Monday, February 11, 2008

Plantar Fasciitis

There are a lot of terms that get thrown around a lot including tendonitis, bursitis, etc... One term that I've heard a lot of people talk about as of late for some reason (maybe it's because this is prime time for Boston Marathon training) is "plantarfasciits." Here's a piece I took from Gray Cook that explains this condition:


An arch pain primer

By Gray Cook

Plantar fasciitis is an odd phrase that means arch pain. It can stop athletes dead in their tracks.Sometimes this condition arises for no reason at all. Sometimes athletes experience arch pain after changing footwear or because of another injury. Many times, an athlete who has injured a knee on one side may experience plantar fasciitis or arch pain on the other side, simply because of the predominance of weight bearing and overuse of that side while the knee was recovering from its injury.Footwear and orthotics can often help this problem. Orthotics can be either customized or off-the-shelf. I recommend an off-the-shelf orthotic first, as an upgrade from the insole that is normally provided in athletic shoes. The orthotic will control the compensation the foot must provide for some other body part; however, if the reason for the compensation is not removed, the orthotic will not fix the problem.You must always restore mobility and flexibility before true stabilization and strengthening can occur. Many times, the foot is made to compensate and collapse its arch (or pronate) because of ankle, knee, and hip stiffness as well as movements such as lunging and squatting.Many times, a trigger point in the calf can also refer pain to the arch. Very often plantar fasciitis is misdiagnosed when simply resolving a trigger point in the calf can remedy the problem.Problems can occur on the same side as well, due to strength, flexibility, and alignment changes that occur in the joints and muscles above the foot, following injuries of the ankle, knee, and foot.

Gray Cook is a practicing physical therapist. He has created the Functional Movement Screen, one of the pillars of the Reebok Core Training System, which he developed in 2000. He is author of the book titled Athletic Body in Balance. You can reach him through the web site

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