Can you believe we are over half way through the year already? It’s been all about our feet this week. How much thought do you give to the health of your feet? They are your contact with the world. They are complex machinery. You have just over 200 bones in your body and 25% of them are in your feet. A quarter of your muscles and motor nerves are also found there. They are like the wheels on your car. We look after them because we know what happens to the condition of the tyres when the tracking is out. Do you look after feet in the same way?
I thought I’d put some information together about a foot topic that kept coming up when we got chatting in class. A condition called Plantar Fasciitis. So many had either been personally or knew someone who had been afflicted. As many as 1 in 10 people are reported to experience the condition at some point. So, what is it?
Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse syndrome characterized by inflammation or degeneration of the fibrous tissue (the plantar fascia) that connects the heel and the toes. Its job is to support the bones in the feet in weight-bearing and assist with the transfer of load through the foot during motion. It works like elastic. When you roll through your foot during walking it stretches to lengthen the foot to allow force absorption.
The first sign of the development of the condition could be pain or stiffness in the arch of the foot or at the heel after prolonged walking or after a long period of rest. This may be especially noticeable first thing in the morning.
There are many potential reasons why Plantar Fasciitis may develop but essentially they boil down to postural and biomechanical deviations from optimal alignment. One of the biggest influences on the health of the feet is the position of the pelvis. One common postural adaptation we adopt is to place our pelvis in front of our body.
A forward pelvis position places the load of the body through the small bones and tissues of the front of the foot. This over works the plantar fascia, increasing the risk to damage to the soft (ligaments/tendons) and hard (bone) tissue. In Pilates we constantly work to optimize the position of the Pelvis to maximize the health of the joints and tissues in the rest of the body.