Plantar Fasciitis: Treatment and Prevention of a Common Foot Issue

Millions of people suffer from plantar fasciitis. This common foot issue is extremely painful and can be very frustrating to manage. Do you suffer from plantar fasciitis? Have you found a successful treatment and are trying to prevent your plantar fasciitis from coming back? Keep reading to learn about treatment and prevention of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis involves the inflamation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. This band supports the arch of your foot. The swelling and irritation is often most painful in the morning but can cause great discomfort throughout the day.

Treating plantar fasciitis involves several components.  As always, consult a physician such as a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon, to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Some symptoms could be attributed to other foot or heel issues.

If you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, consider the following steps to alleviate the painful irritation.

  • Reduce inflamation with the use of ice and a nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drug (NSAID) such as Advil or Ibuprofren. When applying ice to the irritated area, remember to never apply it directly to the skin. Use a cloth or towel as a barrier to prevent harming the tissue.
  • Rest your feet. This might seem like an impossible treatment approach. Avoiding the use of your feet is not practical for most of us. However, avoiding running or walking on hard surfaces as much as possible is your best bet.
  • When you do have to walk, make sure you are wearing the appropriate footwear. Try to wear athletic shoes with good arch support throughout the day. Even when you are at home, it is important to wear shoes any time when you are walking to provide proper stability to your feet.
  • In addition to the right shoes, wearing orthotics is a great way to provide comfort and support for your heel.
  • An orthopaedic surgeon can recommend simple exercises and stretches to do daily in the comfort of your own home.
  • If noninvasive treatment does not improve your condition, injections of cortisone or platelet rich plasma, may help alleviate the pain.

If you are focused on trying to prevent a recurrence of plantar fasciitis, consider taking the following steps:

  • Put on supportive shoes first thing in the morning and continue wearing them any time you are walking.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Attaining the ideal weight for your age and height can be a daunting task. However, preventing plantar fasciitis is not the only benefit having a healthy body weight. Your overall health will improve if you are able to stay within your preferred weight range.
  • If you have to be on your feet for a significant amount of time during the day, consider orthotics for your shoes. Avoid wearing old, worn out shoes.

Baseball Injuries: When to Get Treatment

Baseball injuries are an unfortunate part of America’s favorite pass time. Whether you are a professional athlete, little league slugger or a high school hitter, baseball injuries can be season ending. But don’t assume that an injury will end your season prematurely.

While baseball injuries can sideline an athlete, there are many injuries that can heal in plenty of time to finish out a season. The key to knowing how to recover from an injury is understanding the severity and complexity of the issue.

Here are some of the most common types of baseball injuries:

  • Damage to the ulnar collateral ligament
  • Shoulder instability or shoulder subluxation caused by a partial dislocation
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Medial collateral ligament sprain
  • Lateral epicondylitis (also known as tennis elbow) caused by over use
  • Medial epicondylitis (also known as golfers elbow) caused by over use or an acute injury

Prevention of injury is obviously the best way to ensure a successful, injury free season. However, some injuries are not preventable. Taking steps such as properly warming up and using appropriate protection is your first line of defense against baseball injuries. Further, proper training on technique will give you the best chance of avoiding injuries that occur with bad form. Nutrition and hydration are also very important in avoiding an injury. Eating foods rich in calcium will help build bone strength. Fueling up before practice and games can help prevent fatigue and unnecessary injuries.

If you do find yourself with a baseball injury this season, it is vital that you quickly identify if you need professional treatment. Consider the following when debating whether or not to seek a consultation from a medical doctor such as an orthopaedic surgeon:

  • Do you have moderate pain or weakness that has lasted more than two weeks despite the use of rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.)?
  • Do you have severe pain and/or swelling that has lasted more than 72 hours?
  • Do you have a loss of feeling or altered sensation in an injured area such as foot, hand, arm or leg?
  • Are you unable to put weight on your leg/foot after sustaining an injury?
  • Are you unable to carry out daily activities following an injury?

If you or a loved one have suffered a baseball injury, know that it is better to be safe than sorry. Whether your issue requires rest and physical therapy or a major surgery, it is better to consider all of your options. What might seem like a minor over use injury could be something more serious. Always consult a physician when in doubt.

Holiday Travel: Stretches and Exercise for Health

Are you traveling this holiday season? Whether you are strapping in the car for a long road trip or racking up frequent flyer miles on an airplane, November and December are prime months for holiday travel. But don’t let your travel plans interfere with your physical health.

It is easy to get out of a normal exercise routine when you are traveling. You might not have access to a gym or the desire to put in a hard work out. However, this is the best time to make sure you are taking care of your body. Stretching and moderate exercise are great ways to not let the indulgence of the season add numbers on the scale. Don’t let holiday travel interfere with your health this season.

Stretching is not only great for circulation and mobility. It is also important to prevent bodily issues such as back pain and blood clots while sitting for extended periods of time during holiday travel. Here are some easy stretches to do while traveling:

  1. Twist while seated. Gently twist your torso while inhaling and exhaling.
  2. Walk. This may seem simple but even walking down the aisle of an airplane or getting out for a brief stroll at a rest stop is great. This can help blood flow and stretches out your limbs.
  3. Neck stretch. Slowly tilting your head from left to right allows you to stretch the muscles in your neck.
  4. Toe touch. Without locking your knees, simply reach your finger tips down toward the floor. This stretches not only your legs but also your back.
  5. Side stretch. While standing, reach your arms over head and gently tilt from right to left at the waist.
  6. Upper body stretch. Reach your arm across your body while sitting. Use your opposite hand to gently press your outstretched arm to your chest. Switch arms and repeat.

Beyond stretching, there are a number of simple exercises you can do while traveling away from home:

  1. Jogging or walking. Setting out for a walk or a jog is an easy, free way to get your heart rate up. Using an application such as Map My Run can help you track your distance and calories.
  2. Yoga. Incorporating yoga moves into your day is a great way to decrease stress and tone your body. Apps like Fit Star Yoga and Daily Yoga are easy to use from your phone or other electronic device.
  3. Pack your gym. Packing along items like a jump rope, tension bands or small hand weights can amp up your personal exercise session.
  4. Run the stairs.
  5. Class pass. Many gyms around the country offer a class pass that you can purchase and use for classes at other gyms. This can be a cost-effective way to stay in your gym routine while traveling.
  6. Fitness trainer apps like Sworkit, 7 minute workout and Workout Trainer: personal fitness coach are great ways to get a detailed workout routine that you can do anywhere.

Rather than let holiday travel be an excuse to skip a workout, use it as a reason to try something new. Take advantage of time away from the normal stress of home and work to explore new types of exercise.

Happy Holidays!

Orthopaedic Injuries: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (R.I.C.E.)

Orthopaedic injuries can require surgery to bring desired results. However, there are several types of orthopaedic injuries that can be successfully treated without surgery. If you have sustained an injury through exercise, an accident or a work related incident, it is possible that four simple steps could decrease the severity of your injury, leading to a successful recovery.

Rest, ice, compression and elevation, also known as R.I.C.E., are basic yet extremely effective steps for alleviating pain and swelling from an orthopaedic injury. The key to this treatment approach is using the steps as soon as possible after sustaining an injury. Putting these steps to use might seem simple, but it is always important to seek the advice or a physician or orthopaedic surgeon before trying to treat injuries on your own.

R.I.C.E.

Rest (R):

The first step to implementing R.I.C.E. is simply resting. While easy in theory, this can be very challenging for many people. Whether you are an athlete, an active parent or have a physical occupation, taking time to rest your injured body part can seem impossible. Keep in mind that the sooner you are able to heal completely, the sooner you can safely return to your normal daily routine.

Ice (I):

The second part of this process is pretty self explanatory. Icing your injured body part helps reduce inflamation and brings physical relief. One important thing to remember when applying ice to your body is to never apply it directly to the skin. Always use a cloth or towel as a barrier between your ice pack and your body to avoid damaging the skin. Apply ice for about 10-15 minutes at a time. Repeat this process about 3-4 times a day.

Compression (C):

Another important element is wrapping your injured body part with an elastic bandage. This can also help to reduce swelling as long as you are careful not to wrap it too tightly. If you are unsure how to wrap the injured area appropriately, always consult your doctor or orthopaedic surgeon to avoid worsening the injury.

Elevation (E):

Just as important as resting, elevating your injured body part can help lessen swelling. Use a pillow or something similar to keep the impacted area at or above the level of your heart.

Orthopaedic injuries are both painful and frustrating. Some of these injuries require surgery, physical therapy and a long recovery process. If you find yourself suffering from an orthopaedic injury, using R.I.C.E. can be a good first step to treating your condition. Always remember to follow-up with your physician or orthopaedic surgeon to discuss treatment options.

Knee Arthroscopy for Meniscus Tear: Recovery and Running

To a runner, knee injuries can be a potentially devastating occurrence. Rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) paired with physical therapy, can often lead to a full recovery. However, some injuries are chronic and debilitating, requiring further medical treatment.

Suffering from a meniscus tear is both painful and frustrating. Daily activities become difficult and running can further aggravate the issue. While not all tears require surgical intervention, many patients can benefit from a procedure called a partial meniscectomy.

Lori Heinrichs, an Agility Orthopaedics patient, struggled with a torn meniscus over the course of several months. After fearing that her running career was over, Lori came in for a consultation that changed everything. Dr. Nadaud performed a knee arthroscopy with a partial meniscectomy on Lori. After fully recovering, Lori was able to ease back into her running routine successfully.

Here is what Lori had to say about her experience:

“While training for a half marathon in 2014, I sustained a knee injury that prevented me from running the race. I saw an orthopedic surgeon and was told that it was time to stop running. I was only 32 years old and my running days were over? That’s when I went to see Dr. Joshua Nadaud. After looking at my MRI, he said he would do all he could to ensure I would run again. In 2015, Dr. Nadaud performed surgery on my knee and set me up with physical therapy. It was not long after and I was back in my running shoes. In October of 2016, I ran my first half marathon and was completely free of knee pain for the entire 13.1 mile race! Thank you Dr. Nadaud for the miracle work you did on my knee!”
If you have been struggling with knee pain, don’t ignore it. Make an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon to determine the best plan for a full recovery.

Marathon and Half Marathon Training and Race Preparation

Fall is an exciting time of year for marathon and half marathon runners. Cool, crisp mornings mean perfect weather for distance running. If you have been training for a marathon or half marathon over the past several weeks, you have likely been following a race plan. If you are preparing to start training, you are likely looking for the best method to perform well on race day and to avoid injury.

There are several things to consider while training for a marathon or half marathon. Whether this is your first long race or you are a seasoned marathoner, treating your body right will help you not only before your race but also in recovering after.

Nutrition

When people think about marathon training, one of the first things that comes to mind is the concept of “carb loading.” Carbohydrates before a race can be beneficial in giving your body a boost of stored energy before a long run. However, Nutrition is a huge part of training from day one.

As you start logging several miles on long runs, consider nutritional supplements to eat during your outings. Energy gels like GU Energy, Power Bar Gel and Hammer Gel can give you some added fuel to get through a running slump.

Over the course of several weeks of training, your body will be burning more calories than normal. This is not an excuse to over-indulge in your favorite carbohydrate heavy foods. Rather, balancing your meals with lean proteins, plenty of leafy greens, healthy fats and whole grains will give your body the energy it needs to perform well from day one of training through race day.

Hydration is just as important during race training as nutrition. Make sure to drink water consistently throughout the day and night, not just before hitting the pavement. Consider Electrolyte replenishment in the form of dissolving tabs or sports drinks.

Running Schedule

Both seasoned runners and first-time racers should rely on some sort of training schedule to follow. There are a number of great schedules out there. Most suggest incorporating 2-3 shorter runs during the week and one long run over the weekend. This long run should increase each week as you approach race day. Do some research and ask fellow runners for their best training plan. It is best that you find one that fits best into your schedule and that isn’t hard on your body.

Cross Training

Just as important as the running portion of your marathon and half marathon training is cross training. Running multiple days each week is tough on your joints. Beyond running, incorporating strength training, yoga, cycling and swimming can help with speed and stamina. It also breaks up the monotony of running.

Recovery

Recovery is vital to race training. For both marathon and half marathon race preparation, there are several days in which your body takes a beating from a long run. Be sure to stretch before and after your runs. It is also key to refuel your body with lean proteins and healthy fats. Muscle repair is essential to help avoid injury and build strength. Also be sure to hydrate all day after your runs.

Injury Prevention

Running is great exercise and has wonderful benefits for your body. But even for seasoned runners, competing in a marathon or half marathon is a big trauma to your body. It is very important to allow your body to heal and recover after a long run. Take the day off every time you have a long run. After the race is over, be sure to take a few days off. It is also beneficial to schedule a massage for the day after your race to decrease muscle soreness and inflammation.

If you do sustain an injury during race training for a marathon or half marathon, be sure to consult an orthopaedic surgeon. Don’t try to push through training no matter how much you want to complete this goal. It is important to address any running injuries as soon as they develop to avoid more serious issues.

Friday night football: Common injuries and prevention

The shift from summer to fall signifies a number of changes. The weather shifts, the leaves begin to turn and weekends become filled with a variety of fall sports. Football is one of the most popular sports of the season. Whether enjoying this activity as an athlete or a parent of a player, there are several things to consider before launching into a busy football season.

There are a number of common injuries sustained by football players during any given game. Despite wearing pads, helmets and supportive footwear, each and every play can result in a serious injury.

Here are the most common football injuries:

Knee Injuries

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears and strains
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) tears and strains
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tears and strains
  • Meniscus tears
  • Patellar fractures
  • Knee dislocations

Head Injuries

  • Concussions caused by single or repeated trauma to the head
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive, degenerative disease

Overuse Injuries

  • Patellar tendinitis, also known as jumper’s knee
  • Back pain
  • Rotator cuff strains or tears

Shoulder Injuries

  • Shoulder dislocations
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder tendinitis

Foot and Ankle Injuries

  • Sprained ankles
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel contusions
  • Tendonitis
  • Ankle fractures

It is no secret that football can be a very dangerous sport. Prevention is key for avoiding a football injury this season. Addressing any injuries, as soon as they occur on the football field, is the best way to avoid serious issues. Consult a board certified orthopaedic surgeon for a full assessment and treatment options.

Make sure to stay hydrated while playing football or any sport. Choose proper fitting gear that is in good condition while practicing and playing in all football games. Using faulty pads can result in an unnecessary injury. Never play football without a helmet and report any pain or injury to your coaching staff.

Always warm-up before hitting the football field. Many strains and tears can be prevented if you are taking simple precautions such as stretching and warming up appropriately.

 

Foods for Bone Health: Osteoporosis Prevention

When it comes to preventative health, one of the most effective tools you have is managing your diet. In addition to a maintaining regular exercise routine, developing a healthy meal plan is essential for preventing some of the most debilitating health conditions, including osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis, the thinning of the bones caused by a decrease in bone mass, plagues men and women of many cultural backgrounds. However, women, specifically those entering menopause, are more likely to suffer from this affliction. Preventing osteoporosis with diet and exercise is key to avoiding many painful and limiting injuries. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent developing this bone condition, incorporating several foods into your daily meal routine can help lessen your chances of suffering from osteoporosis.

Preventing osteoporosis is one way to decrease your chances of suffering from an orthopaedic injury. Keeping your bones healthy and strong is not only a great way to avoid injury but is also helpful in healing quickly if you do experience a bone injury. From foot and ankle injuries to shoulder and elbow issues, your bone health is key for getting back to your normal lifestyle.

The main dietary defenses for preventing osteoporosis include: Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin D.

Foods for bone health:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Low-fat or non-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat or non-fat milk
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Oranges
  • Raisins
  • Artichokes
  • Tomatoes
  • Okra
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Egg yolks

Beyond adding healthy foods to your diet, it is important to also avoid certain elements for osteoporosis prevention. Try to minimize salt and caffeine as much as possible to avoid loss of bone mass.

Back to School: Avoiding Sports Injuries

Rolling into the month of August, many parents are anticipating the start of a new school year. Back to school is a busy time for families. If you are a parent, you are likely prepping your kids by obtaining items from their school supply list as well as new clothing and shoes for the year ahead. As you check off items on your back to school list, do not neglect health and physical preparation.

How can you help your child avoid injury as sports start ramping up this fall? Consider the following tips for staying healthy this school year.

  • Take your child in for a sports physical. Some schools require a permission form to participate in school sports. However, not all athletic programs mandate a check-up with a family physician. Make sure there aren’t any existing conditions or previous injuries that could be detrimental to your child’s health.
  • Send your child prepared! Just as you get your son or daughter ready for school with the right supplies, you should gear up your child with the right equipment. Always send at least one water bottle to avoid dehydration. In addition, make sure your child’s sporting equipment is in good condition. Check helmets, pads and other protective items to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Invest in the right footwear to avoid injury. Most sports require very specific shoes to ensure performance and protection. As your foot and ankle support the entire body during most sports, it is imperative that you start with the proper foundation to avoid getting hurt. Have your child sized for shoes before purchasing and consider orthotics for additional support.
  • Conditioning and stretching are key for being prepared to start up a new sport. Kids are typically pretty active over the summer, but time off from sports during break can set them back. Just as with adults, jumping right into a demanding exercise routine can be rough on the body. Encourage your child to ease into things by stretching and doing some conditioning exercises.

Tennis Elbow: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Tennis elbow, clinically known as lateral epicondylitis, is not always an athletic injury. Do not be fooled by the name. This painful issue plagues a variety of people, many of whom have never even picked up a racket.

Tennis elbow is a very common injury caused by overuse of your arm and hand muscles. The repetitive motion that tennis players employ can result in this condition. However, anyone that engages in a similar movement of the forearm can suffer from this injury.

Diagnosing Tennis Elbow:

Unless you are a trained medical professional, it is not a good idea to self-diagnose your symptoms. Seeking the opinion of an orthopaedic surgeon will ensure that you get the proper diagnosis and treatment. If you suffer from the following symptoms, you should consult your doctor:

  • Experiencing pain on the outside, lateral, area of the elbow.
  • Experiencing pain when lifting objects.
  • Experiencing pain when grasping or squeezing objects.
  • Experiencing pain when shaking hands

Treating Tennis Elbow:

Once you have been diagnosed with tennis elbow, the next step is alleviating the pain and healing the injury. Again, consult a physician about your injury to ensure you are addressing the correct problem. Some methods for treating tennis elbow include:

  • Rest your arm/forearm. This may seem simple but avoiding the repetitive motion that caused your injury will prevent further damage and allow the area to heal.
  • Ice the affected area. Never apply ice directly to the skin. Use a cold compress or ice pack to soothe the painful part of your arm.
  • Use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDS, as directed on the bottle. You can also try Aleve or ibuprofen.
  • Physical therapy exercises may increase strength and alleviate symptoms.

Preventing Tennis Elbow:

If you have suffered from tennis elbow at some point or feel that you are at risk of this injury due to your activity, here are a few steps to avoid future symptoms:

  • Stretch before engaging in repetitive motion with your arm or forearm  before starting a new activity.
  • Take breaks as often as possible if you are doing an activity that requires repetitive motion of the arm.
  • Do strengthening exercises as recommended by a physician or physical therapist.
  • Cease or decrease activity at the first signs of injury.
  • Massage your arm and forearm often to gently work the muscles on the top of your forearm.

Work-related Injury:

For the recreational athlete, taking a break from activity to heal tennis elbow isn’t a terrible inconvenience. However, if your injury is work-related, your options for treatment may seem limited. Housekeepers, painters, mechanics and factory workers are just a handful of employed individuals that are not necessarily able to take a break and heal. If this is the case for you, make sure to see a board certified orthopaedic surgeon to assess all treatment options.