Plantar Fasciitis Information

Plantar Fasciitis Information

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most frequently occurring foot ailments, especially among active men between the ages of forty and seventy. Some data shows over two million Americans being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis each year. It was once thought to be caused by heel spurs, and while about one in ten of those with plantar fasciitis will also have a heel spur, the heel spur is not a causative factor of plantar fasciitis.

 

 

Foot Anatomy As It Relates To Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is directly beneath the skin on the sole of the foot. It is an extremely thick band of connective tissue that connects the calcareous (heel bone) to the metatarsal bones (toes). The plantar fascia is actually a very important structure of the foot. The main function is supporting the arch. It also bears around 14% of the total load placed on the foot by the body and elongates during gait phases to conserve energy. One last function has to do with the windlass mechanism; upon dorsiflexion of the toes during the propulsive gait phase, the plantar fascia tenses to elevate the arch and shorten the foot. All of these functions are essential to normal gait.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an irritation and swelling (inflammatory process) of the plantar fascia.

Note: There may be some degree of confusion when it comes to medical terminology of the structural changes to the plantar fascia. Some medical entities will divide changes to the plantar fascia into degenerative changes (plantar fasciosis) and acute inflammatory changes (plantar fasciitis). Other medical entities may use the term plantar fasciopathy as a blanketed term to describe both conditions, much like the term tendonopathy is used in injuries to the tendons. However, many still use plantar fasciitis to describe both degenerative and acute inflammatory actions in the plantar fascia.

Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis

When the plantar fascia is overused, overstretched, or receives a direct trauma, it can become inflamed (plantar fasciitis). One of the most common causes is frequent prolonged weight bearing. Other causative and risk factors include any of the following:

* certain occupations that require prolonged standing (such as witnessing, hairdressing, and factory work)
* flat feet
* high foot arch
* excessive foot pronation (rolling the foot inward when walking)
* obesity
* sports or activities that require a great deal of foot impact (such as running and gymnastics)
* a sudden substantial weight gain (such as with pregnancy)
* tight Achilles tendon
* wearing shoes that do not adequately support or cushion the foot

Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis

* pain in the heel
* foot pain is often worse in the morning, decreases within a few minutes to hours, and then returns after periods of prolonged standing or movement.
* knee pain may also occur, especially when running
* tenderness across the bottom of the heel
* difficulty with ankle dorsiflexion (bending the foot up toward the shin)
* mild swelling in the heel
* redness in the heel

 

Strengthening Exercises

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

Massage Treatment

These Plantar Fasciitis 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 don’t 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.