Happy Feet

Plantar fasciitis-The overstretching of the ligament that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot, straight through the arch. For those prone to plantar fasciitis, physical therapists recommend exercises to stretch the ligament. For instance, while seated, roll the foot on a tennis ball for about five minutes twice a day.

Achilles Tendinitis-The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the back of the heel bone. For prevention, do stretching exercises, three times a day when warmed up, to increase flexibility. Begin with a calf stretch, leaning against a wall, one foot in front of the other, gradually pushing the back heel down, then slightly bending that leg.

Neuromas-nerves that are squeezed between tissue and metatarsal bones, those long bones behind the toes. Pain is usually felt on the ball of the foot. For prevention, change shoes or try orthotics.

Stress Fracture-micro cracks within the bone. Prevention: gradually increase activities.

Source: Los Angeles Times (Jan 1, 2007)

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Jack Witt