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

Best Diet For Heart Disease Prevention

Posted July 9, 2019 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Are The American Heart Association’s Recommendations Correct?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

 

What is the best diet for heart disease prevention? 

diet for heart disease preventionHeart disease is a killer. It continues to be the leading cause of death – both worldwide and in industrialized countries like the United States and the European Union. When we look at heart disease trends, it is a good news – bad news situation.

  • The good news is that heart disease deaths are continuing to decline in adults over 70.
  • The decline among senior citizens is attributed to improved treatment of heart disease and more seniors following heart-healthy diets.
  • The bad news is that heart disease deaths are starting to increase in younger adults, something I reported in an earlier issue, Heart Attacks Increasing in Young Women of “Health Tips From the Professor.”
  • The reason for the rise in heart disease deaths in young people is less clear. However, the obesity epidemic, junk and convenience foods, and the popularity of fad diets all likely play a role.

Everyone has a magic diet for reducing heart disease risk. The American Heart Association tells us to avoid fats, especially saturated fats. Vegans tell us to avoid animal protein. Paleo and keto enthusiasts tell us carbs are the problem. Who is correct?

Of course, we don’t eat fats, carbohydrates, or proteins. We eat foods. That is why a recent study (T Meier et al, European Journal of Epidemiology, 34: 37-45, 2019) is so important. It reported which foods increase and which decrease the risk of premature heart disease deaths.

How Was The Study Done?

diet for heart disease prevention studyThe authors of the current study analyzed data from the “Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) Study”, a major world-wide effort designed to estimate the portions of deaths caused by various risk factors.

The current study focused on the impact of 12 dietary risk factors on heart disease deaths between 1990 and 2016 for 51 countries in four regions (Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia).

The dietary risk factors were:

  • Diets low in fiber, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and whole grains.
  • Diets high in sodium, processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, and trans fatty acids.

Saturated fat and meat were not explicitly included in the GBS Study data. However, diets low in polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fats are likely high in saturated fats. Similarly, diets low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are likely higher in meats. The study also did not include dairy, and some recent studies suggest that some dairy foods may decrease heart disease risk.

For simplicity I will only consider the findings from Western Europe because their diet and heart disease death trends are similar to those in the United States.

 

Best Diet for Heart Disease Prevention?

plant-based diet bestThe study found that in 2016 (the last year for which data were available):

  • Dietary risk factors were responsible for 49.2% of heart disease deaths.
  • 6% of all diet-related heart disease deaths occurred in adults younger than 70, and that percentage has been increasing in recent years.

When they looked at the contribution of individual foods to diet related heart disease deaths, the percentages were:

  • Diets low in whole grains = 20.4%
  • Diets low in nuts and seeds = 16.2%
  • Diets low in fruits = 12.5%
  • Diets high in sodium = 12.0%
  • Diets low in omega-3s = 10.8%
  • strong heartDiets low in vegetables = 9.0%
  • Diets low in legumes = 7.0%
  • Diets low in fiber = 5.7%
  • Diets low in polyunsaturated fats = 3.7%
  • Diets high in processed meats = 1.6%
  • Diets high in trans fatty acids = 0.8%
  • Diets high in sugar-sweetened beverages = 0.1%

So, what is the best diet for heart disease prevention?

In short, this study concluded:

  • A primarily plant-based diet is the best protection against premature death due to heart disease.
  • All plant-based food groups (whole grains, nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables, and legumes) play an important role in reducing heart disease deaths.
  • Meat was not included in the analysis, but it is likely that most people’s diets in this region of the world contained some meat. The most likely take-away is that meat does not affect heart disease risk in the context of a primarily plant-based diet.
  • Dairy was not included in the analysis either, but some studies suggest dairy, particularly fermented dairy foods, reduce heart disease risk.
  • Finally, the study concluded: “Compared to other…modifiable risk factors (physical inactivity, drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco smoking, obesity, etc.), an altered diet is the most effective means of preventing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease in Western Europe.”

While every study has its weaknesses, this study is consistent with multiple previous studies showing that primarily plant-based diets are best for reducing heart disease risk. You will find a more complete discussion of these studies in my book “Slaying The Food Myths.”

 

Are the American Heart Association’s Recommendations Correct?

With this study’s results in mind we can now ask whether the recommendations of the American Heart Association and other popular diets are correct. Are they likely to reduce heart disease deaths?

  • The American Heart Association Recommends a dietary pattern that emphasizes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, skinless poultry and fish, and low-fat dairy products. This study supports those recommendations.
  • This study also supports the heart-health benefits of the Mediterranean and DASH diets.
  • Meat and dairy were not explicitly considered in this study. Thus, the results of this study are also consistent with vegan and semi-vegetarian diets.
  • However, low carb diets like Paleo and keto eliminate some of the key food groups (whole grains, fruits, and legumes) that appear to be essential for reducing heart disease risk. 40% of the heart-health benefits in this study came from those 3 food groups. Thus, this study does not support claims that those two diets are heart-healthy long term.

 

The Bottom Line

 

Everyone has a magic diet for reducing heart disease risk. The American Heart Association tells us to avoid fats, especially saturated fats. Vegans tell us to avoid animal protein. Paleo and keto enthusiasts tell us carbs are the problem. Who is correct?

A recent study provides some important clues. It looked at dietary patterns associated with reduced risk of premature death from heart disease in Western Europe. The study concluded:

  • A primarily plant-based diet is the best protection against premature death due to heart disease.
  • All plant-based food groups (whole grains, nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables, and legumes) play an important role in reducing heart disease deaths.
  • Meat did not appear to affect heart disease risk in the context of a primarily plant-based diet.
  • Dairy was not included in the analysis, but some studies suggest dairy, particularly fermented dairy foods, reduce heart disease risk.
  • Finally, the study concluded: “Compared to other…modifiable risk factors (physical inactivity, drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco smoking, obesity, etc.), an altered diet is the most effective means of preventing premature deaths from cardiovascular disease.”

While every study has its weaknesses, this study is consistent with multiple previous studies showing that primarily plant-based diets are best for reducing heart disease risk. You will find a more complete discussion of these studies in my book “Slaying The Food Myths.”

With this study’s results in mind we can now ask whether the recommendations of the American Heart Association and other popular diets are correct. Are they likely to reduce heart disease deaths?

  • The American Heart Association Recommends a dietary pattern that emphasizes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, skinless poultry and fish, and low-fat dairy products. This study supports those recommendations.
  • This study also supports the heart-health benefits of the Mediterranean and DASH diets.
  • Meat and dairy were not explicitly considered in this study. Thus, the results of this study are also consistent with vegan and semi-vegetarian diets.
  • However, low carb diets like Paleo and keto eliminate some of the key food groups (whole grains, fruits, and legumes) that appear to be essential for reducing heart disease risk. 40% of the heart-health benefits in this study came from those 3 food groups. Thus, this study does not support claims that those two diets are heart-healthy long term.

For more details read the article above.

 

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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