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.
By Kelli Boylen
1. I am not a masseuse, and, no matter how cool you think that word sounds, your massage therapist probably doesn’t like it. Massage parlor is rather outdated as well. In years past, some “massage parlors” were really fronts for sex shops and I did not take out student loans and complete more than 850 hours of training to be associated with prostitution. Trust me–I’m pretty serious about it. Jokes about “happy endings” are outdated as well.
2. Please be on time. We really like to work on you for the entire scheduled time. We often have another client coming in right after you, so it is unlikely for us to work on you past the scheduled appointment time.
3. We don’t care about the stubble on your legs. Unless a leg is shaved within a few hours of your massage, it has stubble on it. We don’t mind, and we are not going to flip out about leg hair. You don’t hear men apologizing for the stubble on their faces? And that stubble is actually rough (although that doesn’t bother us either). As long as you are reasonably clean, we’re all good.
4. Your perfume may smell beautiful, but since we work in close proximity to you for about an hour,it can get a little overwhelming. We prefer you wait until you leave our office to put it on. Some of our other clients have allergies to perfume, and it’s hard to air out smells sometimes.
5. You have no obligation to talk to us during a massage. If talking helps you relax, by all means go ahead. Otherwise, go to your happy place.
6. To us, your butt is not cute, big, small, or sexy. It’s a big muscle, and we like muscles. If you have problems in your lower back, chances are that your gluteal muscles are involved with that as well We can work your glutes with a sheet covering if that makes you more comfortable, but it seems kind of silly not to work on some of the biggest muscles in the body.
7. Even if you are comfortable with nudity, we don’t want to see it. We are trained on how to properly drape clients to protect your modesty and ours. Just because we are comfortable with the sides of your buttocks, doesn’t mean we want to see anything else.
8. We have had extensive training in anatomy and physiology, kinesiology (the study of muscles and movement), pathology, and ethics. If we forget that you may not know all the same terminology we have learned, please ask us what we mean. We know where your medial malleolus is (that’s your ankle bone on the inside of your leg), but if you haven’t heard of that before, please ask.
9. If you have had a change in your medical condition since you were here last time, it is important that you tell us. If you tell us halfway through a deep-tissue massage that you are taking blood thinners, we are going to be thinking “uh-oh” in our heads.
10. Tell us if you want more or less pressure. We are happy to oblige, and won’t take offense. In fact, we love it if you tell us what you like and don’t like as we go along–it helps us to individualize your massage to what you want and need.
11. Yes, we put clean sheets on the table for every client.
12. During the massage session, our job is to do bodywork. Your job is to relax. We love the tranquil
look people get after their massage, so leave your worries somewhere else and leave your muscles
13. If you are unhappy, please tell us why. Sometimes a client doesn’t return and we have no idea if we did something wrong or if you are just busy.
14. If you are happy with what we do, tell your friends. We love referrals.
15. Finally, enjoy your massage! We love our work and hope you do, too.
The remarkable health benefits of Epsom salt baths
What are Epsom Salts?
Epsom salts is the name for a crystalline salt of magnesium sulfate heptahydrate. Discovered near the town of Epsom, England, about 1618, it, is used internally as a laxative and externally as a soaking aid for bruises, sprains, and local inflammation. The “salt” occurs as an evaporation deposit from mineral waters. Epsom salts are now made in America in large quantities as a byproduct of the manufacture of carbon dioxide for soda water.
According to Fuller’s Worthies, the mineral spring was discovered by a farmer who noticed that in spite of a drought, his cows refused to drink water from the spring. On analysis, it was found to contain the bitter purgative, sulphur of magnesia.
Epsom Wells developed into a favorite spa. Aubrey, Pepys, Nell Gwyn, and Queen Anne’s consort were among its visitors.
(NaturalNews) Epsom salts have been used by many different cultures for hundreds of years. They have a number of different beneficial properties and are used in gardening, household cleaning and detoxifying the body. These salts are very inexpensive and can be purchased at bulk discounts in garden centers nearly everywhere. Using Epsom salt baths is an advanced detoxification strategy that has remarkable health benefits.
Epsom salts are named for a bitter saline spring located at Epsom in Surrey, England. Epsom is different than traditional salts in that it is actually a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. These minerals have very powerful health benefits that can enhance the detoxification capabilities of the body.
How an Epsom salt bath works:
Magnesium and sulfate are both readily absorbed through the skin and into the body’s blood stream. The skin is a highly porous membrane that both takes in minerals and eliminates toxins every day. Using a powerful mineral base such as Epsom salts in a bathwater medium creates a process called reverse osmosis. This process pulls salt and harmful toxins out of the body and allows the magnesium and sulfates to enter into the body.
Magnesium plays a critical role in over 325 enzymes, helps to improve muscle and nerve function, reduces inflammation and improves blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body. Sulfates are necessary building blocks for healthy joints, skin and nervous tissue. Epsom salts replenish the body’s magnesium levels and sulfates. This combination helps to flush toxins from the body and helps build key protein molecules in the brain tissue and joints.
The use of regular Epsom salt baths has been shown to improve the symptoms of many health conditions including athlete’s foot, gout, toenail fungus, sprains, bruises and muscle soreness. It is also good for anyone dealing with chronic disease or chronic pain to do regular Epsom baths to help detoxify and de-inflame while improving mineral and sulfur balance in the body.
Contraindications to Epsom baths would be if you are pregnant, dehydrated or have open wounds or burns on your skin. Individuals who are suffering with cardiovascular disease should always consult with a natural health physician who is familiar with the health benefits of Epsom salt baths before starting.
How to take an Epsom salt bath:
The first step is to schedule yourself at least 40 minutes, as you need about 20 minutes to remove the toxins, and for the second 20 minutes, the body absorbs the minerals in the bath water.
Fill up your bath with warm water. Be sure to have a water filtration system in your house, as you don’t want to bathe in tap water that has toxic chlorine, fluoride, dioxins and heavy metals. Add in the Epsom salts in the following amounts:
Children under 60 lbs: Add 1/2 cup of salts to a standard size bath
Individuals between 60-100 lbs: Add 1 cup of salts to a standard size bath
Individuals between 100-150 lbs: Add 1 1/2 cup of salts to a standard size bath
Individuals between 150-200 lbs: Add 2 cups of salts to a standard size bath
For every 50lbs larger – add in an additional 1/2 cup of salts.
Additional strategies to apply with an Epsom salt bath
Adding in a 1/2 cup of olive oil is also very good for the skin, as the polyphenols soak into the skin and give extra antioxidant benefits. Adding ginger or cayenne can increase your heat levels, which will help you to sweat out toxins. You can add anywhere from 1 tbsp to 1/2 a cup to stimulate sweating, and these herbs are loaded with antioxidants that will enhance the detoxification process as well.
Do not use soap with an Epsom salt bath, as it will interfere with the action of the minerals and the detoxification process. Try to rest for an hour or two afterwards unless you have arthritic joints, in which case you will want to stay active as much as possible to prevent congestion in the joints.