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Heel pain – it could be plantar fasciitis

Heel pain – it could be plantar fasciitis

Photo: runner with heel pain plantar fasciitis

By Michelle Ziegler, MPT, physical therapist at The Rehabilitation Center in Boone.

As the weather cools and the leaves change into their colorful autumn apparel, it is likely most of us are spending more time on our feet — hiking to enjoy the outdoors and keeping up our exercise routines. To conserve resources, we are unlikely to spend money on new shoes. If your feet are starting to tell the story of the wear and tear you’ve been putting on them, and you’re experiencing pain in the heel, arch or mid foot, plantar fasciitis could be the culprit.

 

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

 

foot anatomy imagePlantar fasciitis accounts for 5 to 10% of all running injuries.¹-² Factors which predispose people include low and high arches, weakness of the foot, ankle and hips, diabetes, increased BMI and poor shoe fit.¹ Poor shoe fit could be the result of shoes that are too tight or too big, so that the arch support is in the wrong place or results in the foot shifting in the shoe. It could be the result of a shoe that is worn out and is no longer supporting your arch as it should.

All of these factors may combine to form the symptoms which are characteristic of plantar fasciitis

  • Heel pain is worse in the morning and the first steps after waking up or after sitting for a long time.
  • It is common for the pain to be noticeable when starting a run or hike, then subside midway through the activity, and then return later on in the run/ hike.
  • The pain, which typically entails throbbing, cramping, stabbing type pain, is usually also present when walking upstairs, walking barefoot and on your toes.²

 

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

 

The good news is that about 90% of cases can be corrected without surgery. Plantar heel pain is the foot symptom that is most commonly treated in outpatient Physical Therapy centers.¹ Treatment includes a variety of strength training and stretches for the foot, ankle and calf. A physical therapist can help guide you through these strengthening and stretching exercises, as well as provide effective manual treatment and taping which in recent years research has shown to be crucial in the rehabilitation process.

A basic example of some exercises include:

  • plantar fascia stretches
  • calf stretches
  • self-massage by rolling the foot on a golf-ball or foam roller
  • foot-arching exercises
  • leg raises to strengthen the hips

Cryotherapy (icing) frequently throughout the day is also crucial for pain control and recovery.

 

Get help for heel pain

 

Checking in with a physical therapist (PT) is necessary to resolve this condition, in order to properly assess your situation and to determine which type of stretches and strengthening are right for your specific condition. A PT can also help you determine the ideal selection of footwear, supplemental arch support and/or heel cup which may help your condition.

Our orthopedic Physical Therapy team at The Rehabilitation Center can provide you with an individualized assessment and exercise program to meet your specific needs to get you back into your routine safely. We have two convenient locations: In Boone next to the Broyhill Wellness Center, and in Linville on the campus of Cannon Memorial Hospital.

 

The Rehabilitation Center Boone

232 Boone Heights Drive, Suite A
Boone, NC 28607
Phone (828) 268-9043
Fax (828) 268-9045
Visit website

The Rehabilitation Center Linville

434 Hospital Drive
Linville, NC 28646
Phone (828) 737-7520
Fax (828) 737-7509
Visit website

References:
1. https://physio-pedia.com/Plantar_Fasciitis
2. Wilder R, O’Connor F, and Magrum E, (2014). Running Medicine. Healthy Learning. pp. 22, 372.

Cardiologist Encourages Patients Not To Delay Heart Care Due To COVID-19

Cardiologist Encourages Patients Not To Delay Heart Care Due To COVID-19

Lalit K. Vadlamani, MD, is an interventional cardiologist at Watauga Medical Center.

 

Infographic: Heart Disease

Reports of heart attacks have declined by 40 percent worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend that worries Dr. Lalit Vadlamani, Cardiovascular Interventionist at the new Heart & Vascular Center of Watauga Medical Center. But that doesn’t mean heart attacks themselves are not happening.

Says Vadlamani, “Heart attacks are not elective. They either happen or they don’t. There is no choice, which is why this statistic about a worldwide decline is so surprisingly startling. One would think that heart attacks would be on the rise, with all of this stress and anxiety we are currently experiencing in our daily lives.”

According to Vadlamani, chronic total obstruction (CTO) is a particularly concerning type of heart attack, often called a widow-maker. “With this type of heart attack there is a blockage of the left anterior descending artery. If left untreated, it could lead to death, or serious damage to the heart,” he said.

 

Seeking cardiac care is safe

 

Vadlamani continues, “The chances that you will die of a heart attack are actually much higher than dying from COVID-19. I travel extensively for my job, and hospitals nationwide have taken the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of patients being infected from COVID. The scenario has changed quite a bit, and the Emergency Departments no longer look the way they did in the past when they were crowded with sick people coughing and sneezing.

Remember that heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the U.S., and that risk of a full-blown heart attack outweighs the risk of contracting COVID-19 at the hospital. In fact, in Dr. Vadlamani’s opinion, the chances of contracting COVID from someone at the grocery store are probably higher than at the hospital.

He concludes, “Both COVID-19 and heart disease share multiple symptoms, such as shortness of breath and fatigue, and pain that radiates to other areas (such as the jaw, back or down the arm.) So please do not ignore any of these symptoms, as time is of the essence with any heart-related issue. You must act quickly and call 9-1-1 if you are unable to get yourself to the emergency room. The longer you wait or postpone it, the worse your outcome will be.”

Call the Heart & Vascular Center of Watauga Medical Center at (828) 264-9664 or request an appointment online. 

School and sports physicals: Important whether learning in-person or remotely

School and sports physicals: Important whether learning in-person or remotely

A. Kyle Wilson, MD, is a family medicine doctor and faculty member of the new MAHEC Boone Rural Family Medicine Residency program at Watauga Medical Center and AppFamily Medicine. Dr. Wilson is skilled in providing care for the whole family, including infant, pediatric, adolescent, and adult patients.

 

School & Sports PhysicalNow more than ever, it is important that all school-aged children and adolescents obtain a school or sports physical. One of the primary benefits of this visit is to help students and their families better understand how they can stay well as our nation continues to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

A school physical is designed to cover many different components that make up a student’s overall health and wellbeing.

  • screening students for heart related problems
  • assessing vaccination status
  • addressing conditions that could require a treatment plan prior to returning to school
  • vision and hearing screening
  • addressing potential developmental and behavioral concerns
  • other factors that affect a student’s well-being and educational success.

 

Getting ready for the school/sports physical visit

 

Prior to the visit, it will be helpful to think through your student’s past medical history and existing medical problems. Filling out any patient paperwork for your provider will help guide you on what type of information to include.

An important part of a student’s medical history includes family history of any potential heart-related problems as well as specific pediatric diseases. It will be helpful if parents or guardians are able to tell the provider if the patient has any family members who have passed away at a young age due to a heart-related condition. This will help the provider assess the student’s risk of heart-related issues.

 

Setting students up for success

 

Another important part of a school physical involves addressing the student’s exercise tolerance. Does the student become mildly short of breath upon exercising only for a few minutes? Can the student participate in exercise activities similar to other students in his or her class? Questions like these can help the provider assess many different things such as screening the patient for asthma and musculoskeletal disorders.

The school physical also provides the opportunity for parents or guardians to discuss potential concerns regarding the student’s behavior or development. Learning disorders often go unidentified through adolescence. It is important that each student is empowered with the opportunity to perform at his or her best level. The doctor can help identify, manage and make any assessment referrals for possible conditions such as hearing and vision loss, ADHD, learning disabilities, and more.

Occasionally, accommodations are needed so that students can meet their academic potential. Earlier identification gives opportunities for earlier interventions, if needed. A school physical is an excellent opportunity to better understand how the student can ultimately be given the best chance to meet his or her aspirations.

 

We can help

 

At AppFamily Medicine, Baker Center for Primary Care, and Davant Medical Clinic*, we desire to be a medical home for the entire family – infant, pediatric, adolescent and adult (*Davant Medical Clinic sees patients 6 years and older). This includes helping students and their families get ready for the coming academic school year and have confidence that students’ medical needs are addressed. We look forward to serving you and your family as the coming academic year approaches with its own particular challenges.

Call your child’s primary care provider or one of the following practices to schedule a school physical. You can also request an appointment online.

AppFamily Medicine

AppFamily Medicine

148 Hwy 105 Extension, Suite 102
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: (828) 386-2222
Fax: (828) 386-2223
Visit website

Baker Center for Primary Care

Baker Center for Primary Care

436 Hospital Drive, Suite 230
Linville, NC 28646
Phone: (828) 737-7711
Fax: (828) 737-7713
Visit website

Davant Medical Clinic

Davant Medical Clinic

623 Chestnut Ridge Parkway
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Phone: (828) 386-3350
Fax: (828) 386-3352
Visit website

Men’s Health: 5 topics to discuss with your provider

Men’s Health: 5 topics to discuss with your provider

Men's Health Photo

Some things we love to do and some things we need to do. You may love to play golf or go hiking. You may need to clean out the gutters or schedule your annual physical exam. The gutters need your attention but so does your health. By doing the things that you need to do, we at Appalachian Regional Healthcare System want you to continue to be able to do the things that you love to do.

We want to encouraging men to take time to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider.

Here are 5 important topics that you may want to discuss with your provider.

 

Colonoscopy

Ask your provider what age is right for you to begin colonoscopy screenings. This screening test is the most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. Stomach pain or unexplained weight loss may be caused by something other than cancer but it is always a good idea to contact your doctor. Your provider may make other recommendations based on your family history, diet and lifestyle choices.

 

Prostate

Although never a man’s favorite subject, it is important to speak with your provider about when you should receive a PSA test.  A PSA test is a simple blood test to measure the level of prostate specific antigen in your blood. Levels can be high if you have a prostate infection, an enlarged prostate or even if you are taking certain medications. Your primary care provider is the best person to interpret your PSA test results. Be sure to mention if anyone in your family has a history of prostate cancer. Remember that early detection greatly increases the chance for successful treatments if they are needed.

 

Blood Pressure/Cholesterol

The two main reasons that people have heart disease or stroke is high blood pressure and cholesterol. The good news is that you can manage both with a healthy diet and regular exercise or medication. While you can’t change your age or your family medical history, you can start the conversation with your provider about managing your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The Heart & Vascular Center of Watauga Medical Center is dedicated to providing diagnosis and treatment of heart disease…and to putting you back on the road toward healthier living.

 

Type 2 Diabetes

About 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, and 90% to 95% of those have type 2 diabetes. You are at risk of developing diabetes if you are overweight, over 45 years of age and have a family history of Type 2 diabetes. A simple blood test is all that is needed to check your blood sugar level. Your provider can discuss the results with you and determine a plan of action. Your diabetes may be able to be controlled with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle or you may be prescribed oral medications or insulin. Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition and can lead to complications such as heart disease, vision loss and kidney disease. So, please don’t wait to contact your provider to address any concerns that you may have.

 

Shingles Vaccine

An estimated 1 million people in America will develop shingles this year. If you have ever had shingles, then you know the pain and discomfort that this virus can cause. The only way to reduce the risk of developing shingles is to be vaccinated. The CDC recommends adults over the age of 50 receive two doses of the vaccine to protect against the shingles. Check with your primary care provider about receiving your vaccine.

 

So, strap on those hiking boots and conquer that mountain, enjoy that long drive down the middle of the fairway, and be careful on that ladder while you’re cleaning those gutters. Men, don’t be afraid to contact your provider to have a complete physical check-up or just to ask the questions that have been on your mind.

If you don’t have a primary care provider, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System has a dedicated team in Watauga or Avery County to meet your needs. Call or request an appointment online today.

Infographic: Men's Health

AppFamily Medicine

AppFamily Medicine

148 Hwy 105 Extension, Suite 102
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: (828) 386-2222
Fax: (828) 386-2223
Visit website

Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists

148 Hwy 105 Extension, Suite 104
Boone, NC 28607
Phone (828) 386-2746
Fax (828) 386-2750
Visit website

Baker Center for Primary Care

Baker Center for Primary Care

436 Hospital Drive, Suite 230
Linville, NC 28646
Phone: (828) 737-7711
Fax: (828) 737-7713
Visit website

Elk River Medical Associates

150 Park Avenue
Banner Elk, NC 28604
Phone: (828) 898-5177
Fax: (828) 898-8306
Visit website

Infographic: Heart Disease in Women

Infographic: Heart Disease in Women

Did you know heart disease is the #1 cause of death in women? A woman suffers a heart attack every 90 seconds in the United States. Heart attack symptoms in women are likely to be different from those experienced by men. Women may have common symptoms of pain or pressure in the chest, but also have these less obvious symptoms:

  • Upper body pain in the neck, back, and jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nausea or vomiting.

Learn more in the infographic below.

Download/Print a PDF

Infographic: Be Heart Healthy

Infographic: Be Heart Healthy

February is American Heart Month! This month, we challenge you to make heart-healthy choices. Did you know cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US? One in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke. 47 percent of Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease. This infographic includes the risk factors and steps you can take to be heart healthy

Download a printable PDF >

Heart_Health_Infographic