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Do not Ice it; it may not be Plantar Fasciitis

Do-not-Ice-it;-it-may-not-be-Plantar-FasciitisDo not Ice it; it may not be Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is known to bring in a stabbing pain and make you feel uncomfortable. It is common among athletes who train hard. In most cases, when we feel pain at the bottom of our foot, we rush to diagnose it as plantar fasciitis. But, I disagree with this act, and say not all pain at the bottom of the foot is as a result of plantar fasciitis. We should look at the matter deeper and even check the reasons the bottom of the foot might be experiencing pain. We should then try to eliminate these reasons. Moreover, we should not be too hasty to recommend a medical condition to everyone who visits us in the name of feeling pain and discomfort.

Therefore, think of the trigger point therapy before you pull out that cold pack of ice. This is because trigger points or rather contracted areas in the muscle are the leading causes of pains and aches. Nevertheless, they are often woefully under-diagnosed. It is important to understand these trigger points to help you know which ones cause or refer pain to the bottom of the foot, as this can make a great difference between warming the bench and being out there competing.

Whenever an athlete or client complains of pain in the bottom of the foot, we normally tell them that they have plantar fasciitis even if we have not carried out MRI. However, if the plantar foot pain is actually as a result of trigger points found in the soleus or gastroc muscles, then these hints can be of importance in determining if this is the case:

· The athlete may feel like he/she has lost strength/power when jumping/pushing off

· The athlete may complain of tight calf or report a feeling of nearly experiencing a calf cramp

· The athlete has limited range of motion in the straight leg dorsiflexion or ankle

If a trigger point is the cause of foot pain, then most patients will no doubt feel real, rapid relief the moment trigger point therapy is applied. If you want to know how to apply trigger point therapy, be keen and go through the following procedure.

3. Determine if the ankle can bend

If the lower leg muscles are to work properly, full, pain-free dorsiflexion and plantar flexion must be present. Other than taut, ropey fiber sections, key indicators of trigger points can be any restrictions in the range of motion of the soleus or gastroc muscles. These two muscles located in the calf slightly above the tendon has trigger points, which can cause or refer pain into the bottom of the foot, something more than a few athletic trainers may not realize.

If you use a bolster to support the ankle while the calf is there to be treated, you make it easy to feel for dysfunctional fibers in the medial, uppermost gastroc, and the lower one-third of the soleus.

4. Locate the most probable location of taut fibers by using the trigger point illustrations. After this, apply trigger point pressure release or other manual therapy techniques.

Athletic trainers may already be well conversant with these trigger point locations, but you can get a comprehensive guide from Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, a two-volume set by Janet G. Travell, M.D., and David G. Simons, M.D.

Also, there are other publications, which you can refer to. They include the most recent addition to the trigger point family, the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook.

5. Athletic trainers should make sure they instruct athletes to go on with careful active range of motion as well as home self-care. An athlete may need to carry out self-applied trigger point release during workouts and before/after competition.

After treatment, athletes can go back to do their regular activities, only that they’ll need to do them with care. They should also use at-home applications of compression. There are many perfect tools for self-care compression into the soleus/gastroc muscles, and some of them include the Jacknobber, Tiger Tail and Knobble.

Trigger Point Therapy Promotes Peak Performance

What athletic trainers care about is making sure their athletes are able to perform optimally. For this reason, you can consider trigger point therapy, as it promotes the much-needed peak performance. Trigger points can be devastating to an athlete. They can reduce some of their skills such as running speed, jumping abilities, and endurance, which are needed in various kinds of sports.

Moreover, they can be the cause of athletes hitting a plateau regardless of hard work and great training. And this comes with or without the presence of pain. Athletic performance often improves almost instantly upon the deactivation of a trigger point, which then allows the muscle to be brought back to its normal resting length.


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