Monday, June 17, 2013

Plantar Fasciitis

Quite some years ago the group exercise department in all clubs and gyms went out on a limb and introduced a totally new format: Step classes! Step was an overnight success with members lining up early for classes. It wasn't a fad, but a trend meaning that it stayed around a long time with a lot of success. I worked at a popular club in San Antonio and it was about this time that I started seeing instructors showing up in a "boot".  I'm talking about the kind of boot the podiatrist prescribes for foot problems.  For years, instructors had taught high impact aerobics which was largely on the ball of the foot. Making the transition to step meant learning to put the heal down and it was a hard transition for some.

Plantar fasciitis is one problem that I hear a lot about; in fact, three times this past week. The plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue on the bottom of the foot that runs from the ball of the foot to the bottom of the heel. Plantar fasciitis is often from running too long or jumping too much with little rest. It can become strained and sometimes torn. Non-supportive shoes can also play a part as well as carrying too much weight.  One of the symptoms is sensitivity first thing in the morning particularly on the bottom of the heel. The first few steps  are somewhat uncomfortable.  I also hear from some of my friends that it can become increasingly painful and stop you in your tracks!  Resting your foot and applying ice are good home remedies, but waiting too long before seeking medical help is not a good idea.

Resources: Sports Injuries Guidebook  Robert S Gotlin, DO