Plantar Fasciitis Causes and Treatment

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in current health articles, Foot Pain, Muscle Therapy and Health

You Can Enjoy Pain Free Living From Home

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

plantar fasciitis causesRecently a woman came in to see me who was suffering from severe plantar fasciitis pain, her arch hurt so much she could barely walk.  She’d been to several specialists and has so far bought three pair of orthotics (at $400 each!).  Plantar fasciitis is getting to be a commonplace condition in my office.  I love working with athletes, but I’m finding this isn’t only a problem for athletes.

Because of driving a car for long distances her right foot was worse than her left, which makes sense since the muscles that enable you to press down on the gas and brake pedals, are the same ones that are the cause of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis Causes: Are Muscles The Culprit?

Muscles are seldom considered when searching for the answer to plantar fasciitis pain. Instead the foot is considered to be the problem, instead of the symptom, and orthotics are commonly recommended.  In many cases, when muscles are the cause of the plantar fasciitis symptoms, the orthotics will cause more pain.

The analogy I always use is, if you pull your hair at the end, your scalp will hurt. But you don’t need to massage your scalp, you don’t need to take pain-killers for the headache, and you don’t need brain surgery — you just need to let go of your hair!  It’s the same with joint pain. Muscles pull on tendons, and the tendons insert into a joint. When the muscle is tight you will feel the pain at the joint. But you don’t need to rub the joint, or take pain-killers, or have surgery—you need to release the spasms in the muscle fibers.

In the case of plantar fasciitis, the muscles are in your lower leg, and the insertion of the tendon is in your arch – so when the muscles are tight your arch will hurt.

The two muscles are the tibialis anterior and the peroneal.  The tibialis anterior runs along the entire length of the shin bone and then the tendon inserts onto the first metatarsal (the long bone that is on the inside of your arch and goes up to your big toe), while the peroneal runs along the entire outside of your lower leg, goes behind your ankle, and the tendon inserts on the fifth metatarsal (the bone on the outside of your foot) and also on the first metatarsal at the same point as the insertion of your tibialis anterior.  This is important to visualize so you can see how the tendons pulling on the bones will put pressure on your arch and cause the arch muscles to be strained — causing plantar fasciitis pain in the bottom of your foot.

Self-Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis Pain

plantar fasciitis treatmentThere are several muscles that all impact your arch and cause the pain of plantar fasciitis.  This picture is doing the treatment for the muscle that runs down the outside of your lower leg, called peroneal.  The peroneal is neglected by most therapists when searching for an answer to foot pain, yet it is often one of the key muscles that needs to be treated to get relief.

Sit as shown in the picture and use either the Julstro Perfect Ball, or a new tennis ball, and press the outside of your leg directly onto the ball.  You’ll find a very tender point at the same level as shown in this picture.

When you find it, hold the pressure steady, and then slightly move your leg so the ball rolls up and down the outside of your leg.  Use your hand as shown to press down on your leg to increase the pressure.

You’ll be thrilled when you see how quickly you’ll feel relief!  You’ll be able to go back out and enjoy your life pain-free!

Plantar fasciitis causes are often centered around muscles in the legs, therefore plantar fasciitis pain relief is also.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

julie donnelly

 About The Author

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Check It Out!

If you would like easy to follow instructions on how to relieve joint pain and muscle tightness from head to toe click here (http://www.triggerpointyoga.com/product/triggerpoint-yoga-full-body-kit/?ap_id=SteveChaneyTips) to check out Julie Donnelly’s Trigger Point Yoga instruction kit today. Whenever, I have pain and stiffness I use her techniques. They work!

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Comments (1)

  • Donna

    |

    Great ideas! I know many people who suffer from this. Thanks!
    Donna

    Reply

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Latest Article

High Protein Diets and Weight Loss

Posted October 16, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Do High Protein Diets Reduce Fat And Preserve Muscle?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

Healthy Diet food group, proteins, include meat (chicken or turkAre high protein diets your secret to healthy weight loss? There are lots of diets out there – high fat, low fat, Paleolithic, blood type, exotic juices, magic pills and potions. But recently, high protein diets are getting a lot of press. The word is that they preserve muscle mass and preferentially decrease fat mass.

If high protein diets actually did that, it would be huge because:

  • It’s the fat – not the pounds – that causes most of the health problems.
  • Muscle burns more calories than fat, so preserving muscle mass helps keep your metabolic rate high without dangerous herbs or stimulants – and keeping your metabolic rate high helps prevent both the plateau and yo-yo (weight regain) characteristic of so many diets.
  • When you lose fat and retain muscle you are reshaping your body – and that’s why most people are dieting to begin with.

So let’s look more carefully at the recent study that has been generating all the headlines (Pasiakos et al, The FASEB Journal, 27: 3837-3847, 2013).

The Study Design:

This was a randomized control study with 39 young (21), healthy and fit men and women who were only borderline overweight (BMI = 25). These volunteers were put on a 21 day weight loss program in which calories were reduced by 30% and exercise was increased by 10%. They were divided into 3 groups:

  • One group was assigned a diet containing the RDA for protein (about 14% of calories in this study design).
  • The second group’s diet contained 2X the RDA for protein (28% of calories)
  • The third group’s diet contained 3X the RDA for protein (42% of calories)

In the RDA protein group carbohydrate was 56% of calories, and fat was 30% of calories. In the other two groups the carbohydrate and fat content of the diets was decreased proportionally.

Feet_On_ScaleWhat Did The Study Show?

  • Weight loss (7 pounds in 21 days) was the same on all 3 diets.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused almost 2X more fat loss (5 pounds versus 2.8 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused 2X less muscle loss (2.1 pounds versus 4.2 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • In case you didn’t notice, there was no difference in overall results between the 28% (2X the RDA) and 42% (3X the RDA) diets.

Pros And Cons Of The Study:

  • The con is fairly obvious. The participants in this study were all young, healthy and were not seriously overweight. If this were the only study of this type one might seriously question whether the results were applicable to middle aged, overweight coach potatoes. However, there have been several other studies with older, more overweight volunteers that have come to the same conclusion – namely that high protein diets preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss.
  • The value of this study is that it defines for the first time the upper limit for how much protein is required to preserve muscle mass in a weight loss regimen. 28% of calories is sufficient, and there appear to be no benefit from increasing protein further. I would add the caveat that there are studies suggesting that protein requirements for preserving muscle mass may be greater in adults 50 and older.

The Bottom Line:

1)    Forget the high fat diets, low fat diets, pills and potions. High protein diets (~2X the RDA or 28% of calories) do appear to be the safest, most effective way to preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss in a weight loss regimen.

2)     That’s not a lot of protein, by the way. The average American consumes almost 2X the RDA for protein on a daily basis. However, it is significantly more protein than the average American consumes when they are trying to lose weight. Salads and carrot sticks are great diet foods, but they don’t contain much protein.

3)     Higher protein intake does not appear to offer any additional benefit – at least in young adults.

4)     Not all high protein diets are created equal. What some people call high protein diets are laden with saturated fats or devoid of carbohydrate. The diet in this study, which is what I recommend, had 43% healthy carbohydrates and 30% healthy fats.

5)    These diets were designed to give 7 pounds of weight loss in 21 days – which is what the experts recommend. There are diets out there promising faster weight loss but they severely restrict calories and/or rely heavily on stimulants, they do not preserve muscle mass, and they often are not safe. In addition they are usually temporary.  I do not recommend them.

6)    This level of protein intake is safe for almost everyone. The major exception would be people with kidney disease, who should always check with their doctor before increasing protein intake. The only other caveat is that protein metabolism creates a lot of nitrogenous waste, so you should drink plenty of water to flush that waste out of your system. But, water is always a good idea.

7)     The high protein diets minimized, but did not completely prevent, muscle loss. Other studies suggest that adding the amino acid leucine to a high protein diet can give 100% retention of muscle mass in a weight loss regimen – but that’s another story for another day.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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