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Month: April, 2013

The most common overuse injuries in running and how to protect yourself from them: Plantar Fascitis

As you begin ramping up your running in preparation for an upcoming race, triathlon or just general fitness, it is also the season for overuse injuries. One such injury is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis results from the breakdown of your arch which stretches a tissue called the Long Plantar Ligament. Unfortunately, this ligament is not elastic and therefore does not stretch. Rather, this tissue undergoes micro-tearing. "Bow-string affect" causing Plantar FasciitisSymptoms can reveal themselves as general arch pain, bottom of the heel pain or a gradual achiness which does not go away. If the first step out of bed in the morning elicits extreme pain, you more than likely have plantar fasciitis. Regardless, it is extremely important that you address these symptoms sooner, rather than later. The general rule: it will take twice as long for these types of injuries to heal as from the time you first experience symptoms until the time you first start your treatment. Rest, ice, gentle stretching and a break from training are your early treatment interventions. If, in your opinion, you have excessive arch breakdown (a.k.a pronation), a treadmill evaluation (biomechanical exam) can be done by The Foot Mechanic™. In many cases, an orthotic can be the answer. An orthotic is a device that replaces the liner in the bottom of your shoe and re-creates your arch, thereby returning your foot back to its “normal” mechanics. When choosing the proper orthotic, it is important to avoid over-the-counter (a.ka. retail) products as they are not custom to your feet.

Dr. Brett Purdom, DPT, ATC, CSCS
The Foot Mechanic™

Low Back Pain- Mechanical

 “Low Back Pain,” is a catch-all term used to describe general pain in what we know as pain in your lower back region or, otherwise known as your lumbar region. Many different diagnoses can cause such low back of which Is straining one or many of your low back muscles. This occurs in instances where you my reach into the back of your car to retrieve a sack of groceries. Simply, you strain one or more of the muscles in your back, much the same as straining a hamstring while you’re running. Generally speaking, when you irritate the muscle, you irritate its associated nerve, or visa versa. This pain generally subsides if you protect the muscles from any motion which causes one of them to work excessively hard. This can be very difficult as these muscles are also what we call “stabilizers.” A stabilizing muscle is  one which works all the time maintaining postural alignment in the upright situations. In this case, those lumbar muscles work to keep the spine in upright positions. This type of strain  is best treated with rest, icing and anti-inflammatory medication. Lite stretching is advocated after 24 hours after injury. Once you are pain free for a week, slow reintegration into activity and exercise is allowed. To learn more about this type of injury, click on the following link:  Low Back Pain

                                                                – Dr. Brett Purdom, DPT, ATC, CSCS
                                                                               The Foot Mechanic™