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Bone spurs

Kkatsos2010-07-05 03:29:00 +0000 #1
I have a student who has a heel spur on her right foot and when doing warrior I & II and south-side stretch feels pain into her achilles. Can you advise how to offer alternatives for relief?

Thank you.
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 03:40:12 +0000 #2
Sure. I am not familiar with anything called South Side Stretch. If it's parsvakonasana: ...

In Vira 1 lifting the back heel may help.

If not, then a foam wedge under the heel (in Vira 1 and Vira 2).

You can also use a rolled mat or blanket. The mat is preferable since it provide needed traction.

What is the third pose please?
Chandra2010-07-05 03:42:27 +0000 #3
Tension in Achilles Tendon will definitely pull on the fascia (connective tissue) of the foot. Plantar Fascitis and/or bone spurs can result from excessive tension in the small muscles of the balls of the feet and the Achilles. Modifications to go deeper into poses are great, but dealing with the underlying problem will have a more lasting effect.

She probably has a limited range of dorsiflexion (bringing sole of foot toward the face) such as happens when in the back leg of WI. As she is feeling pain, my recommendation would be to work more gently with the poses mentioned to access a stretch of the tight tissue, rather than relying on a prop to access a deeper appearance of the pose. WI should be felt in the lower back leg as a stretch.

If your student will practice WI at the wall - eliminating the upper body aspect of the pose and focusing on the stretch in the calf, she can use it as a therapeutic pose on a daily basis. The deeper muscle of the calf can be reached by bending the knee (while keeping the heel on the ground). Relaxation should be maintained throughout - and no pain - just a slow stretch!

Massage or self massage can also be helpful. She can try using a golf ball to roll out the tight tissue of the sole of the foot.

Note of Caution: If an actual bone spur has developed, this person should be under the care of a physician. Occaisionally surgery is recommended for this condition.


InnerAthlete2010-07-05 04:47:35 +0000 #4
I'm going to have to take a bit of exception with the narrow view you present of prop use. There are only two issues I have. The post, Chandra, like all of your posts, is mindful, precise, and in the best interest of the student.

My two issues are this:

The OP asks about "relief" in three specific poses. The props will provide what the OP has requested based on what she's shared. Since she did not ask about remedy I gave her what she asked for.

Second I was not suggesting she a) go "deeper into poses" or b) develop reliance on props for "appearance". The semantics of this text may mislead readers relative to my comments.

Generally speaking the tone of your post would discourage prop use. Which is fine if that's your position and I would respect that - delivered a bit more directly.



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