Posts Tagged ‘flat feet’

How to treat Plantar Fasciitis from Flat Feet

March 13th, 2019
insoles for flat feet

Are you experiencing persistent sharp stabbing or burning arch foot pain? Does it feel like someone is sticking a knife into the bottom of your aching foot? If this sounds painfully familiar then you probably have plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain in the heel and arch of the foot. It occurs when the large plantar fascia ligament on the bottom of the foot develops a tear which leads to local inflammation and arch foot pain. Because the plantar fascia ligament attaches to the heel on the bottom of the foot, plantar fasciitis also causes significant heel pain. If you spend a great deal of time on your feet it can be very difficult for the torn plantar fascia to properly heal.

How does this condition develop in the first place? The primary reason people develop plantar fasciitis is from excessive physical activity and exercise. Running, jumping or any activity that places repetitive stress on the plantar fascia can bring on arch foot pain. As a result, competitive athletes as well as couch potatoes are susceptible to this problem. Other contributing factors include wearing shoes with inadequate support or cushioning, being overweight, and having structural or mechanical foot problems such as flat feet or high arches.

In many cases the arch foot pain of plantar fasciitis can be successfully managed conservatively at home. For treatment to be successful it has to be carried out diligently on a daily basis or the arch foot pain will worsen and may be more difficult to treat in the future. The best way to begin treating plantar fasciitis is to start a stretching and strengthening program. To do this, stretch the bottom of your foot and your Achilles tendon for at least fifteen minutes twice a day. You can find many of these exercises outlined online. After completing your stretching routine, ice the bottom of your feet for as long as you can tolerate the cold. This will help reduce the inflammation of plantar fasciitis which, in turn, reduces arch foot pain.

For more pain relief, you can add an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agent available from your local drugstore. Naproxen or ibuprofen products work equally well, as long as they’re taken correctly. To minimize stomach irritation, take them with food. If you have a history of an ulcer or a gastrointestinal bleed, consult your doctor first.

You may also want to purchase an orthotic arch support for your shoes. Samurai Insoles is an extremely reputable brand of insoles for plantar fasciitis but other choices are available. Samurai Insoles were invented by a a podiatrist for flat feet. His name is Dr. Thomas Lembo. He states the orthotics should provide arch support if you have lower arches or very flat feet which have helped to reduce the arch foot pain with his Manahawkin podiatry patients. Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces. For evening, consider buying a nocturnal foot splint from a durable medical equipment store or podiatrist office. This type of splint is designed to slip onto the foot with the arch foot pain. It places the foot in a slightly dorsiflexed position reducing the pressure and tension placed on the plantar fascia ligament. This should lessen some of the discomfort and allow the torn ligament to begin healing.

If you faithfully complete these steps on a daily basis for two to three weeks the arch foot pain of plantar fasciitis should improve. If you notice some improvement, continue these simple and inexpensive steps. Unfortunately if you notice no improvement then it’s time to see your doctor or even a podiatrist for a more thorough investigation.

Fitness After 40

October 7th, 2015

 

flat footed cyclist

The quest for physical fitness does not end with the onset of middle-age. Your 40th birthday is not a harbinger of declining strength and fitness. The truth is, exercise is more important after age 40 than ever before.

But your body changes as you age and your fitness training must change with it. Adapting your middle-age fitness training program to your body’s changing needs enables you to maintain or improve your fitness as you navigate through your 40s, 50s, and beyond.

Here are some ideas for training effectively in your 40s:

Take More Time to Warm Up: Aging makes you more susceptible to injury. It also increases injury recovery time. The last thing you need is a pulled hamstring, a torn pectoral, or a strained foot. Have you ever searched for the term “pain in heel“? Articles like this are plentiful for a reason! Flat feet can predispose you to injury as well.  Orthotics for flat feet, just like these, can be helpful.

Injury is most likely to occur during the first few minutes or reps of your workout. In middle-age, warming up properly is a critical part of your fitness program.

Warm up for a minimum of fifteen minutes before strenuous exercise, especially weight training. Start off with five minutes of gentle leg stretches, and follow that with five to ten minutes on the stationary bike, treadmill, or elliptical. Finish with some light range-of-motion movements. You can check out YouTube for some helpful videos and tips, just be sure to check with your doctor first.

Reduce the Weight and Increase Repetitions: Maintaining muscle mass in middle-age is not difficult, provided you train smart. That is the good news.

Here is the bad news: Training with heavy weights, as if you are a body-builder in his prime, is courting trouble. Though heavy iron may have built your body in your youth, it is likely to tear it down in middle-age. Training with less weight and higher repetitions allows you to maintain muscle mass while reducing injury risk. For additional muscle stimulation with little added risk, sustain the contraction at the peak of each repetition.

How much do you really care about your one- rep max deadlift, squat, or bench press? The smart answer is “Not at all.” Take some weight of the bar and avoid injuries.

Listen to Your Body: Take a day or two off when you are feeling achy, lethargic, or over-trained from previous workouts. You might have tried to push through the tiredness in the past, but after age 40 the smart move is to wait for a better day. Apply this rule to individual exercises as well. Use caution with your first few repetitions of each exercise. Do not continue the movement if something feels “off” that day.

Include Cross-Training in Your Workout Program: Weight-training alone is not enough to maintain optimal fitness. Alternate your workouts between weight training, flexibility, cardio, balance, and other forms of exercise. Try to reduce weight training to three days per week. You can still exercise on the other days, just vary your activity.

Mix it up when you are not weight training. Take a day to run hills or stairs. The next day use an Arc Trainer at varying inclines and resistance levels. Ice-skate or cross-country ski during winter months. Join a weekly basketball game. Visit a local facility that has a simulated rock-climbing wall. Take a yoga class. The possibilities are endless.

Vary Intensity of Cardio Programs: Use different types of equipment and vary levels of intensity of your cardio programs for varying lengths of time. One day do high intensity interval training (HIIT) on the treadmill for 30 minutes. The next day use a stationary bike for an hour of steady-state cardio. Mixing it up keeps your body guessing and avoids the pitfall of overburdening some muscles at the expense of others.

Additional factors beyond exercise play an important role in staying fit after 40. Proper nutrition and use of appropriate dietary supplements are vital to your continued fitness. Always consult a physician or nutritionist for advice on these matters.