Monday, March 28, 2016

Plantar Fasciitis in Runners & Triathletes

Plantar Fasciitis in Runners & Triathletes
Dr. Todd Narson
Chiropractic Sports Medicine Specialist
USA Triathlon Level-1 Coach
Miami Beach, FL

Typically seen in runners and triathletes plantar fasciitis is characterized by pain at the bottom of the foot when standing, walking, jogging or running. Often the person notices pain on the bottom of the foot when they get out of bed first thing in the morning as they put their feet on the floor and stand up.
Although plantar fasciitis can be a result of a one time injury, faulty biomechanics is typically the culprit. Excessive external hip rotation during foot strike causing over pronation causes increased elongation to the point of micro or macro tearing anywhere along the plantar fascia to its calcaneal (heel) attachment.
When the plantar arch is lowered due to pronation it causes increased traction forces to the fascia. With repetitive foot strikes, tissues along the plantar fascia become over stressed, inflamed and can eventually fail resulting in plantar fasciitis. In some cases the plantar fascia is strong enough to withstand the repetitive forces and instead of plantar fasciitis, excessive traction forces on the calcaneal attachment of the plantar fascia results in a traction spur known commonly known as a “heel spur”. A heel spur can easily be identified on ultrasound or x-ray examination. It is safe to say that eventually, most cases of plantar fasciitis will lead to heel spurs if the condition is not resolved and faulty biomechanics are not corrected.
In our office we have been able to successfully manage most cases of plantar fasciitis using conservative treatment methods such as IASTM (Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization), pulsed ultrasound, interferential stimulation, ice & heat compresses, kinesiology tape and manipulation to the joints of the foot and ankle. On rare occasions, the athlete needs to be referred to another specialist.

Rehabilitation for plantar fasciitis should also include strengthening and increasing the resiliency of the involved tissues.  Correcting faulty running biomechanics with a running or triathlon coach is a must and along with your sports doctor (hopefully me), most cases of plantar fasciitis can be successfully addressed and plantar fasciitis a thing of the past.
Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. Dr. Narson is a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians and a USA Triathlon level-1 Coach. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

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