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Posts Tagged ‘plantar fasciitis pain’

Stay Off the Curb: Stretch with ProStretch Plus

If you’ve been relying on the curb for pre-run stretches, there’s something better. The ProStretch Plus enables you to stretch your tight calves, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia more efficiently than a curb or wall.

ProStretch Plus reaches tough spots like the Achilles, and provides support for controlled stretching. This increases flexibility, range of motion and performance while helping reduce the risk of injury.

Stretching on a curb has limitations:

  • You must stop your stretch and begin again when adjusting the depth of stretch on a curb or wall.
  • To reach all of the areas of the lower leg, you must position yourself various times, in different stretching positions.
  • The curb does not offer a stretch for the bottom of the foot.

 

Stretching with ProStretch Plus is simple and more efficient than a curb or wall:

  • To adjust your stretch on the ProStretch Plus, you simply rock backward until you reach the depth of stretch that you desire— never stopping your stretch.
  • You can fluidly move from one stretch to another with ProStretch Plus; starting with an Achilles tendon stretch, to Gastroc and Soleous calf stretches, even to a hamstring stretch, and ending with a shin splint prevention exercise.
  • The added toe piece helps to place the toes at a state of tension, stretching the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot—something that the curb is incapable of doing.

Curbs are for tires, not feet. If you want to run and play with confidence, you want to stretch like a pro. ProStretch Plus “foots” the bill.

Professionals Use ProStretch for Injury Prevention

Chain Reaction Injuries

Have you ever sprained an ankle only to find a week later you’re suffering from lower back pain? Then you’ve experienced first-hand how weak links put undue stress on stronger ones.

Weak muscles cause tighter (stronger) muscles to be recruited by the central nervous system in order to perform the same movement. The results are muscle imbalances and “chain reaction injuries”.

ProStretch for Calf Stretches

Pictured: The ProStretch Double (Original Wooden) on the pre-season game sidelines of the Dallas Cowboys. The ProStretch Double Wooden is the heavy duty version of Medi-Dyne’s popular ProStretch Plus. This bigger and stronger version is often used by pro teams, fitness clubs and clinics.

One of the most critical muscles to keep flexible are the calf muscles. Calf injuries or even just tightness can move in either direction of the body’s interconnective chain, causing Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, knee pain, tight hamstrings or even lower back pain.

Stretching with ProStretch products strengthens and stretches the calf muscles and ligaments in the calf muscles, plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, keeping the lower leg strong, balanced, and healthy!

To purchase a ProStretch, or for more information on chain reaction injuries and injury prevention techniques and tools, visit medi-dyne.com.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

What is Plantar fasciitis?

Heel pain is one of the most common complaints relating to the foot. Millions of people receive treatment for heel pain each year. In fact, many people live with it for a year or more before finding a solution.

So what actually causes heel pain?

The muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints in your body act as links in an interconnective chain. These links work together to allow you to accomplish basic motions like sitting, walking, and running.  If any one of these links is injured or not functioning properly the entire chain suffers. For millions of people each year the first breakdown that they realize in their lower leg “chain”, manifests itself as heel pain. When this happens, trauma often occurs in the plantar fascia (arch) and the pain is felt in the base of the heel. This heel pain is a condition known as Plantar fasciitis.

 

How do I know if I have Plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis usually develops gradually, but it may feel as though it has happened suddenly.

People with plantar fasciitis often describe:

  • An incredible pain in their heel when they take their first steps in the morning or after
  • getting up from being seated for a while
  • A sharp, stabbing heel pain
  • A feeling like they are stepping on a small stone
  • Pain that subsides after they’ve walked around for a while

Any one or even all of these symptoms could indicate plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar fasciitis?

Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue which runs across the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bone to your toes. Normally, your plantar fascia acts as a shock-absorber, supporting the arch in your foot. But, if tension becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia causing the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.

Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in a chronic condition that hinders your regular activities. Most importantly, any weak link in the interconnective chain of your lower leg can change the way you walk potentially leading to additional foot, knee, hip or back problems.

Suffering from Plantar Fasciitis? For solutions visit www.medi-dyne.com

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.

ProStretch Plus: A True Innovation in Pain Prevention

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention

The ProStretch was originally developed by an auto mechanic who was rehabbing a knee injury.  Over time he realized that the brake shoe from a car was the best thing he could find for stretching out his calf muscles, while building flexibility and range of motion back in to his calf muscles and lower leg.   He became passionate about how well it worked, passionate enough to want to share his discovery. From necessity and passion was born The Original ProStretch.

ProStretch Joins the Medi-Dyne Family of Products

In 1998 Medi-Dyne acquired the Tuli’s product line.  In discussions with the original Tuli’s® Classic Heel Cup inventor, San Diego podiatrist Dr. Murray Davidson, we quickly learned how important stretching was to the health of the calf muscles and the prevention of the many injuries associated with the lower leg, including Plantar Fasciitis, Achillies tendonitis, calf strains, and  shin splints.  So we began to look for the most effective solution to provide the long-term relief and stretching that would complement the immediate relief provided by the Tuli’s Heel Cups and other Tuli’s products.  When we found The Original ProStretch in 2003 we knew we had found the best lower leg stretching device available then and for the next 20 years!

Building on Success

As is the case with all Medi-Dyne products, we constantly solicit feedback from medical professionals, professional and amateur athletes, and all users on ways we can improve the product, usage experience, and end results.  While the ProStretch (also known as the StepStretch in some retail outlets) was a great product, it had some shortcomings.

  1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
    The Original ProStretch is great, but it is a “one-size-fits-all” product.  Unfortunately, people are not one size fits all.
  2. People’s Feet Are Getting Larger
    It’s true. Once, a man’s size 14 would have been considered the footprint of a giant. But what was seen as enormous is apparently becoming quite normal. The average man’s shoe has gone up a full size in the past five years. The Original ProStretch just wasn’t built to accommodate the growing majority.
  3. Room For Improvement
    Many people suffer from Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, tight calves or shin splints. These pain sufferers were in need of a solution that would maximize the stretch felt along the interconnective chain of the lower leg. We realized that we could improve the stretch by elevating the toes during stretch.

We went about re-engineering the ProStretch to be bigger, stronger, lighter, and customizable, while offering a deeper stretch.   When it was all said and done, the ProStretch Plus was born.   For a complete review of all of our ProStretch products visit: www.medi-dyne.com.

Trying is Believing

We have had more people fall in love with the ProStretch and ProStretch Plus than any other product, simply by standing on it.  Just check out these “before and after” user video reviews.

What makes the ProStretch Plus work so well?  A few things. It is biomechanically shaped to put your foot in the optimal stretching position to get the best results.   Combining that with the rocker bottom, you get the best calf stretch, along with progressive and constant pressure that gives you an unsurpassed lower leg stretch.

Nothing works better, not a curb, not a wall, not a slant board, nothing. The ProStretch has been medical proven to stretch the calf better than conventional methods – Please see the following study posted on our website, “Comparison of Two Methods of Stretching the Gastrocnemius and Their Effects on Ankle Range of Motion Karen Maloney Backstrorn, C Forsyth. B. Walden”.   You can also read unsolicited testimonials at www.medi-dyne.com.

For more information on the ProStretch Plus or ProStretch visit http://www.medi-dyne.com/estore/.

Suffering from Heel Pain?

Are you suffering from heel pain? Chances are, you are in good company. Heel pain is one of the most common complaints relating to the foot.

Here are a few things you may not have known about heel pain;

  • Millions of people receive treatment for heel pain each year.
  • Many people live with it for a year or more before seeking help or finding a solution.
  • While many people think they have heel spurs the more accurate diagnosis is often Plantar fasciitis.
  • It is estimated that 1 out of every 10 people will suffer from Plantar fasciitis.
  • 90% of the Plantar fasciitis cases occur after the age of 40.
  • Factors that may increase your risk of developing heel pain include; weight, pregnancy, exercise, non-supportive shoes, tight muscles, age and occupation.
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, about 90% of the people who have Plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatments in just a few months.
  • Supporting your heels with shoe inserts or heel cups can provide immediate relief from heel pain.
  • Making stretching and strengthening part of your daily routine is the best way to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of heel pain.
  • Maintaining flexibility throughout the lower leg is the best way to heal Plantar fasciitis.

For more information on Heel Pain Solutions or Plantar Fasciitis Treatments visit the pain solution center at medi-dyne.com.

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Let the Training (but not the pain) Begin

Welcome to Craig’s Corner: Running, Stretching, and Training Tips from Craig.

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

Now that I’m over 40, being healthy is much harder than it used to be.   I used to think it was cliché but now that I’m living it I get it.  There’s no time for pain or injuries, especially if it impacts my “day jobs” (father, husband, repairman, chauffeur, business person…).  You may be able to relate.

That is where my passion for prevention, and taking that pain away comes into play!

I mentioned my New Year’s Resolution of running a marathon in an earlier post.   Did I mention that I’ve dragged my wife along for the ride?  We decided to train for a half marathon first and then continue to build towards running a full marathon this spring.  It has been a lot of fun so far.   I highly recommend a book that my sister-in-law referred us to, The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett, Forrest Dolgener and Tanjala Kole. It’s done a great job of breaking down the whole process of training for a marathon, giving you a plan, and providing encouragement.

Professionally and personally, I understand the many challenges running presents to the body (especially as you get older and as you add more mileage)!  I’ve always appreciated and used the ProStretch Plus, but maybe not as consistently as I should have.  As I continue the journey of marathon training, I am beginning to completely understand just how effective the ProStretch Plus is for not only decreasing pain, but also preventing pain from happening in the first place.

What I personally love about all of the ProStretch products is that they are simple and THEY WORK!  The first time I brought one home, my wife laughed at it, but of course that was short lived.  The laughing stopped and the “oo-ing and ah-ing” started right after she used it for the first time.   The ProStretch is one of those products where you realize the benefits it offers once you use it.   You can feel it working instantly and it feels good!

Lately, I’ve had a lot of “experience” with what we call the interconnective chain of the lower leg.  This interconnective chain starts with the calf, goes down to the Achilles tendon, and connects to the calcaneous (heel) bone and the plantar fasciia.  The calf muscles have to work hard when you’re doing something as simple as walking, but they work even harder when you are running, jumping, stopping and starting.  In fact, I’ve read that the second hardest working group of muscles we have in our whole body is our calves.   Because the calf muscles have to work so hard, they are also susceptible to overuse and injury.

I first started using the ProStretch to combat shin splints and the beginning symptoms of Plantar fasciitis.   After I began experiencing these symptoms, I was doing a long warm up and some basic stretching before I ran, and then pro-longed stretches (for 30 – 60 seconds per repetition) after I ran.   Adding ProStretch exercises into my warm up and cool down gave me immediate results. I experienced immediate relief, and over 4 weeks total healing.

The ProStretch and now the new and improved ProStretch Plus, are simply the best devices for stretching the calf muscles and the entire interconnective chain of the lower leg. Next week, more to come on injuries of the lower leg.

Thanks for your interest in our products.  We love to hear from “users” so please leave us a comment and let us know what pain or injury you are suffering from.

Is Your Heel Pain Heel Spurs or Plantar Fasciitis?

Suffering from heel pain is bad enough but not knowing what’s causing it or how to make it stop just makes it worse!  Terms like heel spurs and Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) get used interchangeably but how do you determine what’s causing your heel pain?

Define your pain

While nothing replaces a diagnosis from a physician, a few simple questions can help you narrow down your plan of action.

Do you have…

  • An incredible pain in their heel when you take you first steps in the morning or after getting up from being seated for a while?
  • A sharp, stabbing heel pain?
  • A feeling like they you stepping on a small stone?
  • Heel pain that feels like it’s in also in your arch?
  • Pain that subsides after they’ve walked around for a while?

Any one or even all of these symptoms could indicate plantar fasciitis.  Heel spurs don’t always cause pain.  In fact, heel spurs often show up unexpectedly on X-rays taken for some other problem.

So, what’s the difference?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the forefoot. This band connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot.  Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia which happens when the plantar fascia is overstretched or overused.

With this condition, the pain is felt in the base of the heel and can make even everyday walking difficult.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “about 90 percent of the people who have plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatments in just a few months. “

The two most important steps you can take to treat plantar fasciitis is to use a quality heel cup in your shoes and to perform targeted stretching exercises designed to maintain good flexibility throughout the interconnective chain of the lower leg.  In addition to these treatments, it is recommended that you reduce your activity level when experiencing severe pain and apply ice to the affected area regularly.

What is a Heel Spur?
A heel spur is a sharp bony growth at the front side of the heel bone (Calcaneus).   It usually begins on the front of your heel bone and points toward the arch of your foot — without your realizing it.

Heel spurs can cause pain in the back of the foot especially while standing or walking.  However, it should be noted that the heel spur itself is actually not causing any pain. It is the inflamed tissue around the spur that causes pain and discomfort.

Many people who suffer from heel pain are quick to conclude that they have heel spurs but general heel pain as described earlier is much more likely to be Plantar fasciitis.  Only an x-ray of the heel bone will prove whether a person has a true heel spur.

Treating a True Heel Spur

In the past, doctors often performed surgery to remove heel spurs, believing them to be the cause of the pain.  Most of that pain is now determined to be associated with plantar fasciitis. In treating plantar fasciitis now, doctors rely more on ice, heel cups, arch supports, physical therapy, and pain medications.

Sufferers from heel spurs can find relief by using a quality heel cup or arch support in their shoes.  A heel cup will provide extra cushion to the heel and reduce the amount of pressure and shock that your foot experiences.  Treating heel spurs can take some time but sufferers who use heel cups, choose sensible shoes, and include stretching and strengthening exercises for the plantar fascia and other surrounding structures such as the Achilles tendon can expect significant pain relief.

Tired Aching Feet? No more!

Tired Aching Feet?  No more!

Traveling, work, and even your daily routine can take their toll on your body, especially your feet.  In fact, the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day.  That’s more than four times the circumference of the globe. All that walking and standing in line can result in tired, aching feet.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Your feet are designed to bear weight, and absorb shock but the one thing your feet are not supposed to do is hurt.

Here are 5 easy steps you can take to prevent and relieve foot pain.

Choose Your Shoes Wisely
Technology has come a long way since the invention of sandals and high heels, but we still insist on wearing them regardless of their effect on our feet.  As we age, the natural padding on our feet starts to wear away. The right shoes can compensate for this.  But the lack of arch support, heel and ball of foot cushioning in dress shoes, high heels, and sandals don’t offer this type of support.  That’s why women suffer from four times as many foot problems as men; lifelong patterns of wearing high heels and standing on their feet all day are often the culprit.  So if you want to stop the pain, buy shoes with a low to moderate heel, good arch support and shock absorbency.

Shopping for shoes is best done in the afternoon as our feet swell a little during the day, and it’s best to buy shoes to fit them then.  Have your feet measured every time you purchase shoes, and do it while you’re standing. When you try on shoes, try them on both feet; many people have one foot larger than the other, and it’s best to fit the larger one.

Cushion for Comfort
While your choice of shoes is important, sometimes adding some extra cushion, heel and arch support can make all the difference.  Depending on the type of shoe you are wearing and where the pain is, you can choose from a variety of heel cups, ball of foot cushions, arch supports and insoles that will ease the pain from standing on your feet all day.  Tuli’s makes a number of products designed to fit into everything from a sandal, to a high heel pump to a running shoe so that you can customize the cushion you need for each pair of shoes you own.

Take the Pressure Off
An average day of walking brings a force equal to over 3000 kg to your feet, so taking the pressure off only makes sense. One very simple thing to do to take care of your feet is to take a warm footbath for 10-15 minutes two or three times a week.  This will go a long way in keeping the feet relaxed and helping to prevent mild foot pain caused by fatigue.  Adding 115 grams of Epsom Salts will also help to increase circulation. Taking the time to take regular footbaths instead of waiting until your feet are aching will give you the most benefit.

Massage Away the Stress
Massaging your feet will help increase blood circulation and decrease stress.  Not to mention that it just feels really good.   There are many different massage tools out on the market specifically designed for feet.  Can’t wait to ease the pain?  You can simply place a tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot back and forth on it.  Remember a massage should not hurt your foot, therefore, be gentle, but apply enough pressure to help decrease any foot pain you may be experiencing.

Our final tip is something that’s extremely important but most people simply never think of it…

Stretch Yourself
Your body is made up of an interconnective chain of muscles, tendons and ligaments that all impact each other.  This is especially evident when it comes to performance and pain. When everything is in balance movement is painless, almost effortless. But when a link of that chain is weakened or injured, the “domino effect” of that weak link may be greater than you realize.

Have you ever sprained an ankle only to find a week later that you’re suffering from lower back pain? Then you’ve experienced first-hand how weak links put undue stress on stronger ones. Weak muscles cause tighter (stronger) muscles to be recruited by the central nervous system in order to perform the same movement. So your foot pain of today, could end up being a real pain in your back next week.

You can ensure that your feet can go the distance by regularly stretching your hamstrings, calves, plantar fascia and toes.  Keeping your calves, hamstrings, and foot muscles flexible and strong will go a long way in helping to avoid aching feet.

Following these simple guidelines should keep everyone from the busiest of world travelers to weekend warriors and all family members from missing a step.  Take care of your feet and they will take you wherever you need to go in life.

For more information on pain prevention solutions for aching feet visit www.medi-dyne.com