Todays Neuro Kinetic Therapy wonder was a beautiful lady who was suffering with plantar fascia pain, if you’ve ever had it you will know it hurts!
I checked her calves and glutes.
Why? Check the Fascia back line picture below. Its all connected. If the glutes aren’t in an organised pattern, the brain has to find another muscle to do the work and that could mean the calf muscles…
After spending time massaging her calves and getting those amazing butt muscles online she left here feeling better than when she walked in.
So if you suffer from plantar fascia try this – massage the calves with the fingers, a tennis ball or a foam roller then get the glutes working by doing a glute exercise like the glute bridge.
I didn’t guess that was her patterning though.
I tested the glutes and the calf to see what was going on as this may not have been why the plantar fascia was complaining, just so happened that in this case it was.
She has homework to do, daily, to help her brain keep the pattern that it has had all along but at some point, due to an injury, it changed and went down a different path. Sometimes the brain will change that pattern and find a different route. thats the way it works. It just looking out for you. Even if that brings you pain and annoys you. It is doing it job.
Don’t hate the pain, its telling you its story.
If your aren’t sure, come along for an NKT session at my home therapy room in Portreath.
Update – 2 weeks later and she is still pain free.
Your feet are hurting , maybe your heel is burning and keeps you awake at night, it could possibly be a plantar fascia issue..
You used to rub a tennis ball over the fascia and that did the trick…for a while, but it always came back.
It may be a simple test, but when I assess you for plantar fascia, I will look at your single leg stance.
What happens when you stand on one leg.
What happens to the foot, does it roll in or out, what happens to your toes..do they scrunch up?
Does the same thing happen on the other foot?
Do the muscles in your toes seek stability, they are probably doing that if they scrunch up, grabbing at the floor with the tips?
What happening to your big toe? Does it lift up, lose contact with the floor?
What is happening further up the chain, in the shin, the calf, the thigh, the glutes..the neck and the head.
Very often the foot pain is a symptom, and rather than place a plaster over it, would you like to know why , find the cause, deal with it and then understand the “why”?
Our bodies are so amazing at compensating, that we don’t even realise it. Quite fascinating.
The patterns it has, the patterns that change, through injury or just bad movement habits picked up over the years, the brain will choose the path of least resistance.
Its my work to unravel the pieces and put back the jigsaw, but without guessing or going by the text book. By testing your bodies compensations and finding out its “why”. Because we are all unique.
Single leg stance testing – its my favourite “go to” test to unravel a puzzle.
You can try it out on yourself, you may find one foot pronates – flattens, you may find the other one supinates, lifts up, the arch increases.
The muscles in the foot start in the lower leg. You may find the outer shin muscles can be quite tender to massage, its a good place to start though, by massaging the tender areas, it will feel like you are pressing on a bruise, for 2 minutes, be gentle though, until you feel the high toned area begin to “give” a little, then increase the pressure a little more.
After 2 minutes, do a glute strength exercise, a standing donkey kick is a good one. Bending the knee, and kicking back to the wall behind, with a flat foot, as though the bottom of the foot is pressing the wall away. 5 reps should do it.
Repeat the whole thing 4 times a day.
However, because this ia a blog post and Ive not assessed your posture, this is a very general “go to” exercise, your glutes may not be the issue, it maybe the neck, the jaw, the lower back..but the glutes are a good place to start, after all, we all sit more than our bodies like us to, and glutes “switch off” when we sit, and other muscles take over and of the job.
The universe is an amazing thing. Well over a billion light years away. In less than a 10th of a second. 2 black holes – one was 29 times the mass of the sun, the other was 36 times the mass of the sun. Its ridiculous. Its an amazing time to be alive.
This is exactly how my other half, who has a degree in Cosmology, described this finding to me…as amazing as it is, I do think I glazed over at some point in the conversation and started to think about anatomy and how amazing our own bodies are …being made from star stuff, our own skin, organs, muscles, bones..such a complicated system we still don’t fully understand how our own brain functions or how to use them completely, some of us don’t even know we have a brain ..
We are a wonder
We are amazing
Yet we get stuck in judgements, thoughts of the past, hatred, killing, trying to make others follow the religion WE think is right.
Not eating enough Lemon Drizzle Cake!
Chocolate (90% Lindt for me please..thanks)
Wonders of the universe on your doorstep
Enjoy every second for you only get one go at it..allegedly!
Look at it another way – when you have Plantar Fasciitis, you probably are rolling a ball under your foot, stretching it out, trying to get some relief, and thats what I used to tell people to do too…and thats ok, because it just might work for you.
Now though…look at it this way..Plantar Fasciitis is a symptom..do you know why its like that, what the cause is?
Would you rather treat the cause and have it go away rather than just treat the symptom?
Your body has a line of connective tissue called Fascia, in this picture its in blue, its not like that in real life though 🙂
Your plantar fascia also connects to the calves and glutes too..wow! your body is so amazing!
So thats why I look to the calves and the glutes..
Heres what I did to a client who volunteered for me to have a look at their Plantar Fasciitis issue
I tested the strength of their calf muscles
Then I tested their gluteal muscle
Turns out the calf was tender in some areas, I released that, got the glutes functioning again to release the pain under the foot.
Of course they have home exercises to do everyday, and come back and see me to retest everything within 7 – 14 days, as I don’t want any of my clients wandering around with pain thats been unresolved
That makes me feel like I’ve not done my job properly
I don’t like that
I am hoping that you wouldn’t like me to be that unprofessional either!
Its not nice when you get back pain, it can really take over your life and be so debilitating.
Its also not nice to be told that the reason your back hurts could be that your core isn’t stabilising, its not switching on quick enough to be able to do its job.
You find other ways
The main way, I’ve found through doing some pattern testing on some willing volunteers, is holding the breath
We then find that the back holds, but at the costs of compensating through the diaphragm and the hip flexor- Psoas – as it has fibres that connect to the diaphragm.Then these get tired, and complain.
Those complaints are felt as pain. So pain is a friend, sometimes, its knocking on your door, telling you to do something about your cheating core.
Is breathing important?
You betcha back pain it is!
Breathe well and you’ve got great core ability, great connection with your abs and Psoas.
I do a simple Psoas test, Transversus and Rectus Abs test, to see if its your breath holding is compensating for your lower back.
It’s one of my favourite pattern detective tests.
I’m now onto the hands and fingers…these I find complicated, interesting though, because as we spend more time on mobiles, laptops and computers, we spend more time with bent fingers, so the flexion muscles of the fingers become more hypertonic, and the extension muscles become sub optimal.
Testing each finger on an extension against a low pressure from my own hands, reveals which fingers are the weakest, on an extension pattern.
We may also see compensation in the breath , holding it to stabilise, also in the shoulder lifting , which creates tightness in the upper Trapezius and Scalene muscles, and if both scalene muscles are tight, this can be lead back to the core again, as a de stabilised core can lead to stabilisation in the neck, on both sides.
So, for all you texting bunnies out there, those finger tests are very revealing!
Texting is a repetitive movement, as is tapping your keyboard, that repetitive movement has to show up somewhere along the pattern of movement , and if you see the fascia picture of the arm lines, you can follow the line back to the upper skeletal frame.
Pain usually is the site of a tight , hypertonic muscle, doesn’t mean is weak, it can be strong, thats the beauty of the patterning tests, to see if the muscles are weak or strong, which ones are working and which ones aren’t, so when you do homework your doing the right home exercises that release the tight first, but strengthen the weaker ones second.
Trick is knowing which muscles are doing what, without assessing, you are , well, guessing I suppose.
Assessing can take a couple of hours, thats why your first appointment asks that you allow 120 minutes, to help take time to reveal the story your body is telling.
This photo is of the Arm Anatomy Trains . If you google Thomas Myers, Anatomy Trains, you will come up with a load of great stuff, his videos on fascia dissection are very interesting, just don’t watch them whilst eating your dinner….