Pain in the heel or the bottom of the foot can be an incredibly frustrating discomfort to have because the foot tends to be slow to respond to conventional treatment methods. When addressed with specialized healing techniques, though, most foot problems can be wholly treated efficiently.
Causes of Foot Pain
The foot is composed of a complex network of muscles that move, control, and stabilize it. These muscles and overlying fascia can gradually be overworked, which can result in what is commonly referred to as micro-trauma. These muscles are like thin bands that expand and contract, and the micro-trauma manifests as tiny apertures in the band that threaten the structural integrity of the muscle because all expansion is constantly expanding the tiny tears as the foot is constantly worked all day. In an attempt to remedy this, the body both covers and fills in these tears with connective tissue, but this amounts to a patch job that goes against the grain of the original tissue. This patch is what is called scar tissue.
At first, this micro-trauma in the form of resultant scar tissue does not affect how the muscle stretches or contracts, but as the foot continues to stretch and get overworked just like before over the course of days, weeks, months, and even years, the tissue suffers more and more tears, which always yields more scar tissue. As the scar tissue continues to gradually build up, it impacts the muscle with viscous adhesion, and this causes various muscles and layers of muscles to become stuck together. This makes it harder for the foot to function as per usual. Tissues can end up restricting nerves that pass through the bottom or top of the foot, and this recurring process eventually brings the foot to the point of pain regularly registering with the brain.
The Practice of A.R.T.
Many of the most common approaches to foot pain are often ineffective at treating the source of the pain about which the patient complains, and as such, even if the treatment method in question temporarily gets rid of the pain, it is likely to return. This is the case for virtually anatomical region. This is primarily because these other treatment methods do not deal directly with the underlying scar tissue adhesions that manifest between fascia layers. These adhesions are what bind the muscles together and restrict normal motion, which is the true source of the physical discomfort.
Active Release Technique is a specialized treatment that manually effects deep tissue manipulation on the targeted muscle regions in order to deal directly with the problem. Any practitioner of A.R.T. is going to begin applying treatment first by dealing with the adhesions. In the case of the foot example, the practitioner’s fingers aim to, first, shorten the fascia and apply very specific tension with his or her fingers; this provides the necessary leverage to stretch the fascia. When the tissues lengthen, they are pulled such that the practitioner can actually feel the muscle in its entirety and thereby determine whether or not the muscle is healthy. This is how the A.R.T. practitioner finds out what regions to target in the affected area.
When a user of A.R.T. feels scar tissue adhesions in the muscle he or she examines, the amount and the direction of tension can be manually modified to break up the adhesions and get the tissues “unstuck,” so to speak. This literally hands-on method of treatment allows the practitioner to be very specific about which muscles or layers he or she treats. This is necessary because the foot and many other parts of the body are comprised of complex muscle networks that require in-depth, up-close treatment. Modifying the depth or position of contact is how the practitioner maintains control of the direction of tension and also feel the adhesions that need targeting. Active Release Technique does wonders for even the most complex muscle networks of the body, and the foot is just one of innumerable, anatomical locales that exemplify just this, which means all the common pain areas of the body can be treated with A.R.T. at least as efficiently as this.