Everything You Need to Know about Plantar Fasciitis

Foot pain, especially plantar fasciitis, can be a difficult condition to deal with if not treated correctly. It can prevent people from doing simple tasks such as walking or getting around. Worse, sometimes you cannot even be sure where exactly the pain is coming from. Or, what is causing it, especially if you do not recall going through a painful injury. This happened to me recently. One day I was running and a day or two later, I was having trouble putting weight on my right foot.

Another important issue with foot pain that many do not realize is it can affect your posture and gait. The longer any foot injury persists, the greater the likelihood that you’ll have issues some where else, like your back.

Among the many causes of foot pain, plantar fasciitis is one of the most common. Plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the plantar fascia. This includes the long ligament that joins the heel at the back of your foot with your toes.

Plantar fascia is also responsible for supporting the arch of your foot, this enables the foot to support your bodyweight. Hence, any problems with this area of your foot could impact the ability of your foot to do its job.

Here is everything you need to know about plantar fasciitis.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Similar to other joints and muscles, the purpose of plantar fascia is to support the foot muscles and absorb stress. Hence, if the stress becomes too much, the plantar fascia will start to develop small tears. This, in turn, can lead to inflammation as a result of the body’s natural response to such injuries, thereby resulting in the development of plantar fasciitis. Although plantar fasciitis usually occurs for no specific reason, some factors can increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

These include having high foot arches, wearing high heels frequently, and spending long hours each day standing. Athletes are also at higher risk of plantar fasciitis due to the repetitive, high-impact motions that come with running or jumping.

How Can It Be Diagnosed?

The symptom of plantar fasciitis that is easiest to observe is a sharp pain in the heel of the foot, particularly when you take your first steps after having been lying down or seated for a prolonged period of time. If this happens to you quite regularly, it is best to see a specialist right away.

When you make an appointment, the doctor will immediately ask you about your symptoms and perform a checkup to determine where the pain in your feet is coming from. To be sure of the cause, you may then have to undergo different tests.

These include an X-ray, MRI or other imaging tests to rule out other possible causes, such as arthritis or fractures.

How Can It Be Treated?

Treatment of plantar fasciitis is actually quite simple and does not require surgery. Typically, a doctor will prescribe that you ice the area and avoid any activities that might increase the pain, such as sports and exercise. The doctor may also prescribe you some anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation and resulting pain.

Eventually, you may be advised to practice some physical therapy exercises and stretches to strengthen your leg and foot muscles to prevent another occurrence of plantar fasciitis. You may also be asked to wear more supportive shoes or to use sole inserts for better cushioning as you walk and run. Finally, get in the habit of using a foam roller targeting the lower body especially the calf area. Tight muscles and restricted fascia, if not addressed, can eventually lead to foot issues.

With proper lifestyle habits and medical advice, you should be able to fully recover from plantar fasciitis and prevent it from ever recurring. If you feel any symptoms, it is best to seek a professional’s opinion straight away for the quickest relief and recovery.

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Leading Cardiologist Discusses the Best Diet for Heart Health

Since the mid-1900’s, cardiovascular disease has become the leading cause of death for Americans. This surge in poor heart health is associated with the popularity of cigarettes during this time and a change in the average American diet. During the 1950’s and 60’s, Americans started to consume more processed foods, added sugars, and saturated fats. During the 1960’s, several major sugar companies funded Harvard University research teams to connect heart disease to fat and suggested sugar was a helpful diet aid. While research has continued to shed light on this topic over the past sixty years, many American diets still contain high levels of sugar, fats, and carbohydrates.

One Doctors Fight for Heart Health

Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a triple board-certified cardiologist and Council Member of the American Heart Association, understands the importance of diet in relation to heart health. By advising patients in his own New York City practice, Dr. Bhusri strives to educate the public on the direct impact diet has on heart health. Many diets are put forward by nutritionists and health magazines that claim to be the best diet for those with cardiovascular disease. However, Dr. Bhusri explains to all his patients while there are many diets out there that help with heart health, you must find a reputable diet. Of the many reputable diets out there, many have the following characteristics; it must promote fruits, vegetables, and anti-inflammatory foods while limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, sodium, artificially sweetened foods and beverages, and full-fat dairy foods.

“There are red flags to watch out for with any internet diet, and so the most important thing I can tell my patients is to do your research. Any heart-conscious diet will encourage vegetables, healthy heart meats like salmon, and whole grains. Any diet that says it’s ok to drink soda probably wasn’t made by a cardiologist or nutritionist,”

Dr. Satjit Bhusri

Best Diet for Heart Health – DASH Diet is High on the List

One of the most popular, reputable diets for heart health is the DASH diet, which stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. This diet promotes eating nutrients such as potassium, calcium, fiber, and protein to help reduce high blood pressure.

“A good example of a heart-healthy diet is the DASH diet. The DASH diet promotes eating healthy foods such as whole grains, lean protein, fruits, veggies, and low-fat dairy while reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened foods, whole dairy foods, and saturated fats,” explained Dr. Bhusri.

When looking for a heart-healthy diet, Dr. Bhusri recommends the following:

  • The diet has little to no fatty meats such as steak and pork.
  • Promotes lower caloric intake and eating large portions of vegetables.
  • Stays away from sugar sweetened foods and beverages such as ice-cream and sodas.
  • Encourages the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon and avocados.

Stay Strong with the Jefit App

Millions of members have had great success using the Jefit app, equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.