Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the heel or arch of the foot; it can have effects in other areas too. It can be caused by overstretching of the fascia or damage to the connective tissue between the heel, known as the calcaneus, and the ball of the foot.
Symptoms include stabbing pain near the heel. Pain can be worst first thing in the morning taking your first few steps or after long periods of inactivity or weight bearing. The pain may also be there after activities, but usually not during the activity or sport. It may feel like a knife stabbing into the heel of the foot.
What does Plantar Fasciitis mean?
The bottom of the foot is called the “Plantar” region. Fascia is bands of tissue that covers most of the body; it helps keep muscles in place, wraps around organs and muscles, and separates muscles from muscles and other parts. It is like the sinew you find wrapped around the leg of lamb that you may buy.
When this fascia gets irritated it can become inflamed, and this condition is referred to as “itis”, so combined with fascia it becomes, “fasciitis”.
Why does it hurt?
Over stretching of this connective tissue can cause tearing and inflammation. Bruising may also occur from overuse or high impact.
What causes it?
Some of the conditions below can be contributing factors to plantar fasciitis.
What can I do to treat it?
There are several initial ways to treat plantar fasciitis and they may include some gentle stretches, taping of the foot, having an orthotic custom made, doing some strengthening exercises and massages to help break up the tissue.
When we stretch we should include the bottom of the foot, the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles as they can all play a role in making the pain worse.
Taping can bring some initial pain relief but usually only lasts a few days at most.
Strengthening is a little longer to get results and can at time cause more pain before getting good gain, but is worth persisting with.
Orthotics are also good way to get the pressure off the connective tissue and position the foot correctly. It is important to get the orthotics made for you and not just over the counter ones, support and positioning are very important.
Massage is a great way to help bring short and long term relief from pain. Your therapist will usually combine a few of the treatment options to get you back on your feet again, pain free.
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Recently I’ve been treating a lot of clients coming to see me with shoulder, neck and lower back pain. As we talk through their condition and the possible causes, there have been some very similar contributing factors to their conditions, being stagnant at work or doing repetitive duties. Whether they are office workers, truck drivers or mechanics, they all have repetitive issues and lack of movement.
Due to ongoing issues I’ve written this short article as a reminder of what we face and some thinks to think about at your work.
Workstation is defined, traditionally, as a powerful computer dedicated to one person for a specific task. It can also be an area that is intended to be for a particular type of work to be performed.
Most office workers now refer to their area as a workstation.
RSI is the medical term that refers to Repetitive Strain Injury, where an action is performed in the same manner repeatedly over a long period. This repetitive action can cause inflammation, weakness and pain in muscles, tendons, ligament or joints.
Ergonomics. This means to get the best and most efficient comfort and safety for your work environment to prevent injury soreness and possible chronic pain.
What the link here?
Many people are now in a job that requires a lot of repetitive duties, office workers typing on a computer, cooks standing behind a counter, drivers sitting all day, nurses bending and lifting patients, and the list goes on for many jobs. As we continue to do the same activities, and we must at times, we put a lot of stress on our body, which can lead to injury and chronic pain and injury.
Many companies are aware of these issues and are putting plans into action to combat the chances of pain and injury through ergonomics in work places and rotation of duties.
To reduce the chances of repetitive injury by sitting in front of a computer it is recommended that you vary positions often and vary between sitting and standing.
Many places are now starting to switch to a sit –to- standing work-station and it is important to make sure of correct positioning for the person using that station, and to make adjustments to the work-station for each individual user.
Remember that a standing workstation is similar to a seated one; the positioning should follow the same guidelines.
You should always listen to your body, if you are experiencing any discomfort or pain change position and see your health care provider for advice.
Be aware of your footwear as this can affect your posture; try to keep comfortable shoes for use at the workstation, even anti-fatigue mats can help.
All joints need to be in a comfortable position and feeling relaxed. Try to keep all your work close to your body.
Remember to keep your body well hydrated, especially in the colder months, when the air is day, or if you work in an air-conditioned environment.
Get a regular massage to help the body cope with the demands of repetitive tasks. Massage also helps to loosen the muscles and joints so you can perform better and recover quicker from fatigue or injury.
Massage can also help with mental stimulation in an office environment so you may think clearer and perform better, resulting in better satisfaction with your job.