Thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to come out and visit us at our booth this year at the garden festival on Sunday, May 6th 2018. We had a wonderful time getting to meet each and every one of you. Please call us at 541-758-2235 if you have any questions regarding any musculoskeletal problems or if you would like to make an appointment to be seen either by Frank, Chris or Curt.
Plantar fasciitis is a fancy medical name for what’s commonly known as “heel pain.” “Plantar” means the bottom of the foot, “fascia” is a deep, thick connective tissue and “itis” means inflammation. Hence it is an inflammation of the connective tissue that spans from the toes to the heel bone on the bottom of the foot.
Is this a rare or common diagnosis?
You are not alone. This is a very common and treatable diagnosis. According to an article in Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (2003), plantar fasciitis has been reported to occur in 2 million Americans a year and 10% of the population over a lifetime. Frank and I, with our combined 20 years’ experience, have regularly evaluated and treated individuals with plantar fasciitis with excellent outcomes.
How do I know that I have plantar fasciitis?
There are key symptoms that we usually see that are consistent from individual to individual. One of the classic signs is heel pain with the first few steps in the morning. This pain can be mild or severe depending on the acuity level. This pain generally will get a little better as the day continues, but then tends to get worse by the end of the day. This pain may also increase with prolonged standing or walking.
Are certain people more prone to getting plantar fasciitis?
Yes, middle-aged women and men generally are more prone to getting it, but it can be diagnosed in any age group. Frank and I will help you figure out the main reason or combination of reasons as to why you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. We may ask you during your initial evaluation, “Do you normally wear shoes with adequate arch support?,” “Did you recently start an exercise program requiring you to place increased impact through your feet, such as running?,” or “Have you had a recent weight gain?” Your answers are clues for us and the more clues we have, the better we can determine the source of the pain.
Why do the first few steps in the morning hurt so much!?!?
During the night, while the heel cord is in a shortened position, the fascia is attempting to go through the healing phase. In the morning, you yawn, stretch your arms and then stand up placing your full weight through your feet. This can disrupt the healing phase by causing micro tears in the fascia with an end result of sharp pain with the first few steps.
Is this treatable and will physical therapy help me?
It is absolutely treatable and physical therapy is one of the best options for treating plantar fasciitis. At Encore Physical Therapy, Frank and Chris will educate you extensively on your condition and provide you information on plantar fasciitis prevention. We will use a wide range of treatment options from hands-on techniques, taping, stretching exercises, orthotics and shoe recommendations, etc. There is no standard protocol for treatment of plantar fasciitis and the choice of treatment is unique to each individual.
Are there current published articles that I could read to inform myself more about plantar fasciitis?
Yes, Chris Guempel from Encore Physical Therapy recently contributed to the October issue of ADVANCE for Physical Therapy and Rehab Medicine, Volume 21 Issue 21 page 33 entitled “Happier Feet – How PT professionals can help patients recover from plantar fasciitis”. Click on the Encore tab “Resources” followed by the ADVANCE link to read more.
Call Frank or Chris today to schedule an appointment. You will be one step closer to being pain-free!
As with all professions and hobbies, there are risks involved for incurring an injury. Musicians are no exception to the rule. Whether the musician is a professional violinist performing in a symphony orchestra or an amateur pianist in a jazz club, injuries are a reality that can create serious physical problems that may force the musician to step away from performing. According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in June 2005, “76% of musicians experience a significant injury which requires time off.”
Musicians are frequently paralleled with high level athletes because they must also train at extreme levels, keep in tip top shape and dedicate hours and hours of daily practice to perfecting their skills. Not unlike athletes, musicians are well known for “ignoring or playing through their pain” due to the highly competitive nature of the music field industry, difficult economic times as well as the incredible demands of mastering an instrument or voice.
At Encore, Frank Hann and Chris Guempel, treat musicians of various ages. Simple recommendations such as lengthening out a cello end pin or incorporating an instrument strap may suffice to reduce symptoms, however many times this is not the case. Symptoms may be an accumulation of events that need detailed attention to regain balance in the neuro-muscular system. This can be achieved clinically through hands-on techniques, strengthening and conditioning, stretching, education on proper instrumental positioning as well as electro-therapeutic modalities.
Alex Hargreaves of Corvallis, an active violinist who has played on stages around the world, reports, “I initially went to physical therapy to address the pain and tightness in my arm and shoulders that I have been feeling off and on from playing the violin. As a musician who travels a lot, it’s important for me to know how to deal with physical problems related to playing the instrument. Through my treatment with Chris, I developed a much better understanding of why I was experiencing pain, how I could prevent more serious injuries, learned numerous stretches and exercises that keep me in shape for playing and have found that I was able to play in more relaxed ways for longer periods of time.”
Tissues in the human body have a particular tolerance level and are prone to injury if stressed exceedingly or awkwardly. Common mechanisms for musician injuries include prolonged poor sitting or standing postures, repetitive movements, inadequate rest during performance, inappropriate force and tension expenditure, prolonged long lever arm positions, change in technique, increased playing time, change of instrument as well as increased difficulty of music.
As an avid music hobbyist, Peg Urban of Corvallis was greatly looking forward to having more time to practice her saxophone when she retired. “I decided to give my colleagues a “Musical Thank You” performance before retiring. In the process of practicing, I sprained ligaments in my elbow. After months with no improvement, finding that my quality of life had transformed significantly by not being able to pursue my primary retirement activity, I proceeded with physical therapy. Frank validated my goal of playing saxophone again, healed my injury and gave me strategies to minimize the potential of re-aggravating the injury.
Looking for a few tips yourself as to what to do to prevent injuries? The following tips are simple and effective – make sure that your instrument is ideal for your body type, sit or stand properly to maximize good posture and proximal stability, perform warm up exercises, take a few minutes break every 30-45 minutes, focus on proper playing technique with minimal bodily compensation, vary the music up while practicing to reduce the amount of time for sections that are more challenging physically and most importantly, DO NOT ignore warning signs from your body that something does not feel right.
Every instrument brings the potential for bodily hazards and risks, therefore it is vital for musicians to stay “in tune” with his or her body in order to maximize the music making experience.
By Chris Guempel, PT, BM in Cello Performance