Flip flops and sandals are popular summer shoe options. However, these shoes often sacrifice support for an open toe. With many people wearing less supportive shoes in the summer months, foot injury rates may appear to increase during this time. Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that can affect people of all ages and we may see a higher rate of plantar fasciitis during the summertime.
Taut bands can exist within your body that disrupt blood flow to your muscles. The affected area can become an acidic environment and begin to radiate pain elsewhere in the body. Trigger points are when those taut bands start to refer pain elsewhere. A technique called dry needling can help with this referred or local pain. Dry needling is a skilled intervention that uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and release underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular and connective tissues. It can help manage neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments. Dry needling is used for a variety of diagnoses, from headaches and migraines to low back pain. This helpful technique is also a treatment option for plantar fasciitis. This condition often affects endurance athletes.
Running has become an increasingly popular activity for exercise among people of all ages. In fact, 60 million people within the United States participate in some form of running activity each year. People participate in running activities for numerous reasons including: improving fitness, weight concerns, running a race/competition, staying healthy, and having fun. Running for 5 – 10 minutes per day has shown to decrease the risk of death and cardiovascular disease. Running less than 50 minutes per week has also shown to reduce the risk of death from heart disease when compared to individuals who don’t participate in running at all. While running has many benefits, about 50% of people get injured each year from running. Running injuries can be caused by poor running technique, reduced strength and flexibility, improper footwear, as well as overuse.
As is true with many things in life, there may be more contributing to your pain than meets the eye. In fact, the point of pain may not be the source. Muscles throughout the body can create myofascial trigger points, often referred to as “knots.” These palpable tender spots are a group of muscle fibers that maintain a semi-contracted state for too long. The fascia, which is a non- contractile tissue, covers nearly every muscle fiber, can also be a part of this point restriction. These restrictions can be very tender to touch and can have a greater influence on how the entire muscle activates. Through years of research, medical professionals have been able to map common referral patterns for each muscle.1
In the modern world of reality television, exaggerated media headlines and fabricated statistics, deciphering truth from deception often seems to lead to even greater confusion. This is often true with medical conditions – where you are prone to read one thing on the internet, hear something different from your workout buddy and receive a third opinion from your neighbor whose aunt suffered from the same problem.
To provide clarity on some misconceptions about plantar fasciitis (and help you avoid a Google search on the condition, which may result in a headache), I am separating fact from fiction below:
Heel pain is a common complaint that can have several causes. This type of pain can affect your ability to stand and walk due to the pressure on the sore area. And at times, if your feet hurt you might feel like you hurt all over. Your normal activities can be greatly affected if you are unable to walk without pain.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the toes. While this location ideally positions the plantar fascia to fulfill its role as a stabilizing structure, it ultimately predisposes the area to repetitive use and the potential for inflammation and chronic tissue changes.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. This condition impacts the plantar fascia, which is a thick band of fibrous connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that extends from the heel to the toes. Based on its location and makeup, the plantar fascia is ideally positioned to maintain and support the arch on the bottom of the foot. However, it is not designed to be the primary stabilizing structure.