Tag Archives: foot

Jobs with benefits

I have to say, I am one lucky girl.

As many of you know, I fell to a foot injury nearly two months ago and have spent the summer dealing with the pain of this issue. I had to take off nearly two months of running…killing my summer training before the high school cross country season. At first I thought it was plantar fasciitis…but soon realized it was more of a mechanical and muscle injury, which was causing the bones in the top of my foot to bump into one another. Realizing that the injury was not getting better – I went into full rehab mode, cutting off all running, replacing with cross training, icing and heating over and over again, and taking my foot to the best in the business.

This is where my jobs with benefits come into play.

1. Chiropractic & Sports Rehabilitation Institute in Boynton Beach. Dr. David Rudnick and team have spent that past month working on my foot with a combination of K-Laser Therapy, Massage Therapy, Ultra-Sound, Rehab and more. Each treatment definitely made the foot feel better – however, the most drastic improvements happened immediately after my Ortho-Bionomy massages. Yes, ortho-bionomy. Let’s be clear – these aren’t regular, feel-good massages…these really work the muscles – and bones. It truly felt like magic how massage therapist Jeannie was able to move the bones around and re-align them where they were supposed to be. This is one therapy I am one hundred percent adding to my training package monthly.

More on this method in a future post. Interested in learning more and having your own treatment, visit www.DrDavidRudnick.com.

2. Integrated Holistic Medicine. I had been getting facial acupuncture treatments for a few weeks at the Integrated Holistic Medicine clinic in Boca Raton…when someone gave me the recommendation and push to try acupuncture on my foot. I figured why not – honestly not even thinking about the option before. I forgot how acupuncture truly treats nearly everything…stress, sweating, aches, tightness, skin issues, stomach and more. Acupuncturist Carlos Restrepo worked on my arch and surrounding muscles where he could feel the tightness. I was in for a total of three sessions. After two, I felt the difference. After three – I was on my way to running twice that weekend – with no issues. We forget how acupuncture can work on sore muscles and tightness…but obviously it works and it’s a great option. Interested? Visit www.ihmhealing.com. I obviously will be recommending this to any runner I run into having an issue – big or small.

Anyway – I lucked out having two amazing clients that were able to work together and solve my issues and get me back to running! Both acknowledge the combination of both probably had the greatest effect possible.

But as I often do (and will continue), I am now sharing their information with you – so you too can benefit! Good luck and let me know how they help you!!! Results are pretty much guaranteed! ūüôā

Choosing The Right Running Shoe For You

With my Plantar Fasciitis in full effect, I started doing some extensive research on running shoes and which ones I should be wearing. In all honesty, I’ve never really focused on the type of shoe in terms of over-pronation versus under-pronation. Instead, I have always gone for the Asics running shoe that is on the higher end of their options and that looks pretty. Pretty sad huh? I mean who would have thought a serious runner would ever admit that? Well I just did.

I’ve been pretty lucky with the injuries – not having too many – especially not in the foot area…and that’s my excuse for letting these details slide when choosing a running shoe. Well, with the strain in my foot, this can no longer be the case for me. And I suggest you follow my lead to prevent any potential future injuries for yourself! For the past year I’ve been running in the Asics GEL-Kayanos – which are great shoes – but if you do the research you will find they are for overpronators or neutral runners – and not for me, the underpronator. Big mistake!

And with that, here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing your next pair of shoes:

1. Figure out what type of runner you are: Neutral, Overpronator or Underpronator. If you are not sure, do the “Wet Test.”

2. Based on your personal foot, choose the right running shoe for you. Options include:

  • Neutral Runner: If you don’t underpronate (your feet roll outward when you run) or overpronate (your feet roll inward when you run),¬†then you’re a neutral runner. When the arch collapses inward, this “pronation” absorbs shock. As a normal pronator, you can wear just about any shoe, but may be best suited to a stability shoe that provides moderate arch support (or medial stability). Lightweight runners with normal arches may prefer neutral-cushioned shoes without any added support, or even a performance-training shoe that offers some support but less heft, for a faster feel.¬†Here are some recommended running shoes for neutral runners: Asics Nimbus, Saucony Triumph, Brooks Glycerin, Mizuno Creation, New Balance 759. Shoes specifically engineered for the neutral runner include the Asics GEL-Kinsei. (I included a variety of brands depending on your preference. Try them all on and see which fits best!)
  • Overpronator: Common for¬†runners who are overweight or large-framed, as well as those who have “flat” feet. What this means is that the ankle rolls too far inward during the breakover of a stride. This running gait fault can lead to severe stress and damage to the connective tissue of the lower legs and knees.¬†You need either stability shoes, which employ devices such as dual-density midsoles and supportive “posts” to reduce pronation and are best for mild to moderate overpronators, or motion-control shoes, which have firmer support devices and are best for severe overpronators, as well as tall, heavy (over 165 pounds), or bow-legged runners.¬†Recommended shoes for those that overpronate include: Asics GEL-Kayano, GEL-3030
  • Underpronator: Common for runners with high arches (me!) and those who have feet which roll more outward than inward while running. This means you’re likely an underpronator, or supinator, which can result in too much shock traveling up your legs, since your arch doesn’t collapse enough to absorb it. Underpronators are best suited to neutral-cushioned shoes because they need a softer midsole to encourage pronation. It’s vital that an underpronator’s shoes have no added stability devices to reduce or control pronation, the way a stability or motion-control shoe would.¬†Runners who under-pronate may experience the following symptoms amongst others:¬†Ankle rollover,¬†Achilles tendonitis,¬†Knee, hip, or lower back pain, and¬†Plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.¬†Recommended shoes: Asics Nimbus, Asics GEL-Cirrus

Still confused? Need more guidance? Stop by a running shoe store that knows their stuff and ask them to take a look at your foot and stride; Or check out this cool Runner’s World shoe advisor. I recommend the following local shops in South Florida: Mind Body Sole, Fit2Run, and Runner’s Edge. And of course the usual Sports Authority, Dick’s and Champs.


Plantar Fasciitis: What it is and what to do if you get it?

After a strong week of running consistently, long distance and at a good pace, I woke up Sunday morning with severe and uncomfortable pain in the arch of my right foot. My Saturday morning run went fine and nothing seemed to bother the foot the remainder of the day…so I was confused with the sudden pain on the bottom of my foot. Out of fear and because it’s often what us runners do…I ignored it for the remainder of the day…limping while walking, skipping my planned long run and hoping the pain would just go away. Well surprisingly enough – it did. By afternoon, the foot felt fine. I put my foot in an ice bucket filled with water and ice cubes that night and hoped it would all be a distance memory in the morning. Monday morning came and the pain was back. I iced it again and waited until mid-day when it had completely gone away. I attended my team’s evening practice and with all feeling good, went for the five-mile run with no problems. I asked my coach his perspective and upon the suggestion of a San Francisco-based running friend, started to do some research on Plantar Fasciitis.

After a quick read-up on the ailment and its symptoms…it was clear. I am suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. This tissue is called the plantar fascia. It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. This can be painful and make walking more difficult.

According to experts, you are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you have:

  • Foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches). (For those that know me…I have a very high arch. Until now, I never knew there were potential complications that could result from having a high arch. More on that here.)
  • Long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces
  • Sudden weight gain or obesity
  • Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
  • Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles

Plantar fasciitis is seen in both men and women. However, it most often affects active men ages 40 Р70. It is one of the most common orthopedic complaints relating to the foot. Plantar fasciitis is commonly thought of as being caused by a heel spur, but research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel spurs are seen in people with and without plantar fasciitis.

My high arch that I've always been proud of but am now wondering if it is behind some of my recent foot pain.

The most common complaint is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. The heel pain may be dull or sharp. The bottom of the foot may also ache or burn. The pain is usually worse:

  • In the morning when you take your first steps. (In my case – I felt the pain in the morning after a long sleep as well as after sitting for a while.)
  • After standing or sitting for a while
  • When climbing stairs
  • After intense activity

Signs and symptoms:

  • Tenderness on the bottom of your foot
  • Flat feet or high arches
  • Mild foot swelling or redness
  • Stiffness or tightness of the arch in the bottom of your foot.

Treatment: I am in the process of icing and stretching my foot as often as possible. Additionally, I plan on purchasing a new pair of shoes with better arch support – something I’ve been too casual about. According to my research, you¬†health care provider will usually first recommend:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Heel and foot stretching exercises
  • Night splints to wear while sleeping to stretch the foot
  • Resting as much as possible for at least a week
  • Wearing shoes with good support and cushions

Other steps to relieve pain include:

  • Apply ice to the painful area. Do this at least twice a day for 10 – 15 minutes, more often in the first couple of days.
  • Try wearing a heel cup, felt pads in the heel area, or shoe inserts.
  • Use night splints to stretch the injured fascia and allow it to heal.
  • If these treatments do not work, your health care provider may recommend:
  • Wearing a boot cast, which looks like a ski boot, for 3-6 weeks. It can be removed for bathing.
  • Custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics)
  • Steroid shots or injections into the heel
  • Sometimes, foot surgery is needed.

Expectations (prognosis): Nonsurgical treatments almost always improve the pain. Treatment can last from several months to 2 years before symptoms get better. Most patients feel better in 9 months. Some people need surgery to relieve the pain.

Complications: Pain may continue despite treatment. Some people may need surgery. Surgery has its own risks. Talk to your doctor about the risks of surgery.

Prevention: Making sure your ankle, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles are flexible can help prevent plantar fasciitis.

Side note: As of late, I have been wearing out the toe area of my running shoes very quickly. It seems my big toe has been moving up and down more often and creating a hole in the top mesh are of my shoes. If you look at your foot when you raise your toe, you will notice that your arch and plantar fascia stretches or flexes. I am now wondering if this is all related…