The force of acceleration, when the foot strikes the ground, must be controlled by the muscles supporting the foot. When control is lost by these muscles the responsibility for decelerating these forces goes to the plantar fascia. Unfortunately, the plantar fascia does a poor job decelerating the force from foot strike. It does such a poor job at decelerating those forces it starts to tear….eventually creating pain. If this keeps going with no correction and, say the person keeps running, the dreadful and much tougher to manage bone spur can appear. Ouch.
When the muscles of the foot can’t control the force of the acceleration from the foot strike an injury to the plantar fascia can occur. Then to correct it the foot has to be able to control that force. Simple. And well it actually is for me. By eliminating the delay that exists in the muscle that control the foot the muscles respond immediately…upon foot strike with a higher level of muscle recruitment. Big deal here. Faster response…easier control of the force….no injury. I correct this in our Performance Lab.
What’s This ‘Delay’ Talk?
Delay is akin to slack in a chain between two cars. If the leading car accelerates too fast without first taking up the slack the trailing car either gets jerked pretty hard or the chain or something else gets damaged. Or all of these. If the trailing car move exactly when the lead car moves no damage occurs, etc.
Correction to the foot occurs when delay is removed from the muscle firing pattern that controls the foot. When I assess a patient in a dynamic setting, that delay shows up in two ways: 1) patient is unable to hold and resist certain movements of the foot due to delay and poor muscle recruitment and 2) they will be unable to have control on the balance board challenges. Less movement of the board in the following video equates to less delay and greater muscle recruitment, and this results in less acceleration or force into your PF when out running. We have effectively taken the slack out of the chain so now the cars move together at once with acceleration of the lead car removing the risk of the chain breaking, etc. This is how correction occurs. True correction. Now the tissue can actually start to heal up.
Thanks for reading,
Steve Noble, DC