Posts Tagged ‘tibialis anterior’

Heal Your Plantar Fasciitis Naturally

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Issues, Muscle Therapy and Health

You Can Make Your Foot Pain Go Away

 Author: Julie Donnelly

Just a couple of weeks ago I taught you how to make your hip pain go away. Today’s topic is foot pain. And, yes, you can make your foot pain go away as well. But, let’s start at the beginning.

How Does Foot Pain Get Started?

You Can Make Your Foot Pain Go Away

Do you suffer from plantar fasciitis?

You feel it coming on gradually. Maybe your lower leg aches a bit, but you’re busy so you ignore it. After a while every time you take a step you feel a burning that spreads along the entire lower leg and into your arch. Still you ignore it.  But it doesn’t go away, in fact, it gets worse.

Now your arch just doesn’t feel “right.”  Then it starts to hurt, but not every time you put pressure on your foot. Again, you ignore it until finally you are experiencing foot pain all the time.   Then eventually you can’t ignore it any more, it’s like a knife being jabbed into your arch. Now it’s not just hurting when you run or drive your car, your foot hurts with every step.

Almost every day you do something that causes you to lift the front of your foot while your heel is still resting on the floor. For most people it comes from straining your lower leg muscles when you are driving a car, especially if you drive often. It is even more evident if you are doing any type of city driving because you are off and on the gas and break constantly, repetitively straining all of your lower leg muscles. You just know that your foot hurts and it’s affecting your life.  You must find a solution!

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

You’ve been told you have plantar fasciitis, and you may have been told you need expensive orthotics.  Perhaps you’ve even tried them and while they worked for a short time, eventually the pain returned and then it started to hurt worse.  Now you’re told you need to replace the orthotics, but you’ve come to realize that isn’t the answer.  And it’s not the answer. The orthotics are focusing on the symptom, but totally ignoring the source of the problem.

The good news is that you can heal your plantar fasciitis naturally. Most people, including too many medical professionals, don’t realize that foot pain is frequently coming from outside the foot. The muscles of your lower leg actually are there to move your ankle and foot, not to move your lower leg (that comes from your upper leg).

The reason is simple. First let’s use an analogy that I use all the time because it’s so perfect to explain how muscles work to move a joint.  If you pull your hair at the end, it hurts at your scalp. You don’t need to massage your scalp, you don’t need to take pain medications to stop the tension in your head, and you certainly don’t need brain surgery, you just need to stop pulling your hair!  Now substitute the muscle for your hand, the tendon for your hair, and the joint for your scalp.

Muscles originate in one place, they merge into a tendon that crosses over a joint, and then the tendon inserts into a point on the other side of the joint.  When the muscle pulls, the tendon tightens and the joint moves, but if the muscle is tight it will continue pulling on the joint even when you don’t want it to move.  In the case of the lower leg muscles and the foot, the muscles are pulling your foot up from the ground, but you are pressing it down and causing the tendons to put a strain on the insertion points, which in this case are all in your arch.

How the Muscles Get Strained

Every time you take a step you are using all of the muscles of your lower leg. As you work you contract these muscles every time you step on the pedal. Lifting the front of your foot up you are using your tibialis anterior and then you press down on the pedal you are using your calf muscles. If you walk a lot, or you are a runner, you are causing a repetitive strain on the same muscle fibers. Also, while driving your car your foot is picked up in the front to go from the gas to the brake, again straining the same muscles. You do this over and over until you have strained the muscle fibers.  Eventually the fibers shorten due to a phenomenon called muscle memory.

Muscle memory will hold your muscles in the shortened position even when you don’t need them contracted. This puts pressure on the insertion point, in this case, the arch.

The Result is Arch Pain

The two primary muscles that cause arch pain are the tibialis anterior and the peroneals.  They originate at the top of the lower leg, merge into tendons where your ankle begins to slim, and then insert into the bottom of your foot.

The tibialis anterior goes along the outside of your shin bone, crosses over the front of your ankle and then inserts into your arch.  When it contracts normally you lift up the inside of your foot so you are resting on the outside of your foot.

The peroneals originate at the top/outside of your lower leg, run down the leg and merge into a tendon that goes behind  the outside of your ankle and inserts in two places; the outside of your foot, and under your arch to the inside of your foot. When it contracts normally you pull up the outside of your foot so you are resting on your big toe.

An Easy Treatment that Works

The goal with this Julstro self-treatment is to force the toxins out of the muscle fibers, drawing in blood to nourish the muscles.  As the blood fills the muscle, the fibers lengthen and the strain is removed from the arch.

Begin by treating the tibialis anterior on the front of your leg.

Foot_Pain_1

 

#1 – kneel on the floor and put a ball just outside of your shin bone.

 

 

Foot_Pain_2

 

#2 – Move your leg forward so the ball rolls along the outside of your shin bone.

 

 

Then treat the peroneals on the outside of your lower leg, sit on the floor with the leg you are treating bent and resting on the floor. Put the ball on the outside of your leg (so it is actually on the floor and your leg is on top of it) and then press the outside of your leg into the ball.  Move your leg so the ball starts to roll down the outside of your lower leg.  Your intention is to do the same as you did for the tibialis anterior (above)

Or, sit on the floor or a bed and position your leg as shown in picture #3. While using either a dowel or a length of PVC pipe, slide the pipe from just above your ankle bone to just below your knee joint.

Foot_Pain_3#3 – Using a dowel or piece of PVC pipe, put pressure on the outside of your leg and slide along the peroneals muscle from your knee to above your ankle bone.

The treatments will feel sore but that’s because you’re forcing H+ ions through the muscle fibers, and acid burns. But, it’s better to have the toxins out of the muscles and fill the fibers with blood, plus the lymphatic system will pick up the toxins and eliminate them from your body.

There are several other treatments that work to eliminate arch pain and plantar fasciitis, but I’ve found these to be the most productive, and they may be all that is necessary to eliminate the problem completely.

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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Latest Article

Omega-3 Benefits: Lower High Blood Pressure

Posted July 16, 2019 by Dr. Steve Chaney

What Does the FDA Say About Omega-3 Benefit Claims?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

 

 

Among omega-3 benefits is lower high blood pressure.  That claim can be made according to the FDA. 

lower high blood pressureHeart Disease is still the number 1 cause of death in this country. And, while deaths from heart disease have been declining in recent years, deaths due to high blood pressure have been increasing.  That is concerning because:

High blood pressure is a killer! It can kill you by causing heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure, kidney failure and much more.

High blood pressure is a serial killer. It doesn’t just kill a few people. It kills lots of people. The American Heart Association estimates that high blood pressure directly or indirectly caused 410,000 deaths in 2014. That is almost 1 person every second and represents a 41% increase from 2000. It’s because high blood pressure is not a rare disease.

  • 32% of Americans have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, (defined as a systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or more or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or more).
  • Another 33% of Americans have prehypertension (systolic blood pressure of 120-139 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure of 80-89 mm Hg).

That’s over 65% of Americans with abnormal blood pressure!

High blood pressure is a silent killer. That’s because it is a very insidious disease that sneaks up on you when you least expect it. Systolic blood pressure increases 0.6 mm Hg/year for most adults over 50. By age 75 or above 76-80% of American adults will have high blood pressure.  Even worse, many people with high blood pressure have no symptoms, so they don’t even know that their blood pressure is elevated. For them the first symptom of high blood pressure is often sudden death.

Blood pressure medications can harm your quality of life. Blood pressure medications save lives. However, like most drugs, blood pressure medications have a plethora of side effects – including weakness, dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, heartburn, depression, heart palpitations, and even memory loss. The many side effects associated with blood pressure medications lead to poor compliance, which is probably why only 46% of patients with high blood pressure are adequately controlled.

You do have natural options. By now you are probably wondering whether there are natural approaches for controlling your blood pressure that are both effective and lack side effects. The answer is a resounding YES! I’ll outline a holistic natural approach for keeping your blood pressure under control in a minute but let me start with the FDAs recent approval of what they call “qualified claims” that omega-3s lower blood pressure.

 

What Does the FDA Say About Omega-3 Benefits?

omega-3 benefitsIn my book “Slaying The Supplement Myths” I talk about the “dark side” of the supplement industry. There are far too many companies who try to dupe the public by making outrageous and unsubstantiated claims about their products.

Only the FDA stands between us and those unscrupulous companies, and they take their role very seriously. That is why it is big news whenever the FDA allows companies to make health claims about their products.

Even then, the FDA is very cautious. They allow what they call “qualified” health claims. Basically, that means they are saying there is enough evidence that the health claim is probably true, but not enough evidence to say it is proven.

Of course, if you understand the scientific method, you realize there will always be some studies on both sides of every issue. That is why the only health claims the FDA allows are qualified health claims.

With that background in mind, let’s look at the qualified health claims the FDA allows for omega-3 benefits.

  • Since 2004 the FDA has allowed the qualified claim “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
  • A few weeks ago, they added five qualified health claims about omega-3s and blood pressure. The 5 claims are very similar, so I will only list two below for the sake of brevity.
  • “Consuming EPA and DHA combined may reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension, a risk factor for CHD (coronary heart disease).”
  • Consuming EPA and DHA combined may reduce the risk of CHD (coronary heart disease) by lowering blood pressure.
  • Of course, they add the usual wording about the evidence being inconsistent and inconclusive.

 

Omega-3 Benefits?

measure omega-3 benefits levelWe’ve known for some time that omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure, but two recent studies were instrumental in convincing the FDA to allow these qualified health claims. These studies have highlighted just how strong the effect of omega-3s on lowering blood pressure is.

The first study was a meta-analysis of 70 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials of long chain omega-3 (EPA + DHA) supplementation and blood pressure (Miller et al, American Journal of Hypertension, 27: 885-896, 2014 ).

This study showed:

  • In the group with normal blood pressure at the beginning of the study EPA + DHA supplementation decreased systolic blood pressure by 1.25 mm Hg.
  • Given that systolic blood pressure rises an average of 0.6 mm Hg/year in adults over 50, the authors estimated that omega-3 supplementation alone would delay the onset of age-related high blood pressure by 2 years.
  • In the group with elevated blood pressure not taking medication at the beginning of the study, EPA + DHA supplementation decreased systolic blood pressure by an impressive 4.51 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 3.05 mm Hg.
  • The authors noted that this decrease in systolic blood pressure could “prevent an individual from requiring medication [with all its side effects] to control their hypertension” or decrease the amount of medication required.

However, the doses of omega-3s used in these studies ranged from 1 to over 4 grams/day (mean dose = 3.8 grams/day). That sparked a second study (Minihane et al, Journal of Nutrition, 146: 516-523, 2016) to see whether lower levels of omega-3s might be equally effective. This study was an 8-week double-blind, placebo-controlled study comparing the effects of 0.7 or 1.8 grams of EPA + DHA per day (versus an 8:2 ratio of palm and soybean oil as a placebo) on blood pressure.

This study showed:

  • In the group with normal blood pressure at the beginning of the study, EPA + DHA supplementation caused no significant decrease in blood pressure. This could be due to the smaller number of subjects or the lower doses of EPA + DHA used in this study.
  • In the group with elevated blood pressure not taking medication at the beginning of the study, EPA + DHA supplementation decreased systolic blood pressure by 5 mm Hg and, the effect was essentially identical at 0.7 grams/day and 1.8 grams/day.
  • The authors concluded “Our data suggest that increased EPA + DHA intakes of only 0.7 grams/day may be an effective strategy for blood pressure control.”

 

A Holistic Approach to Lower High Blood Pressure

holistic approach to lower high blood pressureThe FDA’s allowed claims about omega-3s are good news indeed, but that’s not the only natural approach that lowers blood pressure. You have lots of other arrows in your quiver. For example:

  • The DASH diet (A diet that has lots of fresh fruits and vegetables; includes whole grains, low fat dairy, poultry, fish, beans, nuts and oils; and is low in sugar and red meats) reduces systolic blood pressure by 5-6 mm Hg. [Low fat, low carb and Mediterranean diets also lower blood pressure, but not by as much as the DASH diet].
  • Reducing sodium by about 1,150 mg/day reduces systolic blood pressure by 3-4 mm Hg.
  • Reducing excess weight by 5% reduces systolic blood pressure by 3 points.
  • Doing at least 40 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-4 times/week reduces systolic blood pressure by 2-5 mm Hg.
  • Nitrates, whether derived from fresh fruits and vegetables or from supplements probably also reduce blood pressure, but we don’t yet know by how much.

If you’ve been keeping track, you’ve probably figured out that a holistic lifestyle that included at least 0.7 grams/day of long chain omega-3s (EPA + DHA) plus the other omega-3 benefits in the list above could reduce your systolic blood pressure by a whopping 18-22 mm Hg.  What

That’s significant because, the CDC estimates that reducing high systolic blood pressure by only 12-13 mm Hg could reduce your risk of:

  • Stroke by 37%.
  • Coronary heart disease by 21%.
  • Death from cardiovascular disease by 25%.
  • Death from all causes by 13%.

 

A Word of Caution

While holistic approaches have the potential to keep your blood pressure under control without the side effects of medications, it is important not to blindly rely on holistic approaches alone. There are also genetic and environmental risk factors involved in determining blood pressure. You could be doing everything right and still have high blood pressure. Plus, you need to remember that high blood pressure is a silent killer that often doesn’t have any detectable symptoms prior to that first heart attack or stroke.

My recommendations are:

  • Monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis.
  • If your blood pressure starts to become elevated, consult with your doctor about starting with natural approaches to bring your blood pressure back under control. Doctors are fully aware of the side effects of blood pressure medications, and most doctors are happy to encourage you to try natural approaches first.
  • Continue to monitor blood pressure as directed by your doctor. If natural approaches are insufficient to bring your blood pressure under control, they will prescribe the lowest dose of blood pressure medication possible to get your blood pressure where it needs to be.
  • Don’t stop making holistic lifestyle choices to reduce blood pressure just because you are on medication. The more you do to keep your blood pressure under control with a healthy diet and lifestyle, the less medication your doctor will need to use (That means fewer side effects).

 

The Bottom Line

Heart Disease is still the number 1 cause of death in this country. And, while deaths from heart disease have been declining in recent years, deaths due to high blood pressure have been increasing. That is why anything we can do lower blood pressure naturally is important. What does the FDA say about omega-3s and blood pressure?

  • Since 2004 the FDA has allowed the qualified claim “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”
  • A few weeks ago, they added qualified health claims about omega-3s and blood pressure. For example, they now allow the following claims.
  • “Consuming EPA and DHA combined may reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension, a risk factor for CHD (coronary heart disease).”
  • Consuming EPA and DHA combined may reduce the risk of CHD (coronary heart disease) by lowering blood pressure.

For more information on the studies that convinced the FDA to allow claims about omega-3s and blood pressure and for a discussion of holistic natural approaches for lowering blood pressure, 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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