Causes of Plantar Fascitis and other Foot Pain

Author: Jeff Aberle

Hello, my name is doctor Jeff Aberle. And in this video we're going to cover Plantar Fascitis. We're going to cover the heal pain that you can get from spurs. And we're going to cover Morton's Neuroma briefly.

And some of the extraneous pains people can get along the top of their foot that nobody can figure out. It will all make more sense after you watch this video. You'll also see from watching this kind of where some of the ankle pains that people can have can come from. Knee pains, hip pains and how the knee can become arthritic and need to be replaced. And how the hip can become a problem as well. And so hopefully this will make a lot more sense to you. Now what you're watching here is an animation I put together that explains some of these concepts. And if I actually zoom out a little bit on this you'll actually see the last little part of this animation shows the body going forward.

So what we're going to do is zoom in here and pause this for a second and quickly define internal rotation of the hip. And back to neutral. Then external rotation of the hip. And then back to neutral. So we have internal and external rotation. And then going down to the foot. We have pronation.

Back to neutral. And then supination. And then back to neutral. Now these by the way are normal motions.

Causes of Plantar Fascitis and other Foot Pain

So I'm not exaggerating the inversion here too much or the supination that you can do on your own. But plantar fascitis would be more from irritation down with these tissues being stretched. With this happening all the time in an extreme way. So you're even going further than this into a collapsed position. So I want to make that clear that here I'm not showing extreme dropping of these bones.

People can have this so bad that these bones here come close to the ground. And they can pronate so bad. So those types of people can have plantar fascitis. So this mechanism is one of the things that causes that. Forward posture also causes a big stretch down here.

So plantar fascitis is really the over stretching of these tissues down here. So what are the tissues? Well first thing we'll look at is the Plantar Fascia. And the poor plantar fascia. This poor thing gets blamed for everything. It's kind of like people that have lower back pain and their friends tell them what they think it is. And it's often diagnosed as sciatica by themselves or their friends.

And plantar fascitis is the term given to anyone who has foot pain down at the bottom of their foot. So this poor thing gets blammed for everything. Oh, you've got plantar fascitis. You got plantar fascitis. You got plantar fascitis. But the plantar fascia itself is a fairly thin but strong ligament.

You can see it here. And it connects all the way to the toes and goes to the heal. And here's another structure up above it. And this too could hurt. It's a muscle right above that. I don't know if anyone could distinguish between the two because they're so close to one another.

So that's another thing. There's also another muscle in here which we don't show. I'm going to hide for most of this because it gets in the way. But you'll see this muscle too covers a lot of that arch area and even down along to the bottom.

So this might actually be your pain area which muscle is causing the hurt. So what I'm going to do is undo that and hide those. And you also have to look at the arches of the foot.

And there's just two of them here that I'm going to define for you. So this one here is called the longitudinal arch. And what you have to understand about this is it's like a bridge. And the longitudinal arch goes all the way through the foot all the way to the other side. So this too would be considered the bridge effect in the longitudinal arch. So it's the whole foot. And then when you're looking from the front, this here is another arch. It's called the transverse arch.

It's a smaller arch but still it's important. And if you think of this in terms of an old style bridge. If you've ever seen a bridge that was made of stone.

They always have wedge stones right? And they put them together and they form a bridge. But the important part to that bridge is that the end pieces on both sides of the bridge are firmly anchored into the ground. If those anchor points were allowed to slide then the whole thing would collapse down into the water that you were trying to go over the bridge on. So since we don't have that in a foot. We can't obviously plant these into the ground because you wouldn't be able to walk otherwise. So what we have are these structures underneath which keep this whole thing pulled together.

Nice and flexible, yet functional. And when somebody is over stretching these tissues on a regular basis for a couple different reasons which we're going over here then people can have plantar fascia pain and these tissues down here can hurt. And it can be worse if they've been sleeping and get up and put some pressure on their feet. Because during the night or even sitting for an hour or two the muscles stiffen up a little bit and then go put pressure on them you stretch them out. But that's abnormal. You shouldn't have that. So those are some of the definitions that we needed to cover and what I first want to do is show you this concept of this coupled motion of a torque converter. And this is pretty neat.

So what I want you to see is that when the hip comes forward, look what happens to the foot. The foot actually pronates. So hip forward, this whole thing rotates and the foot pronates. Go back to neutral.

When the hip goes back, externally rotates, the arch comes up or supinates. Isn't that neat? So this is a whole coupled motion. So basically you want to think of the ankle as being a torque converter. I'm going to unhide some arrows here and watch what happens here. This is pretty neat.

So when the hip is turning, the foot turns in a completely different way. It converts rotary torque this way into rotary torque around the foot this way. And there's some wrenches you can buy that do this and add a lot of functionality to a wrench that you'd use for example in a car to take a motor or engine apart.

So this torque converting ability of the ankle is crucial to understand and it relates to how the whole body functions. When I first learned about this I was like wow that's totally neat. And you can test this on yourself quite easily. Now I'm going to have you stand. Obviously not if you're in a car.

But I doubt you'd be watching this in a car. Anyway. Stand up and just turn your whole body to the left and your hips will kind of go along with your pelvis. And what you'll notice if you're turning to the left your right arch drops and your left arch comes up or supinates. And if you turn your body to the right, your left arch drops and your right arch comes up. Now one thing I'm showing you here is I'm showing you just the hip, knee and ankle and the left bones of the leg. I've taken away the right leg so we don't have to work around it.

But I'm just showing you the leg. But you have to understand it would never work like this. It more works the whole body functioning together. So let's jump over and cover that concept real quick. Now here's an animation that I'm showing you here. And this is years going by for this person. And they're winding up.

And I just showed you 60 years worth of damage. Isn't that neat. I showed it to you in a few seconds. So we'll unwind that and go back to ideal. Now I have the arms and chest cavity here. Not the cavity, but the actual sternum and ribs and chest.

And I'm going to take those away because it will interrupt our discussion here. I really want to look at the skeleton. So as this person winds up, look at this. Now this is one example of billions of combinations that could happen with a wound up spine. So the chances of you looking like this are slim to none, being anywhere wound up in these positions, but the concept is exact. So what happens to people is they get structural problems through their whole body and at some point in their life they could start developing plantar fascitis pain because that's where their body basically can't take it anymore.

It's being overburdened, over stressed all the time so they get plantar fascitis pain. That's what I'm trying to show you here, how this all works together. See one of the problems in modern medicine and all practitioners of health care realistically this is what happens. Everyone gets focused on their thing. Medicine usually gets focused on medicines right? Physical Therapists get focused on muscles...strengthening and stretching them.

Chiropractors get focused on the bones. And all those are fine. There's nothing wrong with any of those. Very few people actually look at the whole structure. Now what I want you to notice when I'm doing this here is look at the feet and the hips. Hips, I mean, I should say pelvis. Look at the hips and pelvis, and feet and pelvis. Look at all these movement that are happening here.

Look at this left hip right there. Look how it's turning in and out and how the foots going with it and the knees changing position and the pelvis, the iliac crests are moving up and down. All this is happening during a certain phase of this persons life here.

Now it could be safe to say that a person at this point right here could have lets say left plantar fascia pain. And as they wound up and got their bodies a little worse their left foot pain went away and the right plantar fascia might start hurting. And this happens to people. I've had a number of people come in over the years and they've said this. They said I had plantar fascia pain in the left foot for example and after a few months or whatever, that went away and then it moved to the right side. And now they can't deal with it.

They can't get rid of it. It's been months and months and months and no one has been able to tell them what's wrong and what to do. And I kind of chuckle because with the work I do, it's going to unwind their body and take them backwards in time. If you want to think of that.

It's like the ultimate in anti aging. Now it's not cellular anti aging, it's structural anti aging. So I'm going to take their body back in time through some of their old injuries. And that's what's neat about it. So let's say a person had plantar fascia pain here in the left foot and then they wound up and it went to their right foot. So it was in their left foot and now it's in their right foot and now they're in to see me. I can tell them that I'll be able to get rid of your right plantar fascia pain, but don't be surprised if your left foot pain comes back again.

Because as I unwind them, they'll now get into that position where their left foot used to bother them. And that's good for them. That means I actually made their body mechanically better, but now the body is in such a posture with twists and tilts and everything else that the left plantar fascia hurts again. And then I unwind them a little further and then that goes away.

As people unwind and get things fixed that their body cannot self correct, then their bodies go back through time and they get better. And the neat thing is, about this mechanism is that everything changes. So let's say you had some right plantar fascia pain, some left hip pain and some headaches and tight neck. As you get treated all those things go away simultaneously. You can't avoid it actually. Typically if you went to a doctor and had three areas of concern you could focus on one maybe two at the same time right. They treat you differently. So anyway, that's a little side note.

What happens here, pay attention to this, all this winding up going on here or unwinding, everything affects everything. You can't separate it. The body is too interconnected. You can't even pull on a toe and have it affect the rest of your body. You just can't. You might not feel it, but that's how it works. It just affects everything. Everything affects everything.

So when we go back here to the plantar fascia stuff you'll see how limited this is now in terms of its thinking, because the rest of the body isn't involved. But still it makes the animation much more accurate (understandable). Ok, so from here, we kind of covered where the plantar fascia pain is coming from. And again, it's overstretching of these tissues here.

Get rid of the arrows. When you have these tissues overstretched, over and over again, you can run into problems. Now remember here, this animation is kind of showing normal motion. So when you're walking that arch is supposed to drop down. But let's just say that this was your natural arch, just hanging out, not putting any pressure on the foot. And then when you stood up and put pressure on the foot, the arch dropped even more.

See that can happen. This foot here is more of the normal amount of pronation that is available. This is why putting an orthotic in your shoe isn't the most logical because you prevent all this from happening then when you put an arch support in there you can't go down at all. And so people like their arch supports.

Now why do people like their arch supports? Why do people even get arch supports is a better question? They usually get them because they have foot pain. They have arch pain or heal pain or something in their foot that they want to change. And if you change the body mechanically in any way, whether you just put a little heal lift in there, or have a different arch in your foot (shoe) or you get like the Birkenstock shoes which have a very undulating pattern in the shoe itself. Any type of mechanical change can provide amazing relief because it changes the mechanics of your entire body. See what happens...Let's say you do have plantar fascia pain and you got relief from the orthotics. Well what happened is you had a dropped foot, some kind of pronated foot, the arch support brought you back up to a more neutral position or somewhere around there. And you got the relief because now this tissue down here isn't getting stretched every time you walk.

Well, is that good or bad? Well your foot pain went away so you'd think it would be good. But if I artificially take this, and let's say this is a normal position for your foot, is that a good thing? Well remember when we went back to that other animation and went through and had this thing all going around? Your body uses the knees and hips and feet to compensate for other things that are going wrong. So my point is, if your foot is normally like this and when you step on it it goes down even further, if you go and artificially push that up with an arch support what happens? Well first your hip goes backwards, externally rotates more.

But then the rest of your body loses that mechanism to compensate and so you might hurt elsewhere. And people have this once in a while, they'll do arch supports and their foot pain might go away, but then they experience pain somewhere else. Auh, these arch supports, Ugh, I'd rather have the foot pain than whatever they're dealing with with the arch supports. And so you'll find a lot of people that don't like their arch support as well as people that like them. You don't want to artificially push this up. What you really want to do is fix the body so the arch comes up on its own. And that's possible. I've seen plenty of people with flat feet or very low arches and their arches start to restore after you start fixing the whole body.

But you have to unwind them. So wherever they are, you unwind them. And as you unwind them, the arches can come and go. Higher, lower. As you unwind, just as you kind of see here.

Now here I didn't animate the actual arches. It's more just the rest of the body. But you get the point. So, the arch on the left foot for example if it was really really flat might start coming up. And as you unwind even further it might go back down again as part the compensatory mechanism of how your body is at that time and then comes back up again. And it just does all this stuff as your whole body unwinds and gets better and better.

It's a very neat part of health care that you have to understand. And this is where medicine doesn't really see it and most health care practitioners don't really see the whole body as something that needs to be fixed together. And the ones that do aren't quite sure how to do it.

And I used to be in that boat. I was trying to fix people on a global level, but I didn't know how to do it. We just weren't trained well enough in chiropractic school as to how to go about doing that stuff. That's kind of neat, how it all works. And the other thing I wanted to touch on quick was the forward posture thing here.

We're going to take this and we're going to look at this forward posture. Now what I want you to see is when this goes forward look at the bottom of the feet. Let me just unhighlight that. Look how here the arch is nice and happy and as the body goes forward the arch collapses. Look at that. Isn't that amazing? Forward bodies are a big problem.

And you probably have a forward body yourself. And how you can tell is very simple. You go get a camera. And you have somebody take a picture of you from the side.

And turn it lengthwise so you can get the whole body in as much as you can. What you want to do is stand there, breathe in, breathe out and let your body relax and slump. That's it and have them take the picture.

And from that point you can look and you'll probably find that you have a very forward body if not even by a few degrees. But I want you to notice what happens to the arch. It just goes...Blah, Blah. It just flattens right out because the weight is very much distributed to the front of the foot instead of the heal. So you're supposed to have more of your weight on the heal than the ball of the foot.

And remember what I said there in the beginning with the bridge concept here? So as the weight comes way over to the front here, these muscles are going to have to tighten up a lot more because this part of the foot is so much further away from where the weight is actually coming down. Isn't that neat. So the weight is supposed to be back here closer to the heal. That's supposed to carry your weight, not this part. But as the weight comes forward than this has to flatten out, it's going to stretch the tissues underneath here. These are literally going to have to contract to hold this arch and foot together so it doesn't just fall apart as if you took one of the structures of the bridge and let it fall out.

Again the bridge would collapse into the water. So forward posture is part of the problem. Now if you're thinking I'll just stand backwards. I'll just lean back more into my heals. Then you're going to feel off balance.

So where your body rests whether it's there or there or there, it's always resting in the spot where it feels the most balanced. Even if it's not the most upright. But there is a methodology, that's what I use in my office, to actually get people back on their heals without feeling off balance. And it is the neatest thing ever, but it involves the full structure, the full body you have to work in order to get the person to come back on their heals. And with that comes better breathing, your back feels better, headaches go away, foot pain goes away, calf tightness goes away, IT band tightness goes away.

Lot's of things change. Not always quickly, but they change in a consistent, predictable manner. But talking about the foot again, this is a big deal. Most people don't realize they have it. So let's say your forward posture here and you're going to get your foot massaged every week. And you get some relief from it but you notice it always comes back. Because the tightness down here has to be there. The muscles down here have to contract, they have to tighten up.

And they have to become more rigid to support the structure, the forward body structure. Well why not just get your body weight back without feeling off balance and these things can go, Ah! And they don't hurt again. That's what I'm trying to explain to you here is that the foot pain you're experiencing is not just foot pain. And if that's the one thing I get you to understand in this video is that treating the foot alone is kind of like banging your head against the wall.

Now yes you might get the pain to go away, but you might get that at the expense of winding your body up a little more so mechanically you're actually worse off than before even though your foot pain is gone. And that was hard for me to understand and get through my thick skull for many years. Oh pain relief? All pain relief is good. Well, it is because the pains gone, but it doesn't necessarily mean it is good if the rest of the body becomes more wound up.

Because you're just asking for more future problems. And then just real briefly talking about the Morton's Neuroma because that is another thing. And by the way, the generic pains people get in their feet. See sometimes you get people with pain in the top of their feet and nobody can identify what it's from. If the foot is in different positions you can get different pinches, different stresses on these bones, different twists in the metatarsals here.

And that can cause that mysterious foot pain. Along with the Morton's Neuroma is due to a nerve that gets pinched through here. And that too is just from these weird foot positions that your body can be in due to the rest of the structure being twisted and funky. So also quite easy to fix if you know how to fix it, but it involves treating the whole body and that's the type of work that I do and it's called Advanced BioStructural Correction. And you know, most of you that are going to be watching this video, this is going to be played all over the world and you're not going to be anywhere close to me. But there is an entire group of Advanced BioStructural Correction practitioners throughout the world and we all know how to do this structural correction that I'm talking about. So if you're interested in learning more about this or getting your body corrected with this methodology of structural correction than I'll the leave the website link down here in the "Show More" part of the YouTube video and you can see for yourself and find a doctor or practitioner closer to you.

And you can go to them and see what kind of results you can get. By the way if you have any questions, leave your questions down in the comment section of the YouTube video and I usually respond to these fairly quickly. And I can answer questions for you or help you find a practitioner or whatever you need. But I love answering questions and I give detailed answers as you might have seen from some of my other YouTube videos that I've done. Again my name is Dr. Jeff Aberle in Madison Wisconsin and thank you for listening.

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