2 days ago, my right foot started hurting in a way that I am sure is exactly the dreaded Plantar Fasciitis – an inflammation in the fascia of the bottom of the foot that can make walking painful with lots of pain on the heel. Inflammation would usually indicate some icing and rest and maybe some stretching. But I’m stubborn. And curious.
So I didn’t ice (which I do think would help) but no rest although I wore shoes more carefully and tried to not irritate my heel more. And I started stretching. Exploratory stretching – always trying to feel what made it felt better. Logically, I would think some tight calf muscles or arches would help. They did – a bit.
But over the years, I have learned that the body is a fascinating puzzle that has its own understanding. My job is to try to decipher my own or other people’s bodies’ organization. Years ago, I had just a touch of Plantar Fasciitis and surprisingly it went away when I did exactly the wrong things: I started jump roping at Crossfit more. And I started running the stairs more. My theory is that constant controlled stretch on the foot helped the fascia loosen up. Maybe. But you can’t argue with results and my foot pain disappeared.
So I’ve been stretching. Calf tightness? Yes. Arch tightness? Yes. (BTW, I am doing the stretch on the unaffected leg to compare. If my right is tighter than my left, I conclude that on some level it has to be contributing to the foot pain.) But surprisingly, glute stretches – figure 4 and pigeon and especially intense hamstring stretches have made the most difference. It almost completely disappears after some hamstring stretches. Maybe the fascia down my entire leg is a little stuck and the stretches are helping loosen that up. I’m not sure but it is working.
Lesson learned? The most obvious is NOT always the right answer and to keep looking around my body – asking and learning what I need to do to heal myself. I need to become my own diagnostician. It’s fascinating to learn the language of the body. And that knowledge might then possibly (but not always) be applicable to another of my clients.
It’s great to have a career that fascinates even after 16 years.