Health & Body

Ask Deb: “What Do I Do About My Plantar Fasciitis?”


I have plantar fasciitis. What do I do? —Jacqueline

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia on the bottom of your foot. Fascia is a sheet of connective tissue that surrounds muscles.

The traditional first step is to roll out your foot on a ball. Next, you'll want to check other areas that may be affecting it. When you have plantar fasciitis in one foot only, take a look at shifts in the pelvis or torso and look for leg-length differences. If it is in both feet, pick the side that's worse and try the following.

Sit on the floor and place the ball underneath your thigh. Press your hamstring gently into the ball. When you are in a tight area, take four slow counts to flex your foot. Do that a few more times under your hamstring, before doing the same thing for the calf.

Stand up and see how your foot feels. Is there any less pull on the bottom of the foot?

Now, stand with your back to the wall and place the ball along the same side of the spine as the leg you were working on. A good spot to start is along the spine between the shoulder blades. Lean on the ball with your feet placed about a foot away from the wall. Keeping the ball in place, slowly drop your head toward your chest, stretching the muscles along the spine.

You can repeat that a few times in other spots along that same side of the spine.

Recheck how your feet feel. Do you feel any less strain?

If this made a difference to how you feel while standing and walking, it might be useful to find a massage therapist who specializes in myofascial massage. In addition, I would encourage you to continue exploring and releasing any tension you find above the foot. Pay attention to your daily movement patterns and notice what helps or hurts. Then, adjust your movement to minimize the strain.

To your success,

Deborah Vogel

Director, The Body Series

Got a question for Deb? E-mail, and she may answer it in an upcoming web exclusive.

Getty Images

Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

Keep reading... Show less
Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

Keep reading... Show less
Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.