Welcome! Ultralight backpacking is my passion, and keeping up on new technologies, gear, and techniques relevant to UL backpacking is what floats my boat. I'm always looking for the lightest, most functional gear to improve a lightweight or ultralight backpacking kit, and report my impressions and field testing results here. For hikers wanting to keep up on the latest and greatest ultralight backpacking gear, this is a good place to hang out. Also, there is a lot of information here (and on our informational website Southwest Ultralight Backpacking) on useful techniques and backcountry etiquette -- food for thought for hikers wanting to lighten their load and their impacts.

My goal for Ultralight Insights is to understand, test, and report on new technologies and gear of interest to lightweight and ultralight backpackers. It's a passion after all, so we just plain enjoy talking about it. I hope readers will add their own wisdom and comments, respond to my questions, ask their own questions, and correct me if I get something wrong. Happy hiking! Will

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Therapy for Plantar fasciitis Worth Considering

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.

Use a rolling muscle massager, like the Tiger Tail shown, on trigger points in the foot or calf to relieve Plantar fasciitis.

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.


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  2. nice blog........Plantar Fascitis is very common cause of heel pain and felt more on the inside of the feet. And as
    mr.bhargava is specialist in Plantar Fascitis treatment, and can instruct in for various exercise, massage to recruit it
    and also surgery for major cases.