Plantar fasciitis is my Rehab Challenge.
My original post was set for a two week recovery experiment. It failed. Well, I was overly optimistic on that one! Plantar fasciitis in the heel can take a long time.
After visiting podiatrists, physical therapists and doctors who do not understand the strain that classical ballet puts on dancers, I have mostly researched my chronic injuries on my own. I do want to give credit to my PT from two years ago and my chiropractor who were very helpful. However as many of us find out, insurance can change. My PT is now specializing in difficult pregnancies and my chiropractor moved out of town and is no longer covered by our insurance. So I am on my own.
I have learned a fair amount from online physical therapists, however. One was a former gymnast and the other, an aspiring ballerina. The latter states that:
“It is very common and is often treated poorly by even the most well-meaning therapists.”
So without any improvement in my ankle/foot/heel issue, I signed up for an online course in plantar fasciitis. I learned some great exercises but also found out that when the pain is located in your heel, it often takes a lot longer to heal and is very painful.
“Heel = more time to Heal or Hell” in the plantar fasciitis world
If it is located in your arch, the claim is that it can be relieved in a week! I found this to be true for two dance students that I know and teach. They used one of the free techniques. However, for me, the free exercise did not fix my problem. 🙁
I signed up for an online course for $148 with a money back guarantee. (However, after I wrote to the PT for the course and asked for more advice, she said my PF was more complicated. Needless to say, I was disappointed when she offered to give me a $25 off a $100 Skype consult).
Oh well, I am grateful that the site did provide me with free information for the past year with her weekly videos. Spending more money is not an option at this time as it may be for you as well.
The Secret Sauce!
Now I am going to share some of one of these techniques with you at no charge :). I will teach everyone the hamstring fascia release in the next post. All members will get what I consider the most incredible calf release that I have ever done! I will send it out in the next newsletter and it will be in the “Members Only” section. Be sure to open your newsletter as this baby may just be worth $148!
Oh, by the way, if you would like to know the “secret calf release exercise”– be sure to catch my next post with a video demonstration!
My arches are high and flexible and always have been an issue of instability since I began dancing 46 years ago. Thus, in order to “fix” this situation, I need to reinstate some of my foot exercises slowly. I recommend slowly because I do not want to overload my calves or arches that I am also working hard to keep released.
My three main exercises that I now do for strength:
- Doming video. Book pages: 16-17
- Toe swapping video. Book pages: 24-28
- Tripod foot exercises Book pages: 12-13
When you lack stability in your ankles due to arch mobility, weakness or any injury you lose some proprioception.
Proprioception: The ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium.
You have to retrain and develop this mind/body knowledge in order to progress. A simple good way to do this is to stand in parallel on one foot and close your eyes. See if you can visualize and feel the tripod balance in your foot and keep your balance. It is best to do this barefoot.
I have a cushion called a “Cando” that I use for tripod exercises and I have some new smaller ones for each foot on order. I will share them with you on a new post and video on YouTube next week.
That is where I am now. What did I keep from my recovery routine?
My current routine
- keep the warm rice pack
- still hesitant to use any anti inflammatory such as Ibuprofen
- occasional taping
- soft orthotics such as “Super Feet”,
- tennis shoes with cushioned heels
- calf fascia rolling pin exercises (coming in your newsletter)
- hamstring fascia releases. (next post)
- wear cushioned shoes and/or my Super Feet everywhere. I have been teaching only in tennis shoes for three months.
- I took two weeks off from ballet class which helped somewhat.
- stopped dancing in a more advanced class so that I could work slowly three months ago.
- take barre barefoot or in socks to develop proprioception.
- Eliminated all allegro, quick changes of weight and relevé on my affected leg/foot. I say “leg” because I feel that most ankle/foot problems such as fasciitis and achilles tendonitis are from tight calves pulling on tendons and bones.
The three big things that need to be addressed to really fix the issue are:
- Fascial releases for calf, hamstring and the fascia train from head to toe.
- Strengthening the arch of my foot with exercises 1-3
- Tennis shoes and Super Feet to relieve the pain and provide cushion until it completely heals.
Finally, in conclusion, if you suffer from achilles tendonitis or have a “short” achilles tendon~ you will benefit from a lot of these same techniques. So many injuries are caused by overly tight calves and fascia.
Best of luck to you with your healthy dancing!
Introduction to "Get Strong & Beautiful Feet" video below