Yoga for Athletes (Plantar Fasciitis) | Yoga Therapy
My husband is an IRONMAN and his 'racing comrades' often suffer from all sorts of muscular-skeletal issues. A common one is plantar fasciitis. When he first told me that one of his comrades was affected by this, and asked for me a remedy, I frankly had no idea how to approach it. With much research, practise on students and personally using this to relief my 'shopping feet' (ok, I'm a bit dramatic now.. my shopping feet are just tired feet, not plantar fasciitis but you get what I mean..), I've found the below flow to be quite soothing. Feel free to leave me your comments!
SPECIFIC ISSUE - PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the ligament (plantar fascia) on the sole of the foot that connects the heel to the toes.
The inflammation is a result of over-stressing the plantar fascia, commonly caused by a factors such as:
take up of a new (usually weight-bearing) exercise or increase intensity of an exercise, e.g. running
obesity causing the foot to carry more weight than it can handle
poorly fitting shoes, creating chronic holding patterns in the feet
flat feet or unusually high arch
uneven leg length or any chronic holding pattern that puts strain on one side of the foot abnormally
switching from a long wear of heels suddenly to flat shoes
tight hamstrings, calves and/or achilles tendon
THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR THIS ISSUE (SYMPTOM CONTROL)
Ligaments have lower vascularity than muscles so yoga poses stimulates movement to the affected area, hence increasing the blood flow and speeding up recovery.
Aside from stretching out the culprits muscles causing the dysfunction, yoga draws awareness to any chronic holding patterns, allowing the sufferer to be conscious of his/her posture and alignment in their every day lives; not just when they are ‘in treatment’.
The breath work in yoga is particularly helpful for sufferers of plantar fasciitis to deal with the pain in the mornings, learning to breathe through the pain and allow the body to relax.
If professional medical practitioner has advised against yoga
When the inflammation is very painful, do not engage in any yoga or weight-bearing activity to allow the affected area to rest and heal.
If there are any sharp pains while doing yoga poses, stop immediately. Consult your yoga therapist to ensure the poses have been done correctly and if the sharp pain persists every time you get into a pose, stop and seek medical practitioner’s advice.
15-30 MINUTE FLOW
Downward Facing Dog -> walk the dog, peddle out the feet
Childs Pose -> 3 breath cycles
Repeat 1 & 2 once more
Staff pose (while in pose, repeat 10 sets of the following: 1. point toes forward 2. flex the foot)
Seated Forward Fold, using strap or hands to wrap around the ball of feet to flex the feet
From Hero pose (with both hands on the ground behind you for support, lean back and lift knees off 3-5 inches off the ground)
Garland pose / Yogi Squat (palms together, using elbows to push open from the inside of thighs)
Toe Squat (Kneeling with toes tucked under and let body weight sink into the heels, walk knees forward a few steps)
Hero pose (hold both hands into fists, press the fist onto the sole of the foot, using the weight of the body to massage the sole of the foot with the knuckles)
Childs Pose * Seek God and His power of healing
Legs up the wall *Final resting pose (10 breaths)
These suggestions offered on www.lovejosephine.com are intended to complement and support the medical treatment targeting the specified issue, with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the patient. It is not intended to replace medical recommendations by your medical practitioners. It is highly recommended and, in most cases, essential that you stay compliant to the treatment advice given by a western medical professional. Prior to starting any physical programs, it is advised to get clearance from a medical professional. Upon medical clearance, the suggestions and educational resources offered on www.lovejosephine.com are meant to be observed and used in conjunction with medical treatment but not replace medical treatment.