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Plantar fasciitis is an orthopedic problem that gives rise to pain in the foot and heel due to strain or pressure on the plantar fascia. This is a ligament or connective tissue which lies in a flat band, connecting your heel with the toes and effectively, providing a basis for the motion of the feet in general. Inflammation, swelling and bruising of this tissue or ligament can lead to excessive pain in the heel.
Let us look at ways that can help you deal with this pain:
- Rest: Taking rest and giving your feet a break from all kinds of strain inducing activities can help in relieving the pain. Also, you can keep your feet elevated to help in reducing the pain in the area.
- Supportive footwear: Using pads within your shoes with gel built into them, or using specific footwear that help in walking without feeling too much of pain is a good way of dealing with Plantar fasciitis. The shoe inserts must be rubber, felt or plastic so that they are soft for your feet. They also give your heel and its arch good support, while Orthotics pulls the ligament so that there is less stress on the same. You can also pull on a pair of night flints which will keep the foot and the ligament stretched while you enjoy a good night of sleep.
- Exercise: Indulging in mild muscle strengthening exercise that also involves stretching and heel hooks can help in alleviating chronic pain that you may be suffering from. Lie flat on your back and take a towel. Lift your leg and hook your foot into it. Now press against the towel and pull down the towel simultaneously. Repeat at least ten times per foot. This will give you flexibility and strength in the area.
- Painkillers: Use pain killers only when absolutely necessary and with due advice from the doctor or Orthopaedic specialist. The use of Ibuprofen and other pain relievers can help in numbing the pain inducing nerves in the brain and give you instant relief.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs: Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication that can bring down the swelling for more comfortable functioning when you are on your feet. Naproxen is one such drug that helps in bringing down the inflammation. Also, corticosteroid injections can relieve severe pain.
- Surgery: Heel spur removal or Plantar fascia release are some of the surgical options for chronic and severe cases.
Taking care of your feet is a matter of ensuring that you look into the slightest discomfort and report the same to a doctor.
Rotator cuff is the name given to four muscles and their tendons, which keep your arms in your shoulder sockets, allowing you to lift your arms and do day-to-day stuff like combing your hair, cutting vegetables etc.
The shoulder joint is a very important joint of the body and this is why any tear that happens in the rotator cuff can be devastating.
Tears can happen in rotator cuff due to a number of factors like injury and degeneration due to age. Tears that happen due to an injury to the shoulder are called acute. Degenerative tears are tears that happen due to degeneration of the tendon over time.
Common causes of degeneration are lack of proper blood circulation, which impedes the rotator cuff’s ability to repair itself. Repetitive stress is another cause where we stress the tendon by repeating the same shoulder motions again and again while playing games like tennis, cricket etc. and doing jobs that require us to extend our arms upwards a lot. Lifting heavy objects can also lead to tears.
Chronic shoulder and arm pain are good reasons for you to see your doctor. If you suffer from pain in your shoulder at rest, while sleeping on the affected shoulder or pain while lifting and lowering your arm, then there is no time to wait.
The doctor will do a physical examination by moving your arm in different directions. He may follow it up with X-rays and MRI to check how big the tear is in your rotator cuff.
Once confirmed that you indeed have a rotator cuff tear, your doctor will start the treatment. The goal of any treatment is to reduce pain and make your shoulder joint work properly again.
Nonsurgical treatments include rest, using of a sling to protect the shoulder and modifying your daily activities. This means you may not be able to do activities that cause shoulder pain. Your doctor can also prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medicines. Strengthening and physical therapy bring up the rear of this type of treatment.
What you must remember is that nonsurgical treatment relieves pain and improves function in the shoulder, but does not improve shoulder strength. The size of your tear may also increase over time.
Surgery, which attaches the rotator cuff to your bone, is done if you suffer from continuous pain and symptoms over a year or so. If you have a large tear, conservative treatments will not work and surgery will have to be resorted to.
If you have been suffering from chronic shoulder or arm pain, waiting and watching is definitely not an option. You must visit an orthopedic surgeon at the earliest. Remember, if treatment is not started soon enough, your rotator cuff tear will get larger and will require only surgery.
Sometimes children suffer from conditions where their feet may not be in proper shape or size, something that can affect their posture. Most of the times the disorders get corrected themselves as children grow up, but there can be situations where medical attention is required. These conditions can be normal variations in the anatomy as well which don't essentially require treatment. Some of the common orthopedic disorders found in children include:
- Flatfeet: While most babies are born with flat feet which develop arches as they grow, in some case the arches remain underdeveloped even after they grow older. Their feet may turn inwards while they walk due to their flat nature. There is no inherent problem in this condition unless it becomes painful. Doctors may recommend special footwear with arches inserted for support to reduce the pain.
- Toe Walking: Toe walking is not a disorder while your child is just learning to walk. Toddlers who continue to walk on their toes after the age of 3 may require medical attention. Toe walking on one leg or persistent toe walking can be due to other medical conditions like muscle weakness, cerebral palsy or autism. It is advisable to take your child to a therapist for casting the foot and ankle which can help stretch the muscles.
- Pigeon Toes: In toeing or pigeon toeing is common among babies when they are first learning to walk. Sometimes children above 3 years walk with their toes inwards which can be due to femoral anteversion. This happens when upper part of the leg bends more than it naturally should, causing inward rotation of the feet. Specially designed shoes and braces can help to correct this condition. Usually, the condition corrects on its own with age and does not interfere with sport activities which involve running.
- Knock-Knees: It is a common tendency among children aged between 3 and 6 to develop knock-knees (genu valgum), since their bodies go through natural shift in alignment. Usually, treatment is not required as the legs straighten out eventually. Knock knees on one side or persistent knock knees may require medical attention. Children with this disorder may suffer from pain hence in some cases surgery is recommended after the age of 10.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Arthritis is a very painful disease. It restricts you from doing a lot of the activities you would love to engage in. However, there are steps you could take to reduce the chances of it happening to you.
Here are some of them:
1. Take Omega-3 fatty acids
Research proves that the regular consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids, present in fish, result in decreased risks of rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in foods such as olive oil and walnuts.
2. Take Vitamins and olive oil
Vitamins are crucial, especially A, C and D. Vitamin A can be found in carrots. Vitamin D can yet again be found in fish while Vitamin C can be found in strawberries, mangoes, pineapples and oranges. Olive oil is also useful because it contains polyphenols which reduce the chances of developing arthritis.
4. Avoid injury
Although this is very hard to do sometimes, avoiding injuries do reduce your chances of getting arthritis.
5. Control your weight
This is very important, especially for your knees. It has been proven by researchers at Johns Hopkins University that if you are 10 kg overweight, then 30 to 60 extra kilograms of weight fall on your knees.
Strengthening your muscles around your joint decrease the pressure on the joint. If there is less pressure on the joint, then the chances of arthritis are reduced. The best way to decrease pressure on the joint and strengthen your muscles is to exercise.