Tag Archives: plantar fascitis

Common Exercising Injuries

images[5]It’s a couple weeks into 2013 and many people are still very dedicated to their new year’s resolution of weight loss or a healthier lifestyle.  Some of these new exercisers are filling the gyms or enjoying the jogging paths in their new, hopefully perfectly fitted, athletic shoes, while still others are starting to develop pains and injuries.  There are many common injuries associated with running and new exercise routines, many treatable at home, while others require a visit to your podiatrist.

Many new exercisers start out in a very high intensity routine, almost guaranteeing themselves an injury from overuse.  The constant repetition of contraction and release of muscles that many exercises require can lead to muscle tears or ruptures.  Injuries can occur in all body parts including the knee, shin, ankle, and foot.

Pains that occur in the knee are commonly called runners knee and are caused by the foot rolling inward too much, called excessive pronation.  This can be treated and prevented by custom orthotics which can be prescribed by a podiatrist.  Orthotics can also be an effective treatment for another common injury that presents with a painful ache on the front and medial side of the leg caused by inflamed muscles, called shin splints.

heel pain

The left image shows a foot with a healthy arch: the plantar fascia is relaxed. The right image shows a flattened arch: the plantar fascia is stretched tight with inflammation at it’s heel attachment.

The foot can experience many different injuries from overuse.  A pain in the heel of the foot, called plantar fasciitis, is often caused by stress on the bottom of the foot.  This can be caused by excessive pronation, poor fitting shoes, and overtraining.  Heel pain can also be caused from pain and tightness in the large muscles of the leg from repetitive rising up on the toes that leads to achilles tendon inflammation and pain at the back of the heel.

Another common overtraining injury is a stress fracture.  This happens because of repetitive forces from the ground and body being applied to the bones in the foot.  This temporarily weakens the bone and without proper time to recover, commonly seen with overuse, the bone will eventually fracture. This could stop your activity altogether for 4-8 weeks wiping out the work you’ve done previously.

 Make an appointment with First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic and let us help keep your new exercise routine going strong, and your feel feeling great.

Plagued with Heel Pain?: 3 Exercises to Reduce Morning Heel Pain

058 plantarfasciitis_stretch1Do you wake up in the morning feeling pain in your heels? If so, there is a good possibility you are suffering from plantar fasciitis – inflammation of an important supporting ligament (the plantar fascia)on the bottom of the foot. 90% of people at one point or another in their lives will be affected by this condition.  In many cases, the pain goes away on its own. These exercises will help speed the process up:

  1. Stretching: Your foot is an arch supported by several ligaments, including the plantar fascia. By stretching it out, it is loosened and strengthened. A good exercise is to sit on the floor with your legs forward and knees straight. Wrap a towel around the ball of your foot, and pull back for 30 seconds, and then repeat for another 30 seconds. This will not only stretch your plantar fascia, but also your calf muscles and Achilles tendon. This muscle group actually wraps around the heel bone and is continuous with the plantar fascia, so by stretching this muscle, you will relieve plantar fascia pain!
  2. “ABC”…Draw the alphabet with your toes: On the bottom of your foot are 4 layers of tiny muscles, which contribute to stabilizing the foot when you walk. By making fine movements with your toes, you will strengthen these muscles that help support the arch, so the plantar fascia won’t need to do so much work.
  3. Toe crunches: Just like drawing the alphabet, this also will strengthen the small muscles of the foot that underlie the plantar fascia.

These exercises can be done before going to bed at night or when you wake up in the morning. If all goes well, the exercises should minimize your pain. However, Dr. Vimal Reddy warns that not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis. Furthermore, it can be a symptom of a bigger problem. If your pain does not improve or gets worse after two weeks, request an appointment with Dr. Reddy at the First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic in Jacksonville, FL to see if a more advanced treatment will help.

Heel Pain? Could be Your Heel Bone!

049 Figure-1A-Normal-lateral-foot-x-Ray-1024x547After watching the USA and Japan duke it out in over time at the FIFA 2011 Women’s World Cup, one may think to themselves, “Do their feet hurt after all that running around?” The calcaneus, or the heel bone, is the largest bone in the foot and the first part of the foot to hit the ground.  This makes the heel bone more vulnerable to injury and something seen often at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic.

Heel pain is an issue many people on the First Cost deal with and it is commonly attributed to plantar fasciitis. Dr. Vimal Reddy believes it is best to X-ray the heel in order to check for a stress fracture, which can occur in any bone of the foot as a result of overuseAs we age and our bones become weaker, we are more at risk for stress fractures, and the calcaneus is one of the most common places for it to happen.  Utilizing a digital X-ray to quickly and efficiently examine and diagnose, Dr. Reddy can even tell you about osteoporosis, since he is able to use X-rays of the calcaneus as a measure of how strong the bones are.

Of course, people will have accidents and have been known to break the calcaneus, like any other bone in the body. This happens most when individuals fall from great heights and land on their feet.  Sadly, they usually break both, and fractured heel bones are a very serious injury due to the difficulty of healing.  The individual may never function the same way again.  As a podiatric surgeon, Dr. Reddy is qualified to surgically correct these injuries to line up the bony fragments and work towards the best possible recovery.