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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

plantar fasciitisPlantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia or plantar aponeurosis. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of tissue that extends from the heel bone to the toes. The purpose of this tissue is to help support your arch and as a shock absorber or spring board when you walk or run.

The Plantar Fascia is made up of 3 specific areas. The medial or inner, the lateral or outer, and the larger central portion. Most of the injuries and symptoms are associated with the central plantar fascia.

Typically the injury to the plantar fascia occurs as it inserts into the bottom or plantar aspect of the heel bone. Symptoms can be very acute as in a tear, or can be gradual without you having any symptoms. The causes of plantar fasciitis are many. Many cases involve a biomechanical etiology, such as flat feet, limb length discrepancy, poor shoe gear or excessive activity. Medical conditions such as obesity and diabetes increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

Symptoms usually occur in the morning when you get out of bed, or after prolonged sitting. This is because of a tightening of the inflamed tissue and sudden stretching when standing. The symptoms usually improve after several minutes but reoccur after prolonged resting. In more severe cases the pain is chronic and occurs with or without weightbearing. Patients cannot stand on their toes secondary to pain. A palpable pain occurs at the site of the inflammation in and around the inside or medial aspect of the heel or calcaneus.

Conservative treatment for plantar fasciitis involves reducing the strain on the plantar fascia when ambulation. This can be achieved a number of ways. Changing shoe gear with a supportive arch and heel counter helps stabilize the foot. An orthotic device to improve shock absorption and reduce the strain on the arch of the foot. Reduce weight of overweight and control blood sugar if diabetic. Avoid going barefoot on hard surfaces will help prevent further damage. Utilization of a plantar fascia night splint helps prevent the plantar fascia from contracting at night. In more chronic situations, a cortisone injection into the affected area can improve the condition. Therapy can help, including ultrasound and electrotherapy.

Surgery is necessary is a very small number of cases that do not respond to conservative care. New treatments have appeared over the last several years including Extracorporeal shockwave therapy and Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy. These procedures reduce recovery period and improve patient outcomes by limiting the affects of surgery and long recoveries.

Whatever course of treatment your doctor recommends, The Brace Shop has many years of experience in dealing with Plantar Fasciitis and has a wide range of orthopedic devices that can assist in your recovery. Plantar Fascia Night Splints, Dorsal Night Splints, Walking Boots and Plantar Fascia straps are just some of the hundreds of products available at The Brace Shop.

Product Review – New Night Splint For Heel Spur Syndrome & Plantar Fasciitis

Anybody who has had a heel spur or plantar fasciitis is very familiar with the sometimes disabling pain on the bottom of the foot when they get up in the morning, or after sitting for a prolonged period of time. There is a wide range of treatment options available for the patient, some of which are more painful than the condition itself (cortisone injections). One of the treatment options available to patients with excellent results is the plantar fascia night splint.

Heel Spur Syndrome or plantar fasciitis is a common and painful foot condition that usually involves a band of tissue that runs from the inside portion of the heel to the ball of the foot and into the toes. This band of tissue is known as Plantar Fascia. Plantar Fasciitis refers to the inflammation of this band, causing pain, swelling, redness and difficulty walking. Many people use all three terms synonymously, but in actuality are distinct conditions.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia serves to support the arch of the foot, and serve as a spring board or shock absorber as you place your foot on the ground. Causes of plantar fasciitis range from a sudden impact, repetitive trauma, improper shoe gear and overuse. Obesity, flat feet and bio-mechanical problems and certain vocations tend to aggravate this sometimes disabling condition. Women tend to have the condition more frequently than men due to the shoe gear women wear.

In most cases the pain originates at the insertion of the plantar fascia along the bottom of the heel bone or calcaneus. Many people complain of pain in the A.M. while getting out of bed, or after prolonged sitting. This is due to the contracture of the plantar fascia at rest. In most cases the condition improves with prolonged ambulation, as the plantar fascia “stretches out”. The condition is also aggravated by walking barefoot on hard floors or going up steps.

Many doctors will x-ray a patient’s foot to rule out other conditions such as a fracture or cyst in the heel. Deep palpation or pressure on the inside of the heel usually reproduces the sharp shooting pain patients feel when they stand. Some patients will demonstrate a heel spur, or bony prominence that projects out of the heel, in the direction of the pull of the plantar fascia.

It is thought that prolonged microtrauma and inflammation at the insertion of the plantar fascia into the heel causes these spurs to form and grow. Most people assume that the pain is coming from the spur at the bottom of the heel, but that is not entirely correct. The pain comes from the pulling and tearing of the plantar fascia as it inserts into the heel.

There are many conservative treatment options for this condition, including rest, stretching, massage, change in shoe gear, ice therapy, arch support, night splints, walking boots and anti-inflammatory medication. It may take several months for the condition to improve with conservative care. Surgery is rarely needed in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.

Many people have found relief with night splints. These are devices worn in bed that keep the Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fascia stretched out. By maintaining a slight stretch to these tissues while you sleep, the splint prevents the contractures that usually occur when non-weightbearing.

When patients get up in the morning, there is less pain because the tissue has not contracted. The problem with most traditional night splints is that they run down the back of the lower leg and under the foot. As most people sleep on there back, the device can be very uncomfortable to wear due to the rigidity and bulkiness of the splint.

The dorsal night splint was developed to eliminate the disadvantages of the traditional splint. The dorsal night splint is just as effective at maintaining the stretch, without the bulkiness and discomfort of the traditional device.

The Alimed D2 Night Splint™ is designed to maximize patient compliance with its hinged dorsal shell and dynamic stretch cord. Most night splints fail because they force the foot into a 90º position and expect the patient to tolerate this aggressive stretch for the entire night.

The new D2 Night Splint™ overcomes this major source of patient noncompliance by allowing the patient to start with a more gradual stretch and progress as her condition improves.

This progressive stretch night splint also enables adjustment of the position if discomfort increases. In addition, because the splint is anterior (in front of the ankle & leg), there is more comfort when a patient is sleeping on his/her back.

The patient controls the degree of stretch, a stretch she can tolerate all night
for maximum effectiveness.

Features and Benefits of The Alimed D2 Night Splint™

* Dynamic stretch cord provides a low load stretch force that gently pulls
the foot into dorsiflexion.
* Articulating foot piece and soft bottom enhance safety and comfort
during nighttime and ambulation.
* ROM indicator allows for easy monitoring of progress for documentation.
* Padded terry cloth liner wicks away moisture, helping keep skin dry and
comfortable.
* Plush neoprene straps contour to fit the foot and calf for all-night
comfort.
* Adjust Dynamic Stretch cord in seconds for a dorsiflexion stretch force
that can be sustained all night.
* Numbered cord hooks allow patient to easily gauge progress.
* Up to 15° dorsiflexion.

For more information on this night splint including sizing information CLICK HERE.

Talk to your doctor about the New Alimed Dorsal Night Splint™. It is one of the most popular and successful night splints on the market today. For more information on our entire line of night splints go to www.braceshop.com or call us at (866) 325-8045.

It is always recommended to consult with your treating doctor to determine the correct brace for your orthopedic co

Product Review – The New Swede-O Thermoskin Heel-Rite

Anybody who has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis is very familiar with the sometimes disabling pain on the bottom of the foot when they get up in the morning, or after sitting for a prolonged period of time. There is a wide range of treatment options available from taping, pain medication, arch supports, night splints and cortisone injections. A new treatment option is now available from Swede-O Inc. called the Heel-Rite Ankle Support.

The plantar fascia is a band of fibrous tissue that originates on the inner portion of the heel bone and fans out under the arch to the balls of the feet and inserts into the toes. It forms the longitudinal arch of the foot and functions as a shock-absorber when you walk or run. Irritation or inflammation of the plantar fascia occurs primarily at its attachment to the heel bone or calcaneus.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis usually occur in the morning when the patient gets out of bed. The pain usually subsides after a couple of minutes, but returns with prolonged sitting. This is due to a tightening or contracture of the plantar fascia at rest. When standing the fascia stretches “suddenly” causing pain at the insertion. As the fascia “stretches out”, the pain subsides. If untreated, the pain worsens and increases in duration. Plantar fasciitis is further aggravated by poor fitting shoes, barefoot ambulation, and aggressive sports activities.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis is usually conservative in nature. Rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, padding, alternative shoe gear, arch supports, orthotics, stretching exercises usually improve the condition. Cortisone injections are sometimes necessary to reduce severe pain, and if conservative treatment and time have not improved the condition, surgery is sometimes indicated.

Arch supports and orthotics (custom made arch supports) are a very popular treatment modality among Podiatrists, Chiropractors and Therapists and have proven very successful in controlling abnormal gait, excessive pronation and support of the plantar fascia. In many instances, these devices cannot be worn due to shoegear restrictions. Since most of the damage and irritation of the plantar fascia occurs during the day, with prolonged standing, walking and physical activity, an alternative to orthotics and arch supports was limited. Until Swede-O developed a unique and supportive brace called The Heel-Rite.

The Heel-Rite is a combination ankle brace and arch support. The patented Heel-Rite provides effective daytime treatment for Plantar Fasciitis. The Heel-Rite is comfortable to wear and low profile in design.

The brace contains a support strap that lifts the arch and provide compression to the plantar fascia and stabilization of the longitudinal arch.

Another unique feature of the Heel-Rite is the brace material. Swede-O utilizes a Thermoskin Thermal fabric that has been clinically proven to increase subcutaneous skin temperature 2-3°F for optimal level of heat therapy. Thermoskin’s patented Trioxon® lining creates a micro-climate that maintains elevated skin temperature while still allowing the skin to ventilate for long-term user comfort. The spiral structure of the Trioxon lining lifts moisture away from the skin and traps air within the lining to help prevent excessive perspiration.

This combination of ankle and foot stability, heat therapy, and arch support with compression makes this a great alternative to bulky arch supports and orthotic inserts. The Heel-Rite fits into most shoes and is very adjustable, coming in just two sizes. It is universal for left or right ankles. More more information CLICK HERE.

It is always recommended that you consult with your treating doctor to determine the cause of your orthopedic condition and the appropriate treatment. For more information on this and other similar braces go to www.braceshop.com or call us at (866) 325-8045.