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Ask the Doctor: Plantar fasciitis, pulled muscles, kidney stone symptoms

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 12:42 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every week on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1 (From Connie): “Is there a cure for plantar fasciitis. If so, what?”

DR. BOB: Let’s break down the term plantar fasciitis. Plantar means the bottom of the foot. Fasciitis means irritation of fascia.

Fascia is a thick sheet like material that provides support in different parts of the body. The plantar fascia provides support to the arch of the foot.

Often people with this problem notice pain near the ball of the foot when they walk in the morning. The pain can become severe and debilitating.

We often have a lot of success treating this problem with physical therapy, icing, and anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen.

Sometimes these conservative treatments do not help, and patients consider steroid injections or surgery.

Question #2 (From Chelsea): “What’s the fastest way to recover if you pulled a muscle in your back or neck?”

DR. BOB: Generally, a pulled muscle is going to heal regardless of what we do. It can take weeks to heal so we often try to find ways to hasten the improvement.

Typically, if the muscle is pulled and not torn, you are not at risk of further damaging it with normal levels of activity. Therefore, it is important to keep using the muscle so that it does not stiffen up.

Anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen can be helpful. Typically, a course of physical therapy either done at home or with a therapist can help as well.

I would recommend looking for a physical therapy regimen online.

Question #3 (From Sue): “What are kidney stone symptoms?”

DR. BOB: Kidney stones are caused when different chemicals in the body form a solid substance in the kidney. When the stones move from the kidney into the ureter it begins to cause pain. Typically, the pain is significant and often severe.

The classic description of a kidney stone is flank pain that comes in waves. It may come for a period of 30-60 minutes. The pain can be sharp or crampy. Often the pain will ease up for a bit and then come back. Sometimes there will be blood in the urine along with the pain.

After the initial onset of the pain things will usually improve over a few days as the stone progresses and is finally passed.

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