Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis


As an avid runner John used to spend about 60 minutes a day 5 days a week running. If the weather was good he used to wear his running gear and head out to Central-Park. Whenever the weather was bad outside he used to go to the fitness center and run on the treadmill. One morning John got up feeling pain on his feet as he stepped out of bed to the bath room. The pain wasn't too strong but it was there. Before long the same pain was harder particularly whenever he got up and started to walk.

Sometimes physical therapy modalities are helpful. The most frequently used modalities include ultrasound (high frequency sound vibrations that create a deep heat and reduce inflammation) and galvanic electrical stimulation ( a carefully applied intermittent muscular stimulation to the heel and calf that helps reduce pain and relax muscle spasm, which is a contributing factor to the pain). This treatment has been found most effective when given twice a week. Repeated taping and padding is sometimes used. The felt pads that will be strapped to your feet will compress after a few days and must be reapplied.

If you are living with Plantar Fasciitis, then it is inevitable that you will wake up in the morning with pain in the bottom of your foot. This happens because your foot is relaxed when you sleep, and the tendons start to tighten. There are two ways to deal with this. You can do your stretching exercises immediately after you wake up in the morning, which may be more painful. The other alternative is to wear an ankle brace that keeps your tendons stretched at night. The ankle brace is huge, uncomfortable, and all around awful. I got rid of the brace about an hour after putting it on.

Plantar Fasciitis is a serious, painful, and progressing illness that occurs when the long, flat ligament along the bottom of the foot develops tears and inflammation. Serious cases of plantar fasciitis can possibly lead to ruptures in the ligament. This ligament is called the plantar fascia and it extends your five toes and runs along the bottom of your foot, attaching to your heel. When you walk or run, you land on your heel and raise yourself on your toes as you shift your weight to your other foot, causing all your weight to be held up by your plantar fascia.

The fit of a shoe is important. Wearing small shoes can aggravate plantar fasciitis. When shopping for shoes or trying on shoes that have been bought and delivered on the internet, patients should do so in the afternoon or evening. This is because as the day progresses, feet swell and become slightly bigger than in the morning. Also, it is common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other. If this is the case, patients should check the fit based on how the larger foot feels. Shoes are better slightly too large (on the smaller foot) than vice versa.plantar fasciitis brace

Foot Orthotics, is the only non-surgical therapy to have been supported by studies rated by the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine as being of high quality. Landorf et al. performed a single-blind experiment in which patients were randomly assigned to receive off-the-shelf orthotics, personally customized orthotics, or sham orthotics made of soft, thin foam. Patients receiving real orthotics showed statistically significant short-term improvements in functionality compared to those receiving the sham treatment. There was no statistically significant reduction in pain, and there was no long-term effect when the patients were re-evaluated after 12 months.

The foot is a very unique mechanical structure. Each foot is assembled from 26 bones, 33 joints, more than a 100 muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. The human foot system is even more sophisticated and is a little bit different in every individual. The plantar fascia ligament part in the foot mechanism is to keep the foot longitudinal arch structure. It operates more or less like a bow string. But this structure is held also by the other parts of the foot particularly the foot's small muscles. If you exercise your feet this whole structure will get stronger.

Strengthening programs should focus on intrinsic muscles of the foot. Exercises used include towel curls and toe taps. Exercises such as picking up marbles and coins with the toes are also useful. To do a towel curl, the patient sits with the foot flat on the end of a towel placed on a smooth surface. Keeping the heel on the floor, the towel is pulled toward the body by curling the towel with the toes. Next, the process is reversed, and the outside four toes are repetitively tapped to the floor while keeping the big toe in the air.

Other treatments. Some people reap the benefits of wearing a splint overnight to keep the Calf msucles as well as plantar ligament slightly extended. The purpose is actually to avoid the plantar ligament from becoming stiff at night. (The splint does the same job as the workout routines). In very hard situations, at times a plaster cast will be worn on the lower-leg. This gives rest, protection, cushioning and also slight stretching of the particular plantar fascia and also Posterior muscle group. Sportsmen could find ice massage therapy of the heel prior to and following physical exercise helpful.

This kind of plantar fasciitis stretches is done in order to stretch the hind leg as well as the ankles. You need a flat surface and an elevated area such as the curb, a stair step or a low chair. You might also need to hold or lean on to something so that you will not lose your balance. This is a very easy stretching exercise to do. Stand by the edge of the elevated item that you have chosen and stand on your toes. Keep the toes on that edge and allow the heel to drop lower than the toes. plantar fasciitis relief

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