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Therapeutic Medical Massage: Effective Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Posted on Oct 16, 2012
Therapeutic Medical Massage: Effective Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia located on the plantar (bottom) surface of the foot. The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue attaching the heel bone to the front of the foot. “This condition occurs due to overuse and stress on the plantar fascia, which can result in tissue fatigue and microtearing at the calcaneal attachments.” The plantar fascia acts as an important support system to the medial longitudinal arch. The medial longitudinal arch runs from the back of the foot-the heel, to the front of the foot-the area posterior to the big toe. It acts like a bowstring to support the arch.

Plantar Fasciitis can affect athletes of any age, but is usually a condition affecting persons over the age of 40. There are several causes for Plantar Fasciitis including: poor biomechanics-over pronation and supination (pronation occurs when the foot rolls inward and supination occurs when the foots rolls outward), hypertonic (tight and shortened) calf muscles and footwear that is either too flexible or to stiff. Excessive weight gain due to pregnancy or obesity can also play a role in Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis occurs slowly and gradually over time with repeated use. There is usually no previous injury or trauma associated with this condition as it is an overuse injury. The fibers of the fascia begin to tear away from the calcaneus (heal bone). If the condition progresses to the chronic phase, adhesions, chronic inflammation and scar tissue formation can also develop. If the condition reaches a chronic state, the healing process can be very slow. Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis include mild to severe pain when getting out of bed and first putting weight on the affected foot. The pain may diminish after a short period of activity, but usually returns after long periods of activity.

How can Therapeutic Massage help Plantar Fasciitis?

Therapeutic Massage is an effective treatment for Plantar Fasciitis. The condition is assessed as either acute or chronic. Treatment in the acute stage is designed to reduce any inflammation, decrease sympathetic nervous system firing and pain in the affected area. Treatment of the proximal compensating muscles and structures is indicated. Advanced Therapeutic Techniques are used to address these areas. Rest and ice are indicated during this phase of the condition. Treatment in the chronic stage includes more aggressive Advanced Therapeutic Techniques to the compensating structures and the directly affected muscles and structures. Therapeutic Massage can reduce pain, re-align scar tissue, remove adhesions, increase range of motion and help return the client back to peak health.

For more information on Plantar Fasciitis and Therapeutic Massage treatment protocols, please contact me at kevin@medicalmassagescottsdale.com.

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