taking more weight through the left leg, we upset this balance. If this is for a long period of time, we will develop a permanent postural compensation. Pelvis horizontal balance is lost, putting strain on the lumbar vertebrae in the back causing back ache. The left shoulder will become sore causing strain on the right hand side of the neck.

These may sound extreme but if the compensations are left un-noticed or worse, untreated problems surface in the knee, lower back, shoulder and neck long after the Plantar Fasciitis has been cured.   

How can Plantar Fasciitis be cured?

Foot 4CmWhatever the reason for loss of flexibility in the foot, the wonderful news is that living connective tissue and fascia can be improved. Fascia is a living organism and whilst we are still alive it continually adapts to its environment.  Common remedies like stretching the sole of the foot by rolling it over a ball, lowering the heel off the stairs, hamstring and calf stretches will all help cure Plantar Fasciitis.  Taping may also offer some relief by preventing the foot moving beyond its place of comfort straining the inflamed PF.

Feet that present these symptoms often feel hard and grainy (like sand paper) beneath the skin to a trained practitioner.  This is due to dehydration in the plantar fascia. 

The beauty of having hands-on KMI Structural Integration is that it can help cure Plantar Fasciitis faster by getting to the root of the problem - thickened and shortened Plantar Fascia (PF).  A KMI practitioner will work to specifically increase the length and flexibility of the PF and calf whilst balancing the arches of the foot. The PF will rehydrate regain its suppleness and health.  Your whole foot will feel more supple, toes will become more spread apart, you will feel more connected to the ground, your feet will be more comfortable in shoes (or barefoot) and your body will feel like is has a solid base on which to perform all that you ask of it.

To find out more, have a free consultation or to experience KMI Structural Integration, please do contact Angela Donovan of Structural Balance via telephone 07950 028 016 or email info@structuralbalance.co.uk

Common problems helped by KMI

Plantar Fasciitis / Heel Pain/ Heel SpursPlantar Fascia

Many people can suffer from Plantar Fasciitis at some point in their lives. It is a very common condition that presents itself as pain in front or side of the heel bone (Calcaneus).

What is Plantar Fascia?

The soles of our feet have a tough complex layer of Plantar Fascia (PF). This dense fascial web creates a flexible springy cushion under the soles of our feet.  It protects the bones by reducing impact and reinforcing the musculature giving our feet strength and resilience.  It connects the bones of our toes to the Calcaneus, merging into the Achilles tendon and calf.  In Anatomy Trains this is just one part of the Superficial Back Line. (Image showing part of Superficial Back Line in Anatomy Trains, Myers 2000)

What is Plantar Fasciitis / Plantar Heel Pain / Heel Spurs?

Plantar Fasciitis is the medical term for thickening of the Plantar Fascia (PF) in the sole of the foot.  The thickening causes shortness in the length and breadth of sole pulling the Calcaneus forward causing inflammation - Plantar Heel Pain.  If untreated Heal Spurs can also develop.  The thickened / shortened PF pulls the heel bone forward towards the toes, it tugs on the periosteum (membrane) of the Calcaneus creating a gap between the edge of the Calcaneus and periosteum.  Over time Osteoblasts fill this gap with new bone which forms into a Heel Spur. (Image from Anatomy Trains, Myers 2000)

Heel Spur

The cause of pain underneath the foot and heel is commonly suggested to be from over-use, weight gain and age.  KMI Structural Integration Practitioners can recognise the signs and treat before the pain begins, meaning Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Pain and Heel Spurs are unlikely to develop. 

In practice it is extremely common to find feet that are stiff and tight. Their movement into dorsi flexion (lifting foot/toes towards head) and plantar flexion (pointing toes/foot towards floor) is limited and the arches of the foot have lost their spring.  If left untreated and an individual either over-uses their feet and/or increases in body weight, the PF may begin to show signs of strain resulting in Plantar Fasciitis.

When we walk, run and play; feet are our shock absorbers, they need to be flexible.  The arches should be sprung to allow the foot to spread on impact and propel us forward on strike off. Over time the whole foot can lose its shock absorbing ability. This could be due the types of shoes worn which prevent the foot from moving freely; physical inactivity; poor flexibility and tightness in the whole Superficial Back Line.

Postural Problems Associated with Plantar Fasciitis.

Sufferers of Plantar Fasciitis can present aches and pains elsewhere in the body because of subtle subconscious compensations needed to avoid exacerbating the pain.  If for example pain is felt in the right heel we naturally avoid putting weight onto this area.  Weight may be taken 1; on the sole of the foot, 2; to the inside or outside of the heel or 3; carried through your left foot.

  1. Putting weight on the sole of the foot to keep our heels off the ground shortens the calf which is myofascially linked to the sole of the foot through the Achilles tendon.  A shortened calf puts more strain on the Achilles tendon, Calcaneus and PF. Although this relieves the pain it shortens the Superficial Back Line further and can make the overall problem worse.  
  2. Putting more weight onto the inside or outside of the heel avoiding the sore spot directly effects left to right foot balance. Your inside arch will be higher when protecting the inside of the heel, or collapsed if protecting the outside of the heel.  The balance of the arch immediately affects the balance of the knee. If the inside arch collapses the knee will also collapse which may develop into a weakness and over time cause uneven wear to the knee joint.
  3. Carrying more weight on the left foot, we alter the forces going through the pelvis which impacts spinal function. Optimum pelvis function comes from both horizontal and front-to-back balance. By taking more weight through the left leg, we upset this balance. If this is for a long period of time, we will develop a permanent postural compensation. Pelvis horizontal balance is lost, putting strain on the lumbar vertebrae in the back causing back ache. The left shoulder will become sore causing strain on the right hand side of the neck.

These may sound extreme but if the compensations are left un-noticed or worse, untreated problems surface in the knee, lower back, shoulder and neck long after the Plantar Fasciitis has been cured.   

How can Plantar Fasciitis be cured?

Foot 4CmWhatever the reason for loss of flexibility in the foot, the wonderful news is that living connective tissue and fascia can be improved. Fascia is a living organism and whilst we are still alive it continually adapts to its environment.  Common remedies like stretching the sole of the foot by rolling it over a ball, lowering the heel off the stairs, hamstring and calf stretches will all help cure Plantar Fasciitis.  Taping may also offer some relief by preventing the foot moving beyond its place of comfort straining the inflamed PF.

Feet that present these symptoms often feel hard and grainy (like sand paper) beneath the skin to a trained practitioner.  This is due to dehydration in the plantar fascia. 

The beauty of having hands-on KMI Structural Integration is that it can help cure Plantar Fasciitis faster by getting to the root of the problem - thickened and shortened Plantar Fascia (PF).  A KMI practitioner will work to specifically increase the length and flexibility of the PF and calf whilst balancing the arches of the foot. The PF will rehydrate regain its suppleness and health.  Your whole foot will feel more supple, toes will become more spread apart, you will feel more connected to the ground, your feet will be more comfortable in shoes (or barefoot) and your body will feel like is has a solid base on which to perform all that you ask of it.

To find out more, have a free consultation or to experience KMI Structural Integration, please do contact Angela Donovan of Structural Balance via telephone 07950 028 016 or email info@structuralbalance.co.uk

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A. Donovan BCSI(CM)
St James Meadow Road
Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
CV32 6BZ

Telephone: 07950 028 016

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