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Posts Tagged ‘Arch Support’

Plantar Fasciitis, a Reason to Worry?

This weekend I read an article about Seattle Mariner player Franklin Gutierrez suffering from Plantar fasciitis.  Last year it was Tampa Devil Rays’ Carlos Pena.  Next month it will probably be another player.

The article states this about Plantar fasciitis, “File this one away under ‘reason to worry’. That’s because this is one of those lingering problems you don’t want cropping up in an athlete whose biggest assets happen to involve the legs.”

If you’ve been keeping up with the Medi-Dyne Blog, you know that Plantar fasciitis doesn’t have to be crippling. The problem is that it doesn’t start off feeling like much of an injury at all.  For many, it can just be a dull—nagging pain, but the longer you leave it untreated the longer it takes to cure.  Even worse, untreated, it can put you in a cast, night splint, or even cause surgical intervention.

Prevention is always the “best medicine”!  If you’re on your feet all day (think retail, security, police, sanitation) or running for fitness (including soccer, basketball, lacrosse or triathlon) you should be doing two things to prevent Plantar fasciitis:

  1. Stretch!
    It’s been proven to work.  Stretching your calf, Achilles tendon, plantar fascia and toes 1 – 2 times a day works!  And it doesn’t take long!  5 – 10 minutes and that’s it.  The curb or stairs can work but the ProStretch Plus works even better and can be taken anywhere.Leave it in your path so you can stretch before work or school. Put it by your bed so you stretch first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.  Take it with you – you can really use it anywhere. Stretching will quickly become habit and will keep you on your feet!
  2. Support!
    Heel cups or arch supports (otherwise known as orthotics) are important. There are some fantastic, podiatrist recommended products available at a significantly lower cost than custom orthotics that often work as well as the custom ones available through a doctor.  Youth in cleats or others who “live” in work boots should be investing in these for their shoes before they begin suffering.If you’re already suffering, stay away from the flip flops or sandals!  At least until you’ve felt better for a few weeks.  This will speed your recovery.

If you’re in significant pain, or have been suffering for a while see a Doctor.  This is especially important for youth who could develop Sever’s Disease.

The Importance of Running Form

Craig’s Corner: Form over function or function over form?

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

Like any moving object, variables change at different speeds. For example, when trying to turn a car, you can turn in a smaller radius at lower speeds than you can at higher speeds. Or, the faster you are going, the longer and farther it takes to stop.  So it is with running; variables change with the increase and decrease of speed.   I have learned this first hand during my training for the OKC Memorial Marathon.

During the week, I have been running my shorter distances at a much faster tempo than during my long runs on the weekend. What I have noticed is that I am experiencing tightness in different parts of my body, based on the speed at which I run.

At the faster speeds my attention is more on my breathing and overall feeling of being tired, and maybe a little on the tightness in my calves. I deal with each of these issues easily, by first stopping my run temporarily so I can catch my breath….I know rocket science, right?  And second, for my tight calves; I use my Tuli’s heel cups to prevent most of the shock that causes the Achilles and then calf tightness, and also I do some simple ProStretch Plus stretching post run and throughout the day. These latter techniques are such simple measures, but within a day or two the tightness goes away.

Running form and the interconnective chain of the legs.

When I run at slower speeds during the longer mileage in my training, my attention seems to switch to the arches of my feet and to my quadriceps. At first this confused me because I wasn’t feeling excessively tired during my long runs, more “heavy” than tired. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that at slower speeds I was changing the way that I ran.   My running form at slower speeds was putting more pressure on my arches and was also forcing my quadriceps to engage more.   Essentially, my running form was changing the way the tendons and muscles, that make up the interconnective chain of my legs, were working together.  My form was driving function.

The solution to my dilemma was to use more arch support on my slower runs and also roll out and stretch my quads really well after my run.   Once I supported my arches and also built up my quads my “attention” areas all but went away.

So, the next time you start having to pay some attention to a problem area consider all the variables, not only around that area, but also those that are interconnected.   Like me, you might find the pain in one place is caused by a situation in another place.

For more information on techniques and tools that help with those problem areas visit www.medi-dyne.com.