Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2013

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technique @work | the science of movement | Energy work | Myofascial techniques Take a Stand Against Plantar Fasciitis By Whitney Lowe force is magnified when walking or running; it is estimated that, when running, 3–4 times the body weight is experienced with each foot strike. on their feet throughout the day. Consider, This force is absorbed through the structural for example, airline workers, assembly line design of the body, particularly the joints and the flexible, pliable, soft-tissue, shock-absorbing workers, cashiers, cooks, soldiers, store structures. Foot pain and other cumulative clerks, and waitresses. These are just a few trauma disorders can result when this force is not properly mitigated. Often, there are occupations where the biomechanical causes, such as poor primary tasks require posture, gait issues, or even footwear. The foot and ankle complex is workers to place structurally designed to help mitigate enormous stress and daily impacts. The longitudinal arch of the foot acts like a curved strain on their feet. archway to spread compressive loads One of the most across the base of the foot (Image 1). perplexing, painful, and The plantar fascia acts like a spring, disabling conditions of the feet with the ends of the arch tethered Plantar fascia is plantar fasciitis. This elusive at the heel and ball of the foot. That condition confounds even means there is a strong tensile load, the most experienced healthcaused by body weight, pulling on care provider. Fortunately, the two ends of the plantar fascia. new ideas and research The plantar fascia is a narrow regarding condition etiology The plantar fascia and longitudinal arch. band at the anterior calcaneal and emerging treatment 3D anatomy images. Copyright of Primal attachment, but broadens under concepts are quite promising, Pictures Ltd. the arch and then splits into several and both the practitioner attachment sites on the metacarpal and the client will benefit. joints. Long periods of static load or high tensile forces can lead to chronic overload Key Biomechanical Aspects of this connective-tissue structure. Inflammation Newton's third law—for every action there is an at the calcaneal attachment is thought to result. equal and opposite reaction—is a fundamental component of many soft-tissue injuries. Gravity Inflammation or Not? exerts a continual downward force on the body Plantar fasciitis has traditionally been treated that we experience as our weight. A 160-pound as an inflammatory problem, with the primary person exerts 160 pounds of force on the ground focus being the attachment site into the anterior when in a standing position. However, the "equal calcaneus. However, new research indicates that and opposite reaction" law predicts that there inflammation may not be as much of a problem as will be a similar force exerted on the body from previously thought. There has been a paradigm shift the ground pressing against the body, which is in the understanding of tendon-overuse disorders in referred to as the ground reaction force. This recent years. Research shows that tendon problems Many occupations require people to be 1 102 massage & bodywork july/august 2013

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