Plantar Fascia Strain Information

Plantar Fascia Strain Information

Plantar fascia injuries are among the most common causes of heel and foot pain. Injuries are commonly seen in activities that place an abnormal strain on the foot, such as running and jumping sports; dancing; aerobic exercise; and frequent or high-mileage walking.

 

Plantar Fascia Strain

 

Anatomy Of The Plantar Fascia


The plantar fascia is a very broad and thick band of fibrous tissue running along the plantar surface of the foot. It’s attached to the calcaneus bone on the heel. As it runs longitudinally toward the metatarsal bones, it fans out across the surface of the ball of the foot. There is still some debate on exactly how to classify this fibrous tissue - deep fascia, a ligament, or a tendonous expansion called an aponeurosis. Most medical experts view the plantar fascia as an aponeurosis originating from the calcaneus and running forward to insert into transverse ligaments of the metatarsal heads.

None the less, the plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot by tensing as the foot bears weight. Although the plantar fascia has been shown to have limited elastic abilities, it plays an important role in the mechanics of foot movements. The plantar fascia elongates as the foot goes through the phases of normal gait. At one point, it acts like a spring to conserve energy. It also plays an important role in the windlass mechanism, which is during the propulsive phase of gait, as it tenses to elevate the arch and shorten the foot.

How Do Plantar Fascia Strains Occur?

The plantar fascia can be abnormally stretched or torn during a traumatic event, such as a blow to the bottom of the foot or jumping from a height. However, the strain is most often from an overuse or repetitive stress, such as from prolonged standing or long distance running.

Most overuse injuries start off as an irritation and inflammation of the plantar fascia (plantar fasciitis). As the causative repetitive stress continues, the plantar fascia can stretch, develop microscopic or partial tearing, or completely rupture (plantar fascia strain). Complete ruptures are relatively rare.

In addition, there are a number of risk factors that increase the likelihood of a plantar fascia strain:

* excessive foot pronation
* high arches or flat feet
* poorly fitting shoes that don’t have arch support and a cushioned sole
* obesity and sudden weight gains
* occupations that involve prolonged standing on hard surfaces
* sports that involve running or jumping
* overtraining in sports and exercise - too long, too frequent, to vigorous
* suddenly beginning a high-impact activity when the body isn’t conditioned for it
* tightened or weakened Achilles tendon, gastrocnemius muscle, or soleus muscle
* presence of heel spurs
* steroid injections into the ball of the foot
* leg length differences

What Are The Symptoms Of A Plantar Fascia Strain?

The intensity and severity of symptoms will vary based on the degree of stretching, microscopic tearing, or rupture of the plantar fascia, but include the following:

* Pain upon the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning; the pain momentarily subsides, returns near the end of the day, and then subsides again after resting.
* Pain may be sharp and most intense when climbing stairs, running, jumping, or after prolonged standing.
* An audible pop may be heard after a traumatic injury to the sole of the foot.
* The affected foot may feel stiff and weak.
* Mild to significant localized swelling, redness, heat, and tenderness across the heel and/or sole of the foot.
 

Strengthening Exercises

These Plantar Fascia Exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility.

Massage Treatment

These Plantar Fascia Massage Techniques are of great value in pain relief; circulation stimulation; dispersing blood and fluid accumulations; swelling reduction; and relaxing muscle spasms, especially when used alongside the Sinew Therapeutics liniments and soaks.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the foot because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured foot, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured foot as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to restore normal circulation to the foot, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, reduce swelling, and reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the foot, then pain is relieved, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the foot can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

ACUTE STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your foot to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the foot. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that donít heal well.

2. Massage your foot with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel aching pain and stiffness. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in your foot that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your foot may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. When you move your foot you may hear a clicking or popping sound from the tendons and ligaments slipping very slightly in and out of their natural alignment indicating weakness and joint instability, causing chronic pain and a cycle of reinjury. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues. By increasing circulation and blood flow in the foot, then pain and stiffness is relieved, and the tendons and ligaments can strengthen to restore stability.


CHRONIC STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Massage your foot with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Relaxing Soak can be used in-between applications.

2. Soak your foot with the Sinew Relaxing Soak to relax muscles and tendons that are in spasm, ease joint pain and stiffness, and improve range of motion. The Sinew Relaxing Soak is particularly useful if you feel restricted mobility in your foot. Chronic Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.