Defining Terms | Vancouver Orthotics | Dr . Michael Horowitz
Flat Feet - Flat feet, also called pes planus or fallen arches, is a condition in which the arch of the foot collapses, with the entire sole of the foot coming into complete or near-complete contact with the ground. In some individuals (an estimated 20-30% of the general population) the arch simply never develops in one foot (unilaterally) or both feet (bilaterally).
Pronation of the Foot - The pronated foot is one in which the heel bone angles inward and the arch tends to collapse. A "knock-kneed" person has overly pronated feet. This flattens the arch as the foot strikes the ground in order to absorb shock when the heel hits the ground, and to assist in balance during mid-stance. If habits develop, this action can lead to foot pain as well as knee pain, shin splints, achilles tendonitits and plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis - Plantar fasciitis, formerly known as "policeman's heel", is a painful inflammatory condition caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia of the foot, or biomechanical faults that cause abnormal pronation of the foot. The pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel, and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. It is commonly associated with long periods of weight bearing. Obesity, weight gain, jobs that require a lot of walking on hard surfaces, shoes with little or no arch support, and inactivity are also associated with the condition. This condition often results in a heel spur on the calcaneus, in which case it is the underlying condition, and not the spur itself, which produces the pain.
Morton’s Neuroma - Morton's neuroma (also known as Morton's metatarsalgia, Morton's neuralgia, plantar neuroma and intermetatarsal neuroma) is a benign neuroma of the interdigital plantar nerve.This problem is characterised by numbness and pain, relieved by removing footwear. Although it is labeled a "neuroma", many sources do not consider it a true tumor, but rather a thickening of existing tissue.
Metatarsalgia - Metatarsalgia (literally metatarsal pain, colloquially known as stone bruise) is a general term used to refer to any painful foot condition affecting the metatarsal region of the foot. This is a common problem that can affect the joints and bones of the metatarsals. Metatarsalgia is most often localized to the the first metatarsal head (the ball of the foot just behind the big toe). There are two small sesamoid bones under the first metatarsal head. The next most frequent site of metatarsal head pain is under the second metatarsal. This can be due to either too short a first metatarsal bone or to "hypermobility of the first ray" (metatarsal bone + medial cuneiform bone behind it), both of which result in excess pressure being transmitted into the second metatarsal head.
Achilles Tendonitis - Achilles tendinitis is inflammation of the tendon, generally due to overuse of the affected limb or as part of a strain injury. More common is Achilles tendinosis, a degenerative condition with inflammation of the tendon, often accompanied by pain and swelling of the surrounding tissue and paratendon.
Shin Splints - Shin splints is a general term used to refer to a painful condition in the shins. It is often caused by running or jumping, and may be very slow to heal. More formal medical terms include medial tibial syndrome, medial tibial stress syndrome and stress-related anterior lower leg pain. Some object to the classification of "shin splints" as a diagnosis, and instead consider it to be a symptom of other underlying conditions.
Tibial Stress Fractures - A stress fracture is one type of incomplete fracture in bones. It is caused by "unusual or repeated stress". This is in contrast to other types of fractures, which are usually characterized by a solitary, severe impact. It could be described as a very small sliver or crack in the bone; this is why it is sometimes dubbed "hairline fracture". It typically occurs in weight-bearing bones, such as the tibia (bone of the lower leg) and metatarsals (bones of the foot).It is a common sports injury, and more than half of the cases are associated with athletics.
Patellofemoral Syndrome - Patellofemoral pain is a common knee problem. If you have this condition, you feel pain under and around your kneecap. The pain can get worse when you're active or when you sit for a long time. You can have the pain in one or both knees. The exact cause of patellofemoral pain isn't known. It probably has to do with the way your kneecap (patella) moves on the groove of your thigh bone (femur).
Chondromalacia Patellae - Chondromalacia literally means "softening of the cartilage", and Patellae means "the knee-cap". So Chondromalacia patellae means "softening of the articular cartilage of the knee-cap." The articular cartilage is the cartilage lining under the knee-cap that articulates with the knee joint. Under normal circumstances, it is smooth and shiny, so that it glides smoothly along the articular groove of the femur as the knee bends. When it "softens", it may break down, causing irregularities along the undersurface of the patella.
Patellar Tendinitis (Jumper’s Knee) - Patellar tendinitis is an injury that affects the tendon connecting your kneecap (patella) to your shinbone. The patellar tendon plays a pivotal role in the way you use your legs. It helps your muscles extend your lower leg so that you can kick a ball, push the pedals on your bicycle and jump up in the air.
Patellar tendinitis is most common in athletes whose sports involve frequent jumping — for instance, basketball, soccer and volleyball players. For this reason, patellar tendinitis is commonly known as jumper's knee. However, anyone can suffer from patellar tendinitis, whether a frequent jumper or not. For most people, treatment of patellar tendinitis begins with conservative approaches.
Osgood-Schlatter Disease - Osgood-Schlatter (say: "oz-good shlot-ter") disease is one of the most common causes of knee pain in young athletes. It causes swelling, pain and tenderness just below the knee, over the shin bone (also called the tibia). It occurs mostly in boys who are having a growth spurt during their pre-teen or teenage years. One or both knees may be affected.
ITB Syndrome (Ilio-Tibial Band) - Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS or ITBFS, for Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome) is a common thigh injury generally associated with running. Additionally it can also be caused by biking, hiking or weight-lifting (especially squats). Iliotibial Band Syndrome is one of the leading causes of lateral knee pain in runners. The iliotibial band is a superficial thickening of tissue on the outside of the thigh, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, moving from behind the femur to the front during the gait cycle. The continual rubbing of the band over the lateral femoral epicondyle, combined with the repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running may cause the area to become inflamed, or the band itself may suffer irritation
Bursitis is the inflammation of one or more bursae, or small sacs of synovial fluid, in the body. Bursae rest at the points where internal functionaries, like muscles and tendons, slide across bone. Healthy bursae create a smooth and almost frictionless gliding surface. With hundreds of them throughout the body they provide this surface for all motion, making movement normally painless. When bursitis takes hold, however, movement that relies on the inflamed bursa becomes rough and painful. Movement of tendons and muscles over the inflamed bursa causes it to become more inflamed, perpetuating the problem.
Synovitis is the medical term for inflammation of a synovial membrane, which line those joints which possess cavities, namely synovial joints. The condition is usually painful, particularly when the joint is moved. The joint usually swells due to fluid collection. Synovitis is a risk in several forms of arthritis as well as lupus, gout, and other conditions. Synovitis is one part of distinguishing rheumatoid arthritis from other forms of arthritis, although it can be found mildly in Osteoarthritis. Long term occurrence of synovitis can result in degeneration of the joint. A recent study has shown that so called "lock-ups", where all joints in the body become tense, are related to a large amount of facial piercings.
Dr. Michael Horowitz offers a 5-Step process to successfully treating your symptoms. He can help evaluate & diagnose your condition and recommend the best course of action for you. Call Vancouver Orthotics at 604-737-3668 for more information.
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