Marathon season is here, bringing with it excitement, the thrill of participation and also concerns about avoiding marathon injuries. Injuries are a fact of life for runners and athletes since their bodies are pushed to the limit.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common of these injuries. This is basically a biomechanics issue, the result of the plantar fascia stretching excessively. The plantar fascia is a broad fibrous tissue band which moves though the bottom foot surface. It could develop as an acute or chronic condition and must not be left untreated as this can lead to other issues such as chronic heel pain.
Since plantar fasciitis affects the biomechanics of walking and standing, the patient could develop problems in the knee, hip, back or foot. Permanent heel spurs could also form which would require surgery to remove.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Other factors that could cause plantar fasciitis are excessive training, the use of the wrong shoes and tight musculature. The classic symptoms of plantar fasciitis are localized heel pain where the plantar fascia attaches, pain after sitting and standing for a long time, and pain while taking the initial few steps after waking up.
Advanced Multi-specialty Center for Treatment
Professional multi-specialty healthcare and physical therapy centers can treat acute and chronic plantar fasciitis. After the specific cause is identified through detailed physical examination, a treatment plan is developed by a team of orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, chiropractors and pain management specialists.
Night splints are commonly used for plantar fasciitis pain relief. These cause the plantar fascia ligament to stretch during the night and prevent them from getting tight. Orthotic insoles also help. Medical interventions include pain relief medication, anti-inflammatory agents, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroid injections, etc.
- Physical therapy exercises are also suggested for stretching the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon. They help strengthen lower leg muscles as well as stabilize the ankle and the heel
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) helps along with massage techniques
- Chiropractic adjustments facilitate healing of the injured feet tissues. When these techniques fail, plantar fasciotomy surgery needs to be performed through endoscopic, radiofrequency or open techniques
Plantar fasciitis can be largely prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, wearing the right supportive shoes, warming up properly before activities and performing stretching exercises regularly.
Illotibial Band Syndrome
IT Band Syndrome is another condition runners faced and caused by somewhat similar factors. It is caused by inflammation or tightening of the iliotibial band running from the hip to the area of the shin. This is quite a painful condition and could affect an athlete for weeks. If steps are not taken immediately, surgery may be necessary.
Preventing IT Band Syndrome
Preventing the occurrence of IT Band Syndrome requires runners to stop their activities for a few days or at least reduce their running mileage when they feel pain on the outside of their knee which is the initial sign of this condition. Make sure you have the right running gear, particularly shoes that are not worn beneath the sole. Also, make it a practice to walk first and then run. Change directions when you run on the track and try to avoid concrete surfaces. Sometimes prevention may even include visiting a podiatrist at a multispecialty rehabilitation and physical therapy center if orthotic treatment is required.
Now that you know the things that matter, it’s time to put on your running gear and join the marathon!