A few weeks ago, one of my long-time Team Over The Top clients requested a 1-on-1 training session with me. The request came due to left foot plantar fasciitis (PF) issue – the first time in Rosie’s running/athletic career that this cropped up. She had recently tried a rather aggressive form of Yoga with no previous experience. Being quite fit and competitive, she most likely did too much too soon. The plantar fasciitis issue cropped up soon after, rendering her totally inactive. I first assessed Rosie’s body symmetry only to find that she was locked up on her right side – the opposite side from which she developed the PF. This could be expected as the left foot would take more of the active pressure during all exercises in the class. You will notice the therapy tape on her left foot. We removed that immediately (to eliminate any artificial bracing of the foot)and proceeded to look at her arches and the condition of her Barefoot-Science inserts. Her left arch had collapsed slightly from our last time together 1.5 years ago. The insert pads to activate her feet had also collapsed to the point of no return. Notice the excessive supination of the left foot – an indicationof inadequate gluteus medius firing. Also notice the anterior tibial rotation when Rosie was walking in her minimalist shoes with the old barefoot-science inserts in place. You can also see excessive left hip dropping which again puts tremendous strain on the left foot. You can see slight improvement when Rosie 1st walked barefoot – she was off-centre but not as much as in her footwear. It’s no wonder her feet were compromised during her Yoga sessions! Her feet had lost too much strength.After getting Rosie barefoot and activating more from the gluteal muscles, she started to square up and move without significant foot pain. We also got her into a new set of barefoot science inserts and within minutes, her posture improved, her hips aligned better and her feet landed square andcentered. You can see from the video below (simply click on the link to view it) that Rosie quickly got back to my safe, efficient Squat-Scoot method of running with a good prognosis moving forward.
The unlocking process only took about 10 minutes. It included the alternate knee swings and the Functional Chain Trainer (FCT) 2 minute activation drill.We finished with a series of drills to strengthen her feet and take direct pressure off her irritated plantar fascia. These included eccentric left foot loading on a step, locked knee hip drops, bent knee hip drops and barefoot 1-legged 1/2 squats. The end result was a significant reduction in pain from the PF of the left foot, better activation from the feet through the whole muscular chain, better balance from the FCT drill and perfect body symmetry from the unlocking process (see photo below).I am happy to report that Rosie never put the so-called athletic therapy tape back on and did NOT brace her foot. She instead did the drills and is now gradually getting back to pain-free running.
The morale of the session with Rosie is stick to what works for you and injury-free, efficient running will be the result.