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Case examples

An integrative approach to a physical complaint

Fasciitis plantaris (inflammation in the foot sole)

 

Often this issue is treated with medication, shockwave or other local manual therapy. Although these interventions might decrease pain, they focus on short term symptom alleviation. The root cause is often overlooked.

Fasciitis means there is an inflammation process. When this is the case, it means that there is damage of some sort. Forcefully suppressing the inflammation with medication will decrease pain but doesn`t repair the damage. Supporting the natural arc of inflammation into resolution (diet, supplementation, stress management, sleep) is a sustainable intervention instead of manipulating its onset.

 

When we have pain somewhere we think about a local problem. Although this could be the case after injury, it is less often the case when the onset is more vague. Everything in the body works in chains and systems. Fascia are connective tissues that form a soft skeleton throughout the body. The whole back side of the body (from the back of the head to the foot) is connected through connective tissue. Tension in the back chain will pull on the insertion of the chain, which is the plantar fascia. It is like pulling a curtain down. The force arrives where it is mounted in the wall.

I have seen that loss of mobility in the upper back is the main issue of this pulling force. Sitting at a desk with flexed back contributes a lot to this tension and stiffness. Specific mobilization of the upper back decrease the pull on the back chain immediately and releases chronic tension on the plantar fascia. This is a sustainable solution and allows for tissue repair in the foot.

 

Some people have unnoticed stiffness around the stomach area due to restricted connective tissue. Lifestyle factors like meal frequency, dietary intake and sedentary time can put a strain on the digestive tract. Together with stress, which decrease activation of the digestive tract, this can lead to restrictions in the stomach area. This literally pulls the spine forward into a flexion, further decreasing the mobility of the upper back. In this case, focusing on these lifestyle factors will improve the mobility of the upper spine resulting in less tension in the posterior chain which decreases the pull on the plantar fascia. Working with stress management strategies brings balance in the nerve system and allows resources to be directed towards regenerative processes like tissue repair. 

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