Wednesday, November 10, 2010

PLANTAR FASCIITIS, Ouch!!! Heel Pain Relief (c) By Polly Guerin

Does the bottom your foot, specifically the heel area, hurt a lot lately? Are you experiencing a burning, stabbing, or aching pain in the heel of the foot? If so, you’re not alone. Many people suffer with this uncomfortable condition due to many causes, but women particularly have pain because they are victims of fashion and have been wearing killer high heels or flip flops all summer which provide no support. The medical term is called Planter Fasciitis and it is the most common condition of heel pain, which occurs when the long fibrous fascia ligament along the bottom of the foot develops tears in the tissue. Many sufferers may also have heel spurs.
According to the Plantar Fasciitis organization there are many spellings for the condition but Plantar Fasciitis is the correct medical term. Since our heels absorb much of our body’s pressure when we walk, being overweight can easily lead to plantar fasciitis damage. This condition can easy occur from a number of reasons. A wise warning to women: You should avoid going barefoot and get rid of those flip flops or cute flats that do not provide adequate support and cushioning around the heel and through the arch of the foot. An over-the-counter orthotic device placed in your shoes will take pressure off the planter fasciitis and provide shock absorption, but when the condition persists you may need to visit a doctor or podiatrist to seek medical attention. Excessive running, jumping, or other physical activities can easily place stress on the foot. On a more serious note arthritis is another common cause.
The good news is that you can take conservative steps to relieve the condition. Early attention to plantar fasciitis pain can be treated with home care and exercise. It is advisable to start stretch exercises even before you get out of bed in the morning. Edgar Cayce, the renowned American prophet had exercise suggestions that with patience can provide relief from pain. Fold a towel lengthwise into a 4-inch width. Place the middle of the towel on the sole of the foot, under the toes. Grasp both ends of the towel and pull toward you and back. Then push the toes and front of the foot forward. Be sure to keep the ankles in a straight line, and keep pressure on the towel so that the foot will have a real workout.
Who suffers the most? People in professions that require them to be on their feet all day need to soothe aching feet and plantar fasciitis. Resting with your feet elevated may relieve some of the pressure, and applying ice to the area for a least a half hour is another common remedy. When pain persists taking over the counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation, but you don’t want to become addicted to pain relievers. Prevention is the key to avoiding the condition. So why suffer? Wear adequate fitting shoes with good support, avoid repetitive stressful exercise like running and maintain flexibility around the ankle. Try the foot roll. Sitting on a chair roll your foot back and forth over a tennis ball or try the toe wiggle. Hold your foot and stretch and wiggle each little tootsie separately with your hand.
WARNING: Don’t ignore the initial pain and just think it will go away. In most cases, luckily treatment only needs to be through conservative at-home methods. However, ignoring the problem can only make it worse. It is important to seek help and treatment as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Friday, November 5, 2010

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME: To Sleep Perchance to Dream (c) By Polly Guerin

If you’re yearning to get an extra hour of sleep this Sunday, November 7, 2010 marks the end of daylight savings time when you set your clock back one hour. In this way we take an hour of daylight from the end of the day and give it to the morning. You’ll get an extra hour of sleep Sunday, but the days will seem shorter. Some experts say it’s to save energy and heat, but Daylight Savings Time (DST) wasn’t always a popular concept and surprisingly the United States was one of the last countries to adopt it. Why? Because it was difficult to get every state to agree on exactly how we should go about doing DST. However, the old adage reminds us to “spring forward, fall back,” because come spring we set out clocks forward to shift that hour of light to the end of the day. Society’s need for ‘more’ or ‘less’ daylight at certain times of the year has its roots in ancient concepts.
It’s actually an old idea and has been around since the 1780s. Thank one of our founder fathers for coming up with the idea. In 1784, while Benjamin Franklin was serving as the American Ambassador to France he wrote an essay entitled, “An Economical Project,” in which he proposed the concept because he could not imagine that the Parisians would still be using candlelight at night if they knew they could get sunlight in the morning free. It is also the basis for the practice proposed by George Vernon Hudson, who in 1895 presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society, proposing two-hour time shift that would extend daylight hours later into the evening. The idea took on a more serious tone in 1907, when British Builder William Willett published, “The Waste of Daylight.”
Needless to say the United States was a vast country in 1918 and it was a challenge to coordinate the states so the U.S. Government established standard time zones across the country and set the parameters for Daylight Savings Time to make the days longer and therefore increase productivity during the World War I. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt took a similar stand on DST and put into effect year-round, a “War Time,” mandate to augment significant energy savings.
Daylight savings Time across the country became very confusing with different cities and states practicing DST, or not. To put a concise spin on DST in 1966, Congress passed The Uniform Time Act, establishing daylight savings time between April and October. Congress revised the law in 1972 and again in 1986, then the law was amended, moving the beginning of daylight savings time to the first Sunday in April. The Energy Policy act of 2005 once again changed DST, this time extending daylight savings time by four weeks. In fact, the most recent DST-regulated legislations went into effect in 2007, which extended daylight savings time from Mid-March through the first week of November.