Photo: Wim ‘The Iceman’ Hof – You don’t need to get into the arctic sea for a bit of a cold, but if you wanted to learn more about the healing effects of the “freeze” and breathing techniques, look for Wim’s articles !
I like to ramble and share my experience, but if you just want to go ahead and read the actual procedure without the back-story, scroll to the end of the page !
The one single factor what you must not ignore is constant deep work on your entire body ! Yes, you must not be lousy and care only about your feet, but your entire system !
99% of all plantar fasciitis slash aponeurosis inflammation cases arise from totally somewhere else than your feet itself. It can be and most of the time it is very complicated. You can eliminate feet pain. You can kill bone, joint, nerve or muscle inflammation. However if the actual problem has a distant source, it will fire up again. Maybe not in your plantar region but on other places up and down the chain. This is why the saying : you have pain in your feet, stretch your calves. The body is connected. Later on we will go a little bit on the woowoo naturopathic chemin too !
It is not that simple though. I mean stretching your calves and mobilising your ankles is necessary anyways, but might not help at all and even might cause further initial injuries !
This is an example about the complexity of a possible injury:
Maybe you are tight in your psoas, because of a low back issue, consequently your left glut med and piriformis are not firing, this creates an imbalance in your stride and the overload on this left or right side will pull on your Achilles tendon what will increase the tension in your sole. In the meantime you are running 90% of the time on track turning only into one direction.
Here you go. Decide what to do ! Difficult isn’t it ? Is your lower back hurting because of the lack of glute activation or your glute is not firing because of your locked lower back ? Would switching to trail-running help immediately ? Would it be because of the varying terrain or because of the change in shoe types ?
This is the reason that a shot gun approach is fantastic in case of movement health. Your body should be mobilised, moved and slightly challenged in all directions and all plains:
- Slow controlled movements with correct breathing.
- Explosive and rapid contractions with and without impact.
- Chaotic, sense developing movements like dancing, catching a reaction ball coming back from a wall bounce or learning to fall from a closed eye position while somebody is pushing you from a random side.
- Inverse and gasping breathing during certain movements.
- Switching from slow to fast actions. For instance mixing pilates and shadow boxing.
- Changing positions from vertical to horizontal and back.
- Twisting, leaning, lying prone, on the side or the stomach.
Very often this is why injuries happen. We are not ready ! You do some skipping rope drills and some frog jumps mixed with left or right leg forward leaping. Fantastic ! However, when fatigued at the 30th minutes of a trail running race and have to fly over a giant gap, pushing you off from one side of a rock to accelerate diagonally, bang, you rip some ham fibres.
Unless you learned to dance, to yoga, to Pilates or to bjj you don’t even know what I am explaining here. However when somebody is grasping it, he can construct a fantastic 20 minute workout what activates, mobilises and stretches the body before all of your running workouts. You don’t need dedicated sessions just to be able to climb a rope, to kettlebell swing or to do bunnyhops and headstands. They are all part of your lifestyle, of your running, of you.
If all your joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and organs are correctly functioning, now you can be sure that the local treatment will be efficacious on your plantar region !
The Magic – Contrast therapy
Today I am explaining the local treatment. I am a mover. I recently started flirting with some kick-boxing, parkour movements, balancing, slow motion climbing and so. I do pilates, yoga, hoola hooping, skipping rope, running school drills. I am challenged every single day.
However my feet pain and plantar mess was not going away. It was still pulling and hurting. Sometimes with a broken bone type of pain. This is the third week. I did not stop running, because I know that it is an injury and as humans even when injured should be able to run. Using the silicium cream 4 times a day did not cause relief either. I keep on applying though. Even if did not work, if it was good for you keep on doing it ! It is not like an antibiotic !
To arrive to my conclusive action. 4 days ago I started using ice. Not just icing, but doing deep plantar massage with ice cubes actually. Because of the cold, I feel no pain. I describe this, because if you already had sole massage done by a professional, you would know what kind of pain you can have. I can control myself most often, but last time I shed tears when doing my own massage ! It can be extremely and brutally painful, but relieving in the meantime.
The actual procedure
After 15 minutes of sole massage, what are around 2 ice-cubes, I turn on the infrared lamp for 15 minutes, about 20cm away from my arch. I have a very profound but slowly decreasing pain for a while, then when the whole feet is warmed up, it subsides. I actually switch it over, despite that I have no issues with my other side. I massage the left, infrared the right side. Then on the contrary.
Cold can be used to your favour ! Whole body cold water immersion can reduce local inflammation and boost hormonal levels. I find that placing a bag of frozen peas or cold gel pack and waiting is not that great. It is not really a deep reaching exposure. Massaging with an ice cube, stopping and holding the actual ice on to the tissue, pressing it, is more efficacious. Placing your feet into a mini-tub filled with water and ice is also more penetrating.
Why infrared lamp ? It’s said to be heating the body from the inside out, so the heat is more penetrating. Also there is a myth about toxin freeing and other magical voodoo effects.
Believe what you want, but this local anti-inflammation technique works ! If you read the beginning of the article, you sure understand, that if you already ran a hole on your knee due to a rubbing IT band, it wont’t do batshit for you. I certify this !
PS: we did not get into the naturopathic approach of checking your real entire body. Dental issues, degenerating organs, digestive ailments, constant mold, emf and toxic exposures. These can cause your symptoms too ! Be aware !
PS2 – 3rd Novembre: I went through recently the 3rd totally pain free running session and some parkour / movement workouts. No pain was present. Last night I had also the very first ICE CUBE MASSAGE + INFRARED treatment where I had absolutely zero pain while the heating up of the feet started ! I would not state, that I am healed yet, but I have no more pain, no more discomfort and no fear of hurting myself. When confidence comes back into my movements, this is a very good sign of healing. Not getting cured though. Work is still pretty much daily and constant ! I have already done some plyometrics where I really used my toes and calves. No issues !
I will get back here for further updates !