There has been a lot of talk lately in the podiatry community concerning yoga and plantar fasciitis.
In my podiatry practice I treat many patients with heel pain and plantar fasciitis and in my opinion yoga delays the healing process of plantar fasciitis.
The reason for this is that the plantar fascia is extremely strong. Yoga stretches tend to pull the fascia away from the heel bone, thus aggravating the situation. So the more a person participates in yoga, stretching the bottom of their foot, the less likely it will be for the foot to heal properly.
Patients must understand what plantar fasciitis is and when they understand the true problem, then they can understand why certain treatments work and others don’t.
When they understand that yoga works against healing the bottom of the foot, then they may not want to participate in it, until it is healed.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is simply the plantar fascia pulling away from the calcaneus (heel bone).
Once the band pulls away it is very hard for the body to heal and because it is constantly pulling away whenever people are weight-bearing.
How Is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?
Treatments for plantar fasciitis include symptomatic and problematic treatment methods.
Symptomatic treatments included:
*and/or physical therapy
All of these treatments will make a patient feel better but there is a high likelihood that the problem will return due to the fact that the foot is still functioning in an abnormal manner, which is what caused the plantar fascia to pull away from the heel bone.
Problematic treatment includes:
*the use of Full Contact orthotics
Custom orthotics help to prevent the Plantar Fascia from pulling away from the heel while a person is standing. This addresses the underlying cause of plantar fasciitis.
So How Does Yoga Come Into Play
There are many stances and stretches in yoga that stretch out the bottom of the foot.
In my opinion, I tried to have patients treat the plantar fasciitis by correcting the abnormal functioning of the foot and when that treatment is over a patient can go back to yoga.