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R E S T Need Not Be a Four Letter Word for Runners with Plantar Fasciitis
By: Daniel Marein-Efron

When a runner is diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, often the first thing they hear is that they need to rest and stop running. Though this advice may work for someone whose plantar fasciitis is being caused by obesity, it puts the runner in an awkward situation. Runners often ignore the medical advice and “run through it” which ends up lengthening the time they suffer from the condition. Furthermore, this problem is compounded by the fact that studies have shown that the longer you wait to treat plantar fasciitis the harder it is to solve the problem.

“Healthcare professionals must take into consideration the importance of the daily run to the mental and physical wellbeing of the person.” says Daniel Marein-Efrón, founder of Heeling Solutions (heelingsolutions.com) a new company using videos to educate people about conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis. “I need my daily exercise high to keep me focused and full of energy, so stopping my running completely was not a possibility when I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.”

“With 5-10% of all running injuries being caused by plantar fasciitis it is very important that runners get the appropriate information to help them get better and keep them sane at the same time,” says Mr. Marein-Efrón. “Our videos offer runners in-depth information on the treatments for plantar fasciitis, which enables them to customize a treatment regiment with the help of their doctor. The Heeling Solutions R.E.S.C.U.E. program also includes a special section for runners in addition to a second video that has a strengthening and stretching program that will help prevent the recurrence of plantar fasciitis.”

Because of the unique issues confronting runners with plantar fasciitis many specialists are now recommending what has been termed “active rest.” This idea has arisen after careful consideration of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis in runners:

•Sudden changes in activity level. For example, increasing mileage while training for a marathon
•Wearing shoes that may appear to be in good shape, but have actually lost their shock absorbing abilities
•Running on high impact surfaces such as concrete
•Having tight hamstring and calf muscles
•Having high or low arches

Many specialists now recommend that runners switch to running in a pool or traditional swimming to maintain fitness, while at the same time reducing the amount of stress put on the plantar fascia. This active rest can also involve other activities such as biking, though it is recommended that runners first stop experiencing pain before switching to biking.

For those that just can’t stop running they can try reducing their mileage by 90% and slowly working back up over a period or weeks and months as long as the condition is improving and there is no pain. If pain increases, the pool is the best option.

For more information, go to www.aafp.org, www.heelingsolutions.com, www.apma.org

About the Author

Daniel Marein-Efron is a former plantar fasciitis sufferer and President of Heeling Solutions LLC www.heelingsolutions.com . Mr. Marein-Efron has been involved with a variety of entrepreneurial business through his consulting company DMEX Consulting LLC


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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape

 

Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.


Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
shocks.

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
speaking.

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
time.

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:
http://tinyurl.com/6c6kq
 

Dave Snape

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