The plantar fascia is the thick connective tissue which supports the arch on the bottom of the foot. It runs from the tuberosity of the calcaneus (heel bone) forward to the heads of the metatarsal bones (the bone between each toe and the bones of the mid foot).In younger people the plantar fascia is also related to the Achilles tendon, with a continuous fascial connection between the two from the distal aspect of the Achilles to the origin of the plantar fascia at the calcaneal tubercle. However, the continuity of this connection decreases with age to a point that in the elderly there are few, if any, connecting fibres.
What is tendinopathy?
Tendinopathy is an umbrella term that refers to a disease of a tendon, such examples include tennis elbow and achillies tendinopathy. Tendon injuries are usually a result of increased load and overuse, and over the past few years research and new insights into tendon pathology has seen our understanding grow.
Historically therapist referred to all tendon injuries as a form of tendonitis. The problem with this is that tendonitis infers that there is inflammation of the tendon. The problem with this is that tendons have a poor blood supply and lack of inflammatory cells, and therefore chronic tendon injuries can simply not be caused by inflammation alone.
Sciatica: The medical definition of sciatica is any sort of pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. It is important to understand that sciatica itself is not a diagnosis but actually a symptom. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the human body and originates from the lumbosacral plexus L4-S3 ( the lower back). The nerve passes through the piriformis muscle at the buttock region and down the lower limb.
Fractures the Basics:
A fracture is defined as a break in the continuity of a bone and can be categorised as either being traumatic or pathological. A traumatic fracture occurs due to trauma, high impact activity or stress, whereas a pathological fracture is caused by a disease that has led to weakening of the bone. Medical conditions such as osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfecta and cancers of the bone are a few examples.
Frozen shoulder: frozen shoulder can be categorised as either being typical or atypical.
The symptoms are pain, stiffness, and limitation in the range of movement of the shoulder joint. The symptoms typically have three phases:
Typical frozen shoulder
Phase one - the 'freezing', painful phase. This typically lasts 2-9 months. The first symptom is usually pain. Stiffness and limitation in movement then also gradually build up. The pain is typically worse at night and when you lie on the affected side.
Lateral ligament sprain
Ankle sprains account for around 40% of all athletic injuries. On the outside (lateral) aspect there are three sets of ligaments that hold the ankle together (below) and each can be injured. Most commonly injured is the ATFL (anterior talo-fibular ligament), when an injury is sustained at the lateral ligament complex a patient is said to have sustained a lateral ankle sprain. These injuries account for around 90% of all ankle sprains.
The importance of biomechanics: The foot acts as the foundation for the rest of the body and is a highly complex organ of balance and propulsion, it influences all other motions of the body
The foot has two main functions:
1). Shock absorber: that adapts to any type of surface
2). Rigid Lever: that propels the body weight forward
During the gait cycle (below) the foot will adjust its position to perform its required task