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Items filtered by date: December 2016 - Southeast Podiatry
Monday, 19 December 2016 15:35

How to Prevent Running Injuries

Overtraining and overusing the feet are the main causes of common running injuries. A number of these common injuries are caused by overrunning. Runner’s knee is a condition that is characterized by the back of the kneecap beginning to wear away and cause pain in the knee. This frequently occurs due to either a decrease in strength in the quadriceps muscles or ill-fitting shoes that are lacking in proper support for the inside of the forefoot. Strengthening exercises focusing on the quad muscle and sports orthotics are the usual treatments for those suffering from runner’s knee. Prevention of the condition lies in a focus on hip strengthening and quad-strengthening to keep the kneecap aligned. To help learn the best exercise to heal runner’s knee, one can also undergo physical therapy.

One common injury, called iliotibial band syndrome, is often caused by overtraining. This condition occurs when the iliotibial band gets irritated, creating pain and discomfort in the outside knee area. Plantar fasciitis, another common running injury, also occurs as a result of inflammation and irritation. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation and irritation of the bone in the foot. A large amount of pain is often experienced due to plantar fasciitis. The condition can be caused by a high arch, improper footwear, tight muscles, or flat feet. It can best be avoided by stretching and wearing appropriate footwear that supports the foot.

Another common injury for runners is stress fractures. These injuries occur due to running style, overtraining, or a lack of calcium. Stress fractures most often occur in several locations in runners, including the inner bone of the leg, the thighbone, the bone at the base of the spine and the bones of the toes. Stress fractures are best prevented by wearing proper footwear and by running on flat and hard surfaces; this will absorb some of the shock created during running.

Aside from overtraining, other causes of common running injuries include ill-fitting footwear, a lack of flexibility and strength, and irregular biomechanics. The best way to avoid running injuries is to prevent them from even occurring. Both iliotibial band syndrome and stress fractures are preventable. The first step that should be taken to prevent running injuries is to only wear footwear that fits properly and that is appropriate for whatever activity you are doing. Running shoes are the only protective gear available to runners that can safeguard them from sustaining injuries. Choosing the right pair of shoes is therefore extremely important. While running shoes are an important factor, it is also important to consider other facets of your running routine such as training schedules, flexibility, and strengthening. These elements should be considered and altered according to your running needs to best maximize your run and minimize the possibility of injury. Careful stretching before and after a run should also be considered to help prevent running injuries. Stretching muscles enables greater flexibility and a lesser chance of sustaining injury.

Monday, 12 December 2016 22:16

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a connective tissue in the heel that stretches across the bottom length of your foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective tissue becomes inflamed, causing heel pain and discomfort during physical activity. Although the condition is completely treatable, traditional methods can take up to a year to start becoming effective.

Plantar fasciitis is caused by a number of everyday activities, so understanding the condition is important for managing and treating it. One of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis is excessive running, especially with improper fitting or non-supportive shoes. Too much exercise can lead to the plantar fascia being overworked and overstretched, which can cause tears in the tissue. Along with improper fitting shoes, pronation, the rolling of the feet inward, is a common cause of plantar fasciitis. If not treated properly, the plantar fascia becomes overstretched and starts to tear, causing inflammation.

Despite the common causes of plantar fasciitis, there are many different treatment options. For less severe cases, conservative home remedies include taking anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain, applying ice packs to the bottom of your foot and heel, slowly stretching and exercising your feet to re-strengthen the tissue, and using orthotic devices are all ways to help manage your plantar fasciitis.

For more severe cases, shockwave therapy has become a common solution for plantar fasciitis. Shockwave therapy can effectively break up the tissue on the bottom of your foot which facilitates healing and regeneration. This fights the chronic pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Even if this doesn’t work, surgery is always a final option. Surgery on the tissue itself can be done to permanently correct the issue and stop the inflammation and pain in your heels.

No matter what the case may be, consulting your podiatrist is the first and best step to recovery. Even the slightest amount of heel pain could be the first stage of plantar fasciitis. Untreated symptoms can lead to the tearing and overstretching of tissue. Because the tearing of tissue can be compounded if it remains ignored, it can evolve into a severe case. The solution is early detection and early treatment. Talk to your podiatrist about the possibilities of plantar fasciitis if you’re experiencing heel pain.

Monday, 05 December 2016 18:51

Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle

Highly active people (athletes in particular), or those with a very sedentary lifestyle, are very prone to stress fractures. When muscles weaken—either from too much or too little use—the muscles cease providing cushion for the foot and ankle as they impact the ground. As there is very little to protect the bones in your feet, each step you take causes the bones to absorb the full impact, and this causes cracks to form, or stress fractures, to form in the pressurized bones.

Basketball, tennis, and gymnastics are three of the top activities in which stress fractures appear consistently and frequently. On the other side however, those people who have previously lived an inactive lifestyle may incur a fracture when transitioning abruptly to an active lifestyle—such as those starting a high-impact, intensive workout. The muscles, unused to such vigorous work, are not used to handling and cushioning against a vigorous activity. Also, those patients who suffer from osteoporosis, or any condition in which their bones are weakened, frequently suffer stress fractures simply from normal wear and tear.

At the localized site of the fracture (typically where the symptoms originate) the pain can be immense. Sharp or dull pain is paired with swelling and possibly tenderness—engaging in any kind of further activity, especially high-impact, is highly discouraged. Though stress fractures heal in time, they are not as serious as say, when you receive one and continue engaging in high-impact activity; the condition may turn into a full fracture. A full fracture is very serious and may prevent usage of the foot wholesale.

From this point, treatment can vary patient to patient with the severity of the fracture. Rest is absolutely required for the foot. Fractures vary in healing time, some can be healed with short bursts of rest, and others require prolonged periods of resting paired with crutches. In cases in which the fracture is very serious, surgery may be authorized to install pins supporting the fracture and aiding in healing.

Prevention is always the best medicine. Calcium and Vitamin D are a must in the diet as they aid the fortifying and strengthening of bones. If you are a newcomer to high-impact activity, it is very important to gradually build the level of vigor on a weekly basis so as to create the requisite muscular strength. Supportive and adequately protective shoes are also a must. Consider switching up routines; if you walk every day, consider switching to biking to lower the stress on your feet.

On diagnosis of a stress fracture—immediately cease the activity that caused the fracture and rest! Prevention is always your first step, however, if relief of the symptoms does not occur naturally and within a reasonable time frame, an orthopedic specialist is highly recommended.

Following the above suggestions will allow you to prevent stress fractures and let you lead as active a life as you could wish.

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