By Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl
A common hiking affliction is Plantar fasciitis, heel pain that can be difficult to remedy. For some people, it takes months of therapy to get rid of Plantar fasciitis, and one can miss out on a lot of hiking in the meantime. My wife Janet, who is an Occupational Therapist, recently helped me overcome Plantar fasciitis in my left foot in an amazingly short period of time.
According to Janet, the trigger points for Plantar fasciitis can be in your foot or your calf (she learned the latter from a triathlete friend). I found the latter hard to understand since it’s away from my foot, but that turned out to be exactly the case for me. I searched for a “knot” (sore spot), in my calf, and lo and behold I had a good one in both calves which I didn’t know I had.
The therapy is to roll the spot every day with any type of roller – a foot roller, a muscle massager as shown above, or a rolling pin. You should roll the sore area in your foot too. Yes it hurts, but the goal is to roll the spot to work the knot out. Let the pain be your guide to how hard to roll it; you want to be at the threshold of too much pain. For me, the knot (and the Plantar fasciitis) disappeared in only a week. Massaging out the “knot” relieved the pain.
This treatment may not work for everyone, but it worked for me, and there’s no harm in trying it.