Is foam rolling beneficial for plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of frequent musculoskeletal disorder observed by foot doctors. It is an inflammation along with degeneration of the plantar fascia which is a long and strong ligament that supports the arch of the feet. The common symptoms are discomfort below the heel bone and a whole lot worse pain on arising from rest, mainly in the early morning after a night’s rest. Any situation that raises the load on the arch of the feet are going to overload the plantar fascia. For example being overweight, getting active, standing on your feet throughout the day and biomechanical issues that affect the alignment of the feet. There are various therapies that are recommended for this problem, with the more effective ones being the ones that reduce the load placed on the plantar fascia.

There has been plenty of interest on using foam rollers to relieve soft tissue disorders recently, and the question gets asked often as to if we are able to use a foam roller for plantar fasciitis?

It’s quite common to see advice provided to move the foot forwards and backwards over a tennis ball on the ground and that this will assist the this condition. This could have the same impact to what a foam roller will have. No studies have shown that this will be useful, though lots of people make use of the roller. Having said that, there is certainly many health care professionals that can encourage against using it. It’s not at all dangerous, however they believe that it just does not do a great deal of good if compared to the other remedies that can be used and so are quite possibly far better. One idea to think about is that when we hurt ourselves, rubbing the spot of the soreness often generally seems to feel better. That doesn’t indicate the massaging in fact repairs the condition, it simply makes it feel a little improved. This can be perhaps why so many health professionals are cynical regarding recommending self-massage or foam rolling for the plantar fasciitis.

New research was lately published for the using a foam roller for plantar fasciitis. This was a randomized controlled study evaluating the use of a foam roller to stretching. Generally in clinical practice it is not a question of opting to use one solution or any other similar to this clinical trial. Several treatment options tend to be used together in combination, therefore the medical study is almost unnatural. That being said, the study did show that each worked similarly or the foam roller might be a slightly bit superior, so utilizing the foam roller to massage the arch area of the foot in individuals with heel pain definitely does help.

In line with the above in all probability it is advisable to use something similar to the foam roller. There are actually certain foam rollers, such as the Pediroller, which are designed to roll in the mid-foot (arch) of the feet. They might not solve heel pain, but based on the stories and that one piece of research, it can definitely make it feel better at the very least. This is more than enough justification to be able to have a go.

What is a Plantar Plate Tear

A plantar plate tear is a relatively common problem under the ball of the foot. The plantar plate is a strong thicker ligament below the metatarsaophalangeal joints in the ball of the foot. There can be a tear, strain or what often is described as a ‘dysfunction‘ of that ligament that causes pain under the joint and just distal t the joint. One weird sensation that often get describes is that of the feel of a sock bunched up under the toes, when its not.

A plantar plate problem is more common in those who are over weight, who are more active and have foot problems such as bunions.

The treatment of a plantar plate tear is to rest the area by holding the toe plantar flexed with strapping. A rocker sole shoe also stops the toe from bending so much and is often helpful. This “rest” of the strain on the ligament usually helps most cases. In the few that this does not help, then a surgical repair of the small tear is often indicated.

Dealing with Severs Disease

Sever’s disease, or more appropriately called calcaneal apophysitis is an overuse problem with the growth plate at the back of the heel bone in children. It is more common around the ages of 10-12 years and always goes away by the mid-teenage years when growth of the heel bone stops and the cartilage growth plate merges with the rest of the heel bone.

The pain is typically at the back of the heel bone and at the sides, especially on squeezing the heel bone and especially after sports activity. It is more common in those who are more active. On occasion the pain from Severs disease can be so bad as to make the child cry, but there is very little or no swelling visible.

Severs disease is best managed with reducing activity and managing expectations. The child will grow out of it, but as it painful it still needs o be treated. The reduction in activity needs o be negotiated with the child as they will be reluctant. ICE can be used after activity to help with the pain. A cushioned heel raise is often used to protect the area.

Dealing with Chilblains

Chilblains are a common problem of the microcirculation in colder climates.

Chilblains start as an inflammatory response caused by changes in those that are vulnerable. They are seasonal and occur in the colder temperatures. They can be a particular problem in extreme sports. that take place in the cold environments. While they start out as red itchy and painful spots, if they keep recurring they become chronic and take on a dark blue coloration.

The best way to deal with chilblains is to prevent them in the first place. The feet must be kept warm with the use of appropriate socks and shoes. If the foot does become cold, it is important that it is only warmed up slowly and the circulation give time to respond to the warming temperature. It is thought that a keep issue on chilblains is the too rapid warming of the skin after it is cold.

If a chilblain does develop, then the best approach is to keep it warm, stimulate the circulation with gentle massage with creams and to protect the skin from breaking down. If the skin is broken, then wound dressings need to be used to allow it to heal up.