Briant Burke MD MS
Briant Burke, MD, MS, offers advice for good health and continued wellbeing.
If you experience heel pain, it is most likely caused by plantar fasciitis. The acute pain it brings can disrupt everyday activities and adversely affect the sufferer’s living condition. To prevent plantar fasciitis, you need to know what triggers it and how to keep it at bay.
The sole of the foot is supported and connected from the toe area to the heel by a wide tough band of ligament known as the plantar fascia. If this connective tissue is over-strained, torn, or injured, it may become inflamed and painful. This condition is plantar fasciitis.
Easy lifestyle changes to prevent plantar fasciitis
Below are some easy to follow steps to prevent fasciitis and help you stay on your feet without the pain.
Condition your feet with foot stretches
Tense calf muscles can be a factor in plantar fasciitis injury. The Achilles tendon extends from the heel bone to the calf area. Add springiness to this area by performing some limbering stretches before and after any sport activity that may require running or jumping.
Doing regular foot stretches can help strengthen the plantar fascia and thus prevent injuries from overstraining.
Perform these 3 feet limbering exercises before and after your exercise routine.
1. Stand facing a wall with your toes one foot from the wall. Press your palms against the wall and step back with one foot. Keep the rear leg straight. Lean into the wall, keeping both heels on the ground. Repeat with the other foot. As a variation to this straight leg stretch, you can bend the rear leg slightly without lifting the heel of the foot. By performing both variations, you can benefit two types of muscles in the calf area, the gastrocnemius and the soleus.
2. Sit without your shoes on. Hold your toes and slowly pull them upward until you feel the stretch in the arch of your foot. Keep this for thirty seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
3. Place a face towel, a marble, or pencil on the floor. Hold it with your toes and keep the grip for thirty seconds. Repeat with the other foot.
Limber up before any sport activity and cool down after that. This is a cardinal rule of exercising that must not be ignored.
Don’t push yourself too hard
Raise your sport activity level in a gradual manner. Pace yourself correctly while exercising. If you are getting into a new sport or gym workout, raise your physical activity progressively so you won’t put any sudden pressure on your muscles and strain on your feet.
Avoid unecessary jumping and landing heavily on your feet. If your sport activity requires jumping, wear shoes that give your feet adequate support. Exerting yourself beyond your body’s normal endurance can have a negative effect, even to your feet.
Replace your old pair of shoes
Do not use shoes with worn-out soles. If you run, toss away shoes with thin soles to protect your foot from plantar fasciitis and heel pain. Shoes with thin or worn-out soles can give your feet insufficient support and cause you to walk or run unevenly. Replace them with better ones that provide proper sole and arch support.
Consider wearing shoe inserts
If you are prone to heel pain and plantar fasciitis, you should try and use shoe inserts, also known as a foot orthosis. Daily use can provide comfort and may prevent plantar fasciitis as well as joint pain.
Avoid using high heels and flip-flops
If you are a woman, avoid wearing high-heeled shoes as they saddle your feet with unnecessary strain. If you can’t avoid wearing high-heeled shoes, make sure that their heels are two inches or less. Do not wear them for extended periods. Do not use flip-flops if you’ll do some walking or running. They won’t provide the arch support your feet needs.
Stay within your normal weight
Overweight people are at greater risk of suffering from plantar fasciitis than those who stay in their normal weight range. The more weight you carry around, the more likely your feet are to develop heel pain over time. Take steps to shed those excess pounds if you are overweight. Your heel and feet will suffer less if you give them a lighter load to carry.
Give your feet the cold treatment
At the first symptom of discomfort, apply ice on the affected area of your foot and heel. One method of applying ice is to gently roll a frozen can or water bottle under your foot. Another way of giving your feet the cold treatment is by applying an ice pack the underside of your foot. In this method, ice can be wrapped in a towel or a plastic bag. Massage the ice pack gently on the affected area of your foot for about 15 minutes. Do this 3 to 4 times daily.
Avoid walking barefoot
It is alright to walk without any footwear occasionally but you must not go barefoot for a long time. Walking without wearing proper footwear considerably raises the chances of injuring the ligaments that supports the arches of your feet. Foot bruises can also develop after stepping on stones and small rocks. Damage to the ligament can result in foot arch and heel pain.
Avoid frequent walking or standing on hard surfaces
Keep from walking, running, or standing on hard surfaces like concrete. This cannot be avoided in urban areas, however. so be sure to wear shoes with shock absorbent anti-fatigue padding to reduce the stress and prevent plantar fasciitis.
Give your foot some rest
Give your foot enough time to recover from its daily tasks. Put both your feet in an elevated position especially after exercising or any sport activity. This will prevent fluid from accumulating on your foot and lower leg, as well as allow it to recover.
Be aware of the changes in your foot
As you grow older, the fat layers of your foot tend to grow thinner. There could also be an increase in the width and length of your feet. Consult your physician if you begin to develop arthritis-related pain in your feet.
At the first sign of heel pain, apply a topical solution that is developed especially for the fast relief of plantar fasciitis. This brush-on application is HeelAid, a safe, natural, and effective treatment for heel pain formulated by a medical doctor and research scientist.
Injury to the plantar fascia ligament is the main cause of heel pain. Take care of the plantar fascia, plus follow the easy steps mentioned above to prevent plantar fasciitis.
Click here for more information about HeelAid.
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This article was originally published in Spiritual Socialites.com. We did this REPOST as we feel that it is a must-read.
Hello Spiritual Socialites!
We sat down with Dr. Briant Burke, who happens to have an MD, a graduate degree from Yale in molecular biology and is the holder of 2 US patents to discuss health and the creator of Heel Aid. We chatted natural medicine, essential oils you need and his #1 health tip. Read on:
What 3 Essential Oils should everyone have at home or while traveling?
Ignoring all of the hype and hoop-la out there about essential oils these days, there is, in fact a body of scientific studies showing benefit of selected oils. I have published several such studies over the years. The descriptions below suggest just one of many uses for each oil. My three finalists (drum roll please….)
- Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) – medical studies beginning in 1920 have shown its potent action against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Great topical antiseptic and fabulous for burns, insect bites, itching.
- Lavender– has been used to reduce anxiety/promote relaxation in cancer chemo patients in a hospital setting in numerous studies. Can also help with a good nights’ sleep in a hotel room!
- Oregano oil – strong antiviral effects. Can be taken safely internally as well. Can take as a preventive measure before getting on an airplane where the air is re-circulated and we all breath any respiratory virus any person on that plane has!
How did you get into Natural Medicine?
This article was written by Lisa Marie Conklin featuring Dr. Burke in Readers Digest.com
What’s in the bottle?
Essential oils can significantly benefit your mental and physical health, improve your skin and hair and even help your pup, but only if you choose quality ones. Look for ones labeled “100 percent natural oil,” which indicates it has no synthetic components or carrier oils and has not been diluted,” says Briant Burke, MD, MS who has developed therapeutically effective, clinically-tested formulas, such as HeelAid. Before diving into essential oils, sniff out the details with this primer for essential oils.
Glass bottles only
Look for essential oils in cobalt blue or an amber brown glass bottle, as essential oils will break down plastic and are light sensitive, meaning they will break down over time when exposed to light. Here’s how to use essential oils to boost your mood.
Organic essential oils are not only good for sustainable agricultural practices, they also have the greatest healing properties, says Josh Axe, D.N.M, C.N.S., D.C. founder of DrAxe.com, best-selling author of Eat Dirt, and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition. “Having nothing else added in during the extraction process is the only way to guarantee they are unprocessed and sourced directly from the plant,” says Dr. Axe. Organic is definitely more expensive than conventionally grown, but you’re also getting a superior essential oil.
Know your species
If you’re looking for German chamomile, which promotes tranquility and relaxation, don’t just buy any bottle with the word “chamomile” on the label. “The specific species of the plant the oil comes makes a big difference in some cases,” says Dr. Burke. For example, plants in the chamomile group have different chemical compositions. Take German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) for instance; it has a different chemical composition than Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis).”If it just says ‘chamomile’ then you should assume it is a mixture of the cheapest chamomile available,” says Dr. Burke. These are the best essential oils for fighting colds and flu.
Testing of the species
A reputable company will test the oil to meet the standard of the plant species. “Ideally, purchase your oil from a company or manufacturer who performs gas chromatography and mass spectrometry testing,” says Dr. Axe. This kind of testing measures the mass within the oil samples and identifies the compounds. Read the company’s website or call the customer service line to find out about its testing before you purchase the essentials oils.
Know your Latin
The essential oil should be labeled with the common name and its Latin one. Remember the example above about chamomile? “The presence of the Latin name of the plant on the label is an added assurance of what you are getting,” says Dr. Burke. There may be few standards for essential oil quality but there are standards set by the Federal Trade Commission about what a company can put on a label. “If you put ‘chamomile’ on the label, you can sell either German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) or Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobillis). If you put ‘matricaria chamomilla’ on the label, you must be selling exactly that,” says Dr. Burke.
Beware of sneaky catchwords
Words like “eco-friendly,” “pure,” “therapeutic grade,” and “certified,” are just some of the many words that you may find on a bottle of essential oil. “These phrases are devoid of scientific foundations or official regulations, yet they are frequently used to market products that cannot fulfill the producer’s promises,” says Nadine Artemis, botanical formulator and aromacologist and co-creator of Living Libations. “No organization, association, or commission monitors the purity or quality of essentials oils, and there is no universal essential oil grading systems in place. If you see these terms, beware.” Even reputable companies with quality essential oils create their own set of “standards” and “seals.” While that is not necessarily a red flag, the “seal” or “standard” stamp isn’t an industry-wide seal of approval from any governing commission.
Do your homework
You can dig a little deeper to find out what the specific characteristics and components are in essential oils. “Various countries, including the United States, have published ‘pharmacopeias’ (check out The United States Pharmacopeial Convention) that outline exacting chemical and physical standards along with chromatography specifications for hundreds of botanical oils,” says Artemis. There is also a universal standard for most botanical maintained by The International Standards Organization.
Therapeutic or aromatherapy grade?
“Aromatherapy grade” and “fragrance grade” means it not 100 percent pure essential oil, but has had other oils added, such as carrier oils and/or synthetic components of the natural oil. “To be considered a therapeutic oil, it must be completely free of any and all chemicals as well as slowly and carefully extracted via methods that keep the original compounds in its natural state,” says Dr. Axe. These healing scents will help you feel better.
Processing is a big deal
There are several variables when growing plants for essential oils—weather, altitude, the time of year the plant was harvested, and even the time of day the plant was harvested. However, Dr. Burke says the processing of the oil is at least, if not more, important than growing the plant. There are specific processing procedures, depending on the species of plant. Steam distillation is the most common for extracting essential oils. “The expression method (or cold-pressing) is used to extract oils from citrus fruits because the heat from steam distillation damages the citrus oils,” explains Dr. Axe. A newer method growing in popularity is the carbon dioxide extraction, which uses carbon dioxide to carry the oil away from the plant. This method is used for oils such as ginger, clover, turmeric, frankincense, and myrrh.
Where to shop
You’ll find essential oils offered everywhere from gifts shops to large retailers, and, of course, online. You may want to start your search for essential oils with reputable companies such as DoTERRA, Young Living Essential Oils, Ancient Apothecary, Living Libations and Edens Garden. Keep in mind, essential oils break down over time, so check your expiration dates; you’ll want one that’s two to three years out from the time of purchase. Make sure you avoid these essential oil safety mistakes.
Should molluscum contagiosum in children keep them from attending school? A child with molluscum contagiosum doesn’t have to miss school or day care. A doctor’s note is required. Only a licensed medical practitioner can diagnose molluscum, since microorganisms that cause skin lesions can either be infectious or non-infectious.
Make sure that lesions not covered by clothing are covered up with secure bandages. These bandages should be changed daily or when they become soiled. If children with molluscum contagiosum in their underwear or diaper area need to go to the bathroom or require diaper changes, then the molluscum growth in this area should be covered up as well.
Keeping the lesions covered will prevent adults and other children from getting infected and will keep the child from scratching and touching the infection, and can check the spread of molluscum to other parts of their body or trigger secondary bacterial infection. In addition, the child should be reminded to often wash their hands.
Employees of school or day care who will work with children require pre-employment skin physical exams, with special attention to molluscum contagiosum.
Medical Treatment for molluscum contagiosum in children includes cutting, burning with acid, or freezing the bumps. A clinically proven, safe, painless, natural alternative is a product called ZymaDerm, developed by a physician and validated by published scientific studies for effectiveness.
ZymaDerm is a pain-free all-natural treatment for molluscum that’s appropriate all for children and adults and can be used all over the body, including private parts. Like HeelAid, ZymaDerm is available without prescription online and in leading drug stores.
Once treatment with ZymaDerm has begun, it is no longer necessary to cover the exposed molluscum bumps.
To know more about Molluscum Contagiosum and how painless and all-natural ZymaDerm can get rid of it , go to Naturopathix.com for more information.