For example, two weeks ago I was preparing for a solo backpacking trip into the High Sierra. Recalling past experiences of painful bunions while carrying a pack, I booked a couple of appointments with my Rolfer™ to help my feet get ready for the trip.
As I gimped morosely along the dusty trail leading back to the trailhead, I had plenty of time to ponder the pain now stabbing the back of my heel with every step.
In a way, my feet were the same: the tendons and muscles, including the big Achilles attaching to the back of the heel, had adapted to the rotations and relatively limited mobility in their boney structure. After half of a lifetime, those soft tissue structures were quite happy and capable of doing their jobs within that context. I probably would never have noticed any limitations or wanted to correct them but for the unfortunate presence of those darn bunions. In the span of a week, my feet were Rolfed into achieving significantly more mobility, and then forced to carry loads much greater than my body weight without any pre-conditioning.
It would be like uprooting krummholz from its craggy granite perch and stuffing it feet first into a coastal redwood forest. It’s hard to undo millions of years of evolution that quickly. Of course, the tree will die.
Luckily, instead of dying, my foot simply developed an overuse injury. Also, luckily, that overuse injury has largely healed itself within a few days of easy walking around (and without a pack.)
If you are an athlete, whether recreational or otherwise, make sure to ease back into your normal activities slowly after receiving treatment, even and especially if you feel better than ever before. The payoff will be many years of enhanced functionality and performance, without the risk of unanticipated injury.