Plantar fascia…

plantar fascia markFun Foot Fact: Even our own President Obama has foot problems. According to his Presidential Health Exam, Obama experiences “recurrent plantar fasciitis” of the right foot. This condition is a very common cause of heel pain, typically occurring in adults ages 40 to 60 (the president is 52).

Plantar fasciitis happens when the thick, protective ligament that runs from the heel bone to the base of the toes, called the plantar fascia, develops small tears and becomes inflamed due to repeated stress.

 

plantar fascia mark1
Perhaps it is due to all the basketball Obama plays, as it is well-known that he frequents the basketball courts. This painful heel condition is well-known for giving basketball players a hard time. If you play basketball you may have developed plantar fasciitis due to overuse and repetitive trauma. Professional basketball players are used to moving their feet at a fast pace, resulting in the arch muscles and ligament to work harder. In addition, jumping increases the body-weight force that the foot has to absorb by several times.

Plantar fasciitis occurs in other sports besides basketball. Non-athletes can develop the condition as well, with approximately 10 percent having a bout with the condition at some point in ones life. Causes for plantar fasciitis may include: obesity, flat feet, repetitive trauma, tight Achilles tendon, and/or poor shoe choice.

There are several methods you can use to reduce your pain experienced by plantar fasciitis:

  • Treatment might include oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Use ice on your heel to reduce inflammation. You can also roll a frozen water bottle under the arch of the foot for 10 minutes. Remember, you don’t want to stretch the tendon when it’s ice cold, so make sure you do the stretching before.plantar fascia mark2
  • Freeze a golf ball or water bottle and and roll it under the foot, starting from the front and working your way back. Put pressure on each spot -the medial, center, and lateral positions- for 15 seconds before moving to the next area. Then, roll the ball back and forth over the entire foot.
  • plantar fascia mark3Wear night splints, they gently stretch the plantar fascia ligament and Achilles’ tendon and keep them from getting tight during the night.

 

  • Do stretching and strengthening exercises. Exercises for stretching the Achilles’ tendon and plantar fascia will increase their flexibility. Exercises to strengthen the muscles of the foot will help support the ankle. One that you can try is propping your toes up against a wall, keeping your arch and heel flat so the toes stretch. Hold for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times three or four times per day.plantar fascia mark4

Remember your feet so you won’t be left out of all the fun this summer because of a sore heel. If the President of the United States of America can make the time to get his feet checked out by his doctor then so can you!

Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen and the Gentle Foot Foot Care Center are located on U.S. 27. If you have any questions about foot problems call (863)-314-9255 or go to www.gentlefootcarecenter.com

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