Monday, May 9, 2011

                              Pain in your heel?
Are you having stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning? Does this pain decrease after you get to moving? Does your pain come back if you stand or get up from a seated position for long periods of time?  If you answered yes to some or all of these you may have what is called “Plantar Fasciitis.”
The next most common question typically asked is what is the Plantar Fascia?, and what is Plantar Fasciitis?
As noted in the picture below, the plantar fascia, runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. When there is pain and inflammation of this area it is called Plantar Fasciitis. It will commonly occur in one foot, but can at times be both feet.

Who gets this? It can be commonly found in people who run or walk fast on a regular basis. We will give you more on what else to watch for if you are a runner in a later blog. Plantar Fasciitis can also be found in people who are overweight, women who are pregnant, and those who wear shoes with inadequate support. It’s commonly recommended to avoid loose, thin-soled shoes, as well as shoes without enough arch support or flexible padding to absorb shock. If you are a runner, then change your shoes every 500 miles.
Here is a list of things that increases your risk of developing plantar fasciitis:
1.      Age: Typically occurs between ages 40-60
2.      Sex: Women are more likely to develop
3.      Exercise: Long distance running, ballet dancing, and dance aerobics
4.      Faulty Foot Mechanics: Being flat footed, Having high arches, or Abnormal walking pattern
5.      Obesity: Added pounds can put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
6.      Jobs on your feet: Factory workers, teachers, and others who spend most of their work hours walking or standing.
7.      Improper shoes and addressed earlier.
What can you do at home for the short term:
1.      Put your feet up: Stay off your feet for several days when pain is severe.
2.      Apply Ice: Hold a cloth-covered ice pack over the area of pain 15-20 minutes three or four times a day or after activity.
3.      Decrease your miles: You probably won’t have to permanently retire your running or walking shoes, but it’s a good idea to cover shorter distances until the pain subsides.
4.      Take up a no or low impact exercise. Swap swimming or bicycling for walking or jogging while it’s bothering you.
5.      Arch support: you can add some arch supports to your shoes to help absorb some of the shock.
Before you start any home exercise program, it’s always recommended to consult your doctor first.
Why to get it checked out? Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in chronic heel pain that hinders your regular activities. A heel spur can be a common after affect of untreated plantar fasciitis. You may also develop foot, knee, hip or back problems because of the way plantar fasciitis changes your walking.
What can I do to fix it? There are numerous treatments available for Plantar Fasciitis, one of the most beneficial  is chiropractic care for your spine, your foot, as well as active/passive soft tissue mobilization of the plantar fascia region to help fix and correct the problem.

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