Stretches to Relieve the Pain of Piriformis Syndrome

The piriformis muscle is located deep in the buttock, and connects the sacrum to the top of the femur, or thigh bone. Its function is to roll the leg out to the side. Piriformis syndrome is pain deep in the buttock caused when the piriformis muscle traps the sciatic nerve. Symptoms include pain deep in the buttock, which often radiates up into the low back or down the leg along the path of the nerve.

Causes

The piriformis muscle can become too short and tight because of overuse and repetitive motion, direct trauma or a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for long periods of time keeps the piriformis muscle shortened. Running on hard or uneven surfaces, in poor-fitting shoes, or running with your toes turned out can irritate the piriformis.

Treatment

While the pain is acute, rest for the first 48 to 72 hours. Use ice packs for 20 minutes several times a day to reduce pain and inflammation. Continuing to exercise in pain can make further injure your muscles. After the pain begins to subside, you can begin a program of stretching and strengthening your muscles.

Seated and Supine Stretch

Sit in a chair with both legs in front of you and feet on the floor. Cross the ankle of the affected leg over the opposite knee. Wrap your arms around your knee and foot, as if cradling the lower leg, and lift them until you feel a stretch deep in the buttock. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat at least four times. Perform the same move on your back. Lie on your back with both legs straight. Bring the knee of the affected leg to your chest and then push it over to the opposite shoulder with your hands until you feel a stretch deep in the buttock. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat at least four times.

Fire Log Pose

Sit on the floor and bend your left knee. Lay the outside of your left leg on the floor and position your left lower leg in front of you. Lift your right leg off the floor, bend the knee and lay the outside of your lower right leg on top of the inside of your left lower leg. When you look down you should see a triangle-shaped space between your pubis and your stacked lower legs. Sit tall and breathe in this pose for up to a minute before switching sides.

Kneeling Stretch

On your hands and knees, bring the knee of the affected leg forward, swing the knee out and bring the foot up toward the opposite side so the lower leg is at a right angle to your body. Stretch the other leg out straight behind you and lean your body into the bent leg, keeping your spine straight. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, and repeat at least four times. Don’t do this stretch if it hurts your hip or knee.

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Foods to Soothe Sore Muscles

If you’ve been exercising more, you may be suffering from the aches and pains of having overdone it at the gym. Making sure your workout is challenging without overdoing it is one way to prevent muscle soreness. But research also points to some foods and beverages that can help ward off and minimize exercise-related muscle soreness.

1. Blueberries

New research out of New Zealand suggests that the antioxidants in blueberries may help ward off muscle fatigue by mopping up the additional free radicals that muscles produce during exercise.

2. Tart Cherries & Pomegranates

British researchers recently found that people who drank 1 ounce of concentrated cherry juice twice daily for 10 days bounced back faster from their workout (an intensive leg-resistance training session on day 8) than those who skipped the juice. The reason: The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in tart cherries—and other fruit juices like grape, pomegranate, acai, blueberry and cranberry—essentially act as natural NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin), reducing exercise-induced muscle damage.

3. Ginger

Ginger is rich in inflammation-fighting compounds, such as gingerols, which may reduce the aches of osteoarthritis and soothe sore muscles. In a recent study, people who took ginger capsules daily for 11 days reported 25 percent less muscle pain when they performed exercises designed to strain their muscles (compared with a similar group taking placebo capsules). Another study found that ginger-extract injections helped relieve osteoarthritis pain of the knee.

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Common Causes of Neck Pain

Posture and Neck Pain

Poor posture is the most common reason many people will complain about neck pain during their lifetime. Luckily, several lifestyle habits that cause neck pain can be reversed. Most typically experience pain in the back of the neck where the postural muscles are located. Trapezius, splenius capitis, erector spinae, and the suboccipital group are a few of the muscles continuously working to hold the head upright. These postural muscles become tight, tense, and overworked when the head is too far forward.

When muscles are continuously contracted and overstretched they become depleted of water and nutrients usually creating trigger points. Tension headaches are the result of trigger points in the upper trapezius muscle that refer pain to the temples. When the head is too far forward, the ear is in front of the shoulder, the muscles in the front of the neck such as the scalenes and sternocleidomastoid are shortened pulling the head forward. Those who treat themselves at home with a sports cream or a hot or cold pack usually don’t think about the front of the neck. Unfortunately some massage therapists may overlook these muscles as well. Assessing one’s lifestyle and habits, especially when a considerable amount of time is involved performing a given task, can help alleviate the potential causes of neck pain.

Sitting at a Desk

Writers and office workers can develop neck pain if their workstation is not properly set up. The computer screen should be level with the eyes to prevent straining the neck muscles. Those of us who work on a laptop are at a disadvantage. In order for the screen to be eye level the keyboard will most likely be too high for us to reach. If the table is too high, or the chair too low, many will have to elevate the shoulders to reach the keyboard. Lifting the shoulders to reach the desk or keyboard will result in a continuous contraction of neck and shoulder muscles.

When using a mouse make sure it is close so that your arm isn’t continuously reaching for it. Over time the shoulder will project forward and create tension between the shoulder blades as well as the upper trapezius. Those who use the telephone regularly should invest in a headset. Otherwise the neck muscles will be overworked by holding a phone to the ear with the shoulder.

Shoulder Bags

Carrying a heavy bag repeatedly on the same side of the body will create shoulder and neck tension. Try to switch shoulders when carrying a heavy bag or purse or look for a bag that distributes the weight evenly. If you can forego the fashion trend of an over sized bag and carry a smaller version your neck will thank you for it. For those who cannot escape with a small bag look for an ergonomic bag that distributes the weight evenly. May ergonomic bags are worn across the body or carried on both shoulders simultaneously. Some backpacks are now equipped with wheels and a handle so that they can be pulled instead of carried.

Sleeping

There are two explanations for those who wake up with more neck pain than they had the night before. Tight neck muscles are depleted of circulation, but they receive a greater blood supply during the day than at night. As people go about their daily chores the neck muscles are constantly in use. When muscles contract and relax they release metabolic wastes and absorb fresh fluids. Yes, it may not be the ideal amount, but when we sleep the neck muscles are at rest for roughly 8 hours. Sleeping gives tight muscles a chance to stiffen because circulation is diminished from lack of use.

The more obvious explanation is poor alignment and support of the neck while sleeping. There are a variety of pillows available for back, stomach, and side sleepers, but many of us rotate through all 3 positions during the night. Unfortunately I’ve never seen one pillow that can accommodate all sleepers. Back sleepers need cervical support with a flatter surface for the head to rest on. Those who sleep on their side need a pillow roughly as thick as the distance between the ear and shoulder. The head should be in alignment with the spine and the pillow should help take pressure off of the bottom shoulder. Although sleeping on your stomach can be cozy it’s one of the worst positions for those suffering from lower back pain. Stomach sleepers need a flatter pillow to keep the neck in line with the spine.

Hobbies

Hobbies are meant to help a person unwind from the stresses of life, but they can contribute to neck pain as well. Of course, if you sustain a blow to the head playing soccer, football, or rugby your neck will probably hurt. Most people don’t think about the sedentary hobbies such as scrap-booking, knitting, and cross-stitch. When a person looks down for extended periods of time on a regular basis it will put a strain on the postural muscles of the neck. It is essentially the same as having a forward head posture.

The Brain

Special neruons called proprioceptors continuously monitor our joints and muscles to to let out body know where we are in relation to the horizon. Many of us have misaligned skeletons due to muscle tension asymmetry. However, we don’t typically see people walking around bent to the side. When the body is crooked the brain will recruit muscles to realign the body with gravity and the horizon. For example, if the right hip is high we would expect to see the torso lean to the left. In this case the brain will shorten the muscles on the right side of the lower back in an attempt to bring the body back to center. Now the torso is slightly off so muscles on the left side of the upper to mid back will tighten. The neck unfortunately is the final balancing point for the brain to level the eyes with the horizon, hence the reason so many people complain of neck pain.

Self Evaluation

Standing in front of a mirror look at your shoulders. There are a few common patterns that create neck and shoulder pain. Is one shoulder higher than the other? A high shoulder can be the result of carrying a heavy bag, holding the phone with the shoulder, carrying a baby, and even sleep. Some people will experience pain on the high shoulder side. Others will feel pain on the lower side even though the muscles are not as tight. As the brain levels the eyes with the horizon a tug-of-war occurs with one side of the neck trying to overpower the other.

Is the distance between the shoulder and the center of the body the same on both sides? With the arms relaxed by your sides do your thumbs point forward or do you only see the back of the hand? Both of these questions look to see if the shoulders are rotated forwards. When the shoulders are rotated forward the head is usually pulled forward as well. Unfortunately most of us have this posture because we reach for things all day. Forward head and shoulders will create tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back between the shoulder blades. To correct this posture the muscles in the chest and neck need to be lengthened by stretching, yoga, and/or massage. Conversely the muscles in the back need to be strengthened, usually with weight training.

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How to Treat a Pulled Muscle in 7 Steps

Every time you exercise, you put microscopic tears in your muscles. That’s what’s behind that next-day hurts-so-good soreness. And after your body repairs these tears, you become stronger, faster, and fitter. But if you stretch a muscle too far, lift too much, or are working out with a muscle imbalance, you might not just have microscopic tears to deal with. You could literally tear your muscle into pieces. We have your solution.

Pulls, sprains, and tears (all the same thing) range in severity. Grade 1 means the injury hurts but you can still move the muscle without too much trouble and it could heal in less than a week. Grade 3 means the muscle has ripped clean off of your tendon or bone and you’ll probably need surgery to reattach it. Ouch.

Think of your muscles like a piece of fabric that you’re holding in front of you, between your two hands, If you were to pull that fabric in opposite directions, it would stretch up to a certain point. If you continued to pull, some of those fibers would start to break. Then, given enough force, the entire thing would eventually rip right in half. Yeahhh, your muscles can do the same thing. Fun times.

Despite the gnarly description, exercisers rarely know how to treat a pulled muscle or do anything to treat their muscle sprains. They just try to tough it out. Bad idea. When not treated properly, even seemingly minor pulls can contribute to more severe ones later on. And those can send you to surgery and take you out of commission of several months.

Plus, if you do have a serious strain, you only have a window of a few weeks before your doctor really can’t do anything for you.

So how do you know if your post-workout pain is a strain? Typically, the pain will be sharp, intense, and localized to one specific spot along your muscle, Beckstrand says. Massaging the area will likely hurt, and you may even feel a knot. While it generally hurts less when you’re resting the muscle, it may still feel uncomfortable and spasm. Usually, the pain comes on all at once.

Sound all too familiar? Here’s how to treat a pulled muscle and feel better STAT:

1. Elevate, compress, and ice it.

The sooner you can get the pulled muscle above your heart, apply compression, and ice it, the better. All will help reduce inflammation and keep blood from pooling in your muscle—because, yes, torn muscles can bleed. Ice it for 15 minutes every hour or two for at least 24 hours following the pull, and continue elevating the area for an entire week whenever possible. As far as compression goes, it is recommended to wear a neoprene sleeve, ACE wrap, or compression garment to squeeze excess blood out of the area, support the muscle, and speed recovery. Wait at least a week to wean yourself off of compression gear.

2. Avoid pain medications.

Granted, of course, you can bear it. Pain medications like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may not be your friend here. By interfering with the normal inflammatory process—an important part of healing—pain medications may interfere with the cascade of events needed to jump-start tissue regeneration and repair. If you do take pain meds, make sure to follow the bottle’s directions. If they say to take two, don’t go ahead and take three.

3. Watch for bruising.

If a bruise pops up around the pain site, your pulled muscle is likely serious. Bruising occurs when the muscle is torn so badly that it bleeds into your body. That’s a surefire sign you need to go to the doctor. But keep in mind, if the tear is deep in your muscle, it could take a few days for any blood to rise to your skin’s surface and cause bruising, she says.

4. Don’t stretch or roll it out.

At least don’t do it immediately after pulling it. After all, stretching a sprained muscle will only pull the torn ends farther apart, potentially making things a whole lot worse. The same goes for foam rolling. Give it a chance to try to knit back together before you get too aggressive with the foam roller. There’s a time and place for that but it’s not in the acute phase. If the strain is minor—and most are—you can try gently rolling the muscle a few days after pulling it. If foam rolling hurts, back off and try again in a couple days.

5. See a doctor.

The biggest issue I see with muscle strains is that people wait way too long before they come in to get help. After a few weeks, your body has already tried to heal itself, which often results in permanent scarring and tissue damage. Rehab for a muscle strain becomes much more difficult with time. It is recommended that if you’re experiencing symptoms of a muscle strain injury, don’t let symptoms go on for longer than two weeks without consulting your medical provider. The ideal expert is a physical therapist. Before scheduling an appointment, call your insurance company and find out if you have to see a primary care first to get a referral. Some insurance companies insist on a referral, and you want to make sure all visits are covered.

6. Take it easy.

Depending on the severity of your strain, you may need to take anywhere from a few days to a few months off of exercise so that the muscle can heal itself. When you do head back to the gym, start with gentle bodyweight exercises (no plyometrics). Progressively add more sets, reps, and eventually weight. All the while, remember that the muscle should never hurt. If it does, stop the exercise and either try a different variation or back off entirely.

7. Consider what went wrong.

As long as your pulled muscle isn’t a case of “I tripped and fell,” you need to address the cause of your muscle pull. You may have a muscle imbalance that, if left untreated, will continue to contribute muscle strain. (For instance, runners often suffer hamstring tears because their glutes are too weak, she says.) Consider how you’re training all of the muscles in your injured body part. And don’t hesitate to talk to a physical therapist or exercise physiologist about how you can correct any muscle imbalances.

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Stretching: How to Stretch the Hamstrings

To start your Hamstring Stretching do a few jumping jacks or running in place to warm up your muscles.

For your first Hamstring Stretching exercise stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent, your other leg out in front by about one foot, knee held firmly in place, bring the toes up towards your shin (dorsiflexion).

Then place one hand on each of your thighs, elbows bent, with your back arched forward, slowly continue to bend your upper body (torso) forward, focus on the feeling in your hamstring. Do not bounce, but continue to tilt your upper body forward slowly until you are not able to bend it any further, hold for a count of 10 to 20, return to starting position.

Repeat with the other leg.

How to Stretch the Hamstrings using a bench or a bar

Here we advance to a little more stretching of the Hamstrings by placing one leg on a bench or a bar.

Stand in a similar position as above, placing the heel of the foot of the leg to be stretched on a bench or bar. In the beginning relax the foot and the shin muscles, knee straight (but not locked). Tilt forward at the pelvis feeling the stretch in the hamstring, hold for a count of 10 to 20, then return to your upright position.

As you advance in this Hamstring Stretching exercise, you will pull your toes up closer to your shin (dorsiflexion), this will add additional stretching to your hamstring, as well as the calf muscles.

Full Extension Hamstring Stretching

As you continue to advance you will move on to the touching of the toes. Starting from standing erect, slowly bend your torso forward until you fingertips are touching the floor. Think about relaxing your entire body as you do this Hamstring Stretching exercise. Once you have achieved the furthest of your reach towards your toes, with each hand grasp the back side of your leg and gently pull your torso closer to your legs, hold for a count of 10, repeat 3 to 5 times.

With continued practice you will eventually be able to grasp the back of your ankles, bringing your nose to your knees. Do not push this, it takes time and practice, but this is your goal.

As with all stretching exercises you should be able to feel equal tension (ie. each hamstring muscle), this is a goal to have equality in your muscle flexibility.

Remember to always do these stretching exercises gently and slowly, this will accomplish our goal of building stronger and more flexible muscles, and assist us in preventing injury as we take up exercises and sports.

Benefits of Hamstring Stretching:

  1. Adds balance and flexibility to the leg muscles
  2. Increases strength to the hamstring muscles
  3. Increases circulation to the legs and leg muscles
  4. Warms up and loosens the hamstring muscles prior to exercise
  5. Stretching after exercises helps in preventing injury and residual soreness
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Injury Prevention Workout For Runners

Training for a race is no easy task, and proactively preventing injuries is key to crossing the finish line with zeal. Here are some stretching and strength-training exercises to keep you healthy and strong as you log all your miles. Performed in order, this combination of exercises can help minimize common running injuries that often occur as you increase your weekly mileage or up your speed.

Lying Knee Tucks

  • Lying on your back, hug one knee into your chest while fully extending the other leg, hovering it above the ground.
  • Keep your focus on lengthening your leg away from your body while simultaneously squeezing your knee to your chest.
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds then alternate legs, complete 10 reps.

Trunk Twist

  • Lying on your back, extend your arms out to your side as an anchor. Bring your knees up to a 90-degree angle. Starting the movement from your core, rotate your knees to the left, hold for 5 seconds. Then, slowly rotate to the right.
  • Complete 10 reps in each direction.

Tip: If your back feels strained from this, place your feet on the floor with bent knees and rotate your knees back and forth, keeping your feet on the ground.

Runner’s Lunge Stretch

  • Starting in a plank position, bring your left foot up and around and to the outside of your left hand.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and bring the foot back into the plank position. Repeat this movement on your right side.
  • Complete 10 reps on each leg.

Tip: If it is difficult for you to swing your leg up to the above position, start on your hands and knees, then extend your back leg in the lunge position.

Reverse Plank

  • Start in a seated position. With your feet flat on the floor, bend your knees and place your hands behind your back, directly under your shoulders.
  • Supporting your body with your arms and feet, lift your hips toward the sky, pressing through your heels.

Try to fully extend your hips so that your body is completely straight, in a reverse plank. Slowly bring your butt back to the floor, repeat for 10 reps.

Single-Leg Bridges

  • Lying on your back, bend your knees keeping both feet flat on the ground.
  • Extend your left leg straight, keeping it raised about two inches from the ground.
  • Then, with your left leg extended, press through your right heel, lifting both hips off the ground. Make sure to keep your foot directly beneath the knee to protect the joint and continually press through the heel of the foot to lift the hips.
  • Slowly lower and repeat for 10 times before switching sides.

Heel Walks

  • Standing with your feet shoulder distance apart, pick your toes as high off the ground as possible so that only your heels are touching.
  • Walk toward your left for 20 yards, keeping your heels on the ground while flexing the toes towards the sky.
  • Repeat the same motion back toward your right, resting at your starting point. Repeat three times.

Single-Leg Lateral Hops

  • With your right foot slightly off the ground, balance on your left foot.
  • Hop back and forth over an imaginary line, laterally for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the same motion, balancing on your right foot.
  • Rest 30 seconds and repeat the exercise three times. This will strengthen the peritoneal and calf muscles.

Calf and Soleus Stretch

  • Standing at a wall, stagger your feet placing the left foot a few inches from the wall and the right foot about one to two feet behind your left foot.
  • Lean forward into the wall while bending your left knee, pressing your right heel into the ground. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Then step your right foot forward six to eight inches, and bend both knees but shifting your weight onto your left foot while pressing your right heel into the ground. This position stretches the deep calf muscle, aka soleus, and lengthens the Achilles tendon. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch sides.
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How to Strengthen the Sciatic Nerve

When you have sciatica, you experience pain radiating from the sciatic nerve. Symptoms of sciatica include pain starting at the buttocks and extending down the back of the legs. To treat sciatica, a doctor may recommend exercises to strengthen the sciatic nerve. If you are pregnant, speak to your doctor about any modifications you need to make before doing the exercises. Here are some steps on how to strengthen the sciatic nerve.

Step 1

Exercise daily. Exercise is better than rest for sciatic nerve pain. If you do not exercise, the muscles weaken and the condition may worsen. After a flare-up, rest for only two days until you start working the area.

Step 2

Stretch the hamstring muscles. Hamstring stretching will help strengthen the sciatic nerve if done on a regular basis. Place your right foot in front of you with the toes pointed upward. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Hold for five seconds and switch legs. Do a total of 10 reps for each leg.

Step 3

Perform 20 reps of prone extensions. Prone extensions help strengthen the sciatic nerve and can provide relief for individuals who suffer from sciatica as a result of a herniated disk. Lie in the prone position with your body propped up on your elbows. Press the hips into the floor and stay in place for approximately 10 seconds.

Step 4

Work the back to strengthen the sciatic nerve. Back stretches are types of exercises helpful for sciatic pain from nerve compression. Lie flat on your back and push your belly button into your back. Contract the abs and hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat eight times.

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4 Ways to Treat Recurring Acute Injuries

Recurring acute injuries are not only painful and disruptive, they can also be damaging if left untreated. Treatment recommendations vary depending on each individual case, but often include a combination of the following approaches.

1. Wrist Wraps

A wrap or splint that immobilizes the wrist may be recommended for daytime and/or nighttime use to help relieve uncomfortable symptoms such as numbness or tingling. Wrist wraps are available in a variety of materials that provide a range of support from total immobilization to relative flexibility. Some people also choose to wear these types of wraps as a preventive measure to limit motions that may contribute to future injuries.

2. Bandages with Ice Packs

Cold therapy has long been used to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Soft elastic bandages are often used to keep an ice pack in place while also providing compression. Although this method has been used for decades, it is not an ideal solution because:

  • It is not possible to regulate the temperature of the ice pack.
  • Putting a cold source directly on skin comes with the risk of tissue damage and bandages are difficult to apply on upper extremities without assistance.

Even with the help of a healthcare professional, it can be difficult to find a comfortable hand position when wrapping an ice pack around your hand and wrist.

3. Physical Therapy

In some cases, physical therapy is recommended to help reduce the symptoms of recurring acute injuries and possibly prevent future injuries. A typical physical therapy program might include:

  • Education about your injury and its causes.
  • Recommendations for activities to avoid.
  • Instructions for proper posture or body positions for certain tasks.
  • Exercises to strengthen the muscles in your wrist and hand.
  • Exercises to increase flexibility in your wrist and hand.
  • Heat and/or cold treatments to help control pain.
  • A wrist wrap or splint to help reduce discomfort.
  • Every program will vary, but the objective is always to reduce or eliminate symptoms and create good habits that will help prevent future injury.

4. Cold Compression Therapy

Many physicians and physical therapists recommend heat and/or cold therapy to help reduce pain and swelling in hands and wrists. Active cold and compression is the most effective way to administer cryotherapy safely. Unlike a bandage and ice pack, active cold and compression therapy allows you to:

  • Control the temperature of therapeutic cold.
  • Provide consistent cold for the duration of the therapy session.
  • Keep the hand and wrist in a natural, comfortable position.
  • Benefit from consistent compression that actively removes excess fluid and promotes blood flow.
  • Benefit from deeper, longer-lasting cooling.
  • Regulating therapeutic cold is especially important for treatment of hands and wrists because temperatures that are too cold can potentially exacerbate symptoms of acute recurring injuries. Adding cold compression therapy to your recovery program is the best way to ensure the fastest rehabilitation.

If you experience recurring acute upper extremity injuries or plan to have upper extremity surgery, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the benefits of cold and compression therapy.

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10 Effective Home Remedies to Treat Achilles Tendon Pain

Have you hurt your Achilles tendon? Is that giving you terrible pain in your calf and restricting your movement? Achilles tendon pain might be a common issue, but can get complicated if ignored.

So, how can you treat this ailment? There are a number of excellent home remedies that can treat the pain very effectively! Here are 10 of them to try:

1. Castor Oil:

This plant-based oil is used for treating a number of ailments and problems, from stomach pains to dandruff and even wrinkles. Castor oil is also the oil of choice for treating Achilles tendon pain. How does the oil do so much? We know that castor oil is a triglyceride, which comprises of almost 90 percent ricinoleic acid, a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It is this acid in castor oil that relieves pain and inflammation of the Achilles tendon when applied to the affected areas.

2. Vitamin E Oil:

Vitamin E oil is a potent antioxidant. Vitamin E helps in relieving inflammation and pain by cleaning up free radicals from the body that cause pain. The oil also supports circulatory function, which helps to relieve soreness and inflammation.

3. Turmeric:

Turmeric, as we know, is a wonder spice. It is an excellent remedy for Achilles tendon pain because of the presence of curcumin. Scientific community is united in proclaiming that curcumin is one of the best natural painkillers available.

Last year, the European Journal of Pharmacologypublished a paper that explained how curcumin works as a painkiller. According to it, curcumin reduces pain by activating the opioid system that is linked to our body’s pain-relieving response. Curcumin also serves as an anti-inflammatory.

You can reap the pain-relieving benefits of turmeric by using it as a tincture or as turmeric tea or even garnishing your dishes using this super spice. Other ways of using turmeric are making a turmeric poultice and applying it to your painful Achilles tendon to encourage circulation and reduce swelling.

4. Resting The Affected Leg:

Achilles tendon injuries are mostly caused due to overuse. So, proper rest is an effective self-care technique for reducing Achilles tendon pain. Give your Achilles tendon some rest and avoid activities like climbing stairs, running and even walking about too much that strain the tendon. We would suggest that you switch to swimming for exercise. Have patience though, as Achilles tendon pain takes anything between days to weeks and even months to heal.

5. Icing To Bring Down Pain:

Application of ice packs for a duration of 20 minutes brings down Achilles pain substantially. This works by reducing the blood flow thereby bringing down the pain almost instantaneously.

6. Gentle Massage:

Massage the affected area as it increases blood circulation and decreases the pain. We also suggest that you do gentle stretches and strengthening exercises to heal. Calf stretches work the best.

7. Avoid Tobacco:

Smoking slows down healing by decreasing the blood supply to the affected tissues and delays tissue repair. This means that you will have to bear the tendon pain longer. So stop smoking tobacco products.

8. Wear Protective Footwear:

We suggest that you go for athletic shoes that support the arch of your affected foot and cushion the heel. This shoe gives a chance for the Achilles tendon to heal. Silicone heel pads are also a good option as these reduce the pressure on the Achilles tendon. These are not home remedies as such but some of the ways in which you can stem Achilles pain.

9. Use A Bandage To Keep Your Affected Foot Flexed:

This will restrict the movement of the Achilles tendon, thus reducing pain. You can also use the bandage when you are sleeping as it will stop involuntary movements of your foot which can increase Achilles tendon pain.

10. Use A Night Brace While Sleeping:

This will prevent your tendon from shortening and stiffening while you sleep. The Achilles tendon will get optimum rest this way while you are sleeping, making sure that you experience less pain and stiffness in your calf and heel during daytime.

These are the effective home remedies for Achilles tendon pain. We also suggest that you lose weight if you are overweight, to stop repeated Achilles tendon injuries. Do let us know if our suggestions have helped you in reducing Achilles tendon pain. Feel free to post comments in the section below!


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Simple Stretches to Relieve Stress

These stretches help relieve your stress, but they can also boost your mood, improve your work performance, relieve headaches, reduce neck pain and reinvigorate you from any stresses in your life!

First, what you need to do is breath. Take a few seconds before you do the stretches to try a few breathing exercises. Close your eyes and just focus on your breathing. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this about 10 times for one set. Try this for about three sets before you start your stretches. It will put you in a more relaxed state!

Shoulder and Neck Stretches: The first stretch has you sitting in your chair. Plant both feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Put both your hands behind your neck and interlock your fingers. Now tilt your head towards the floor and press your shoulder blades together. You’re going to want to hold this for about 10 seconds and then release. Do this three more times.

Cat Pose: This move you will start on all fours. Begin with a straight spine and your head facing the floor. When you exhale, curve your back by rounding your spine up. You’ll end up looking at your belly button. Now slowly inhale and on your next exhale return to your starting position.

Arm Stretches: Again, you’ll want to be sitting straight in your chair with your feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart. With your fingers interlocked in front of you, stretch out your arms. You’ll want to rotate your wrists until your palms are facing away from your body. Hold this for 10 seconds before you raise your arms above your head for another 10 seconds. Now do this three more times.

Lower Back: Sitting in your chair, lean forward and grab your ankles with both hands. This move lets you feel your lower back stretching out! Again, hold this for 10 seconds and repeat three more times.

Leg Stretches: From your sitting position, raise one leg and straighten it before you. Hold this for 10 seconds before rotating your foot to the left and then to the right. Repeat this with the other leg. You’ll want to do this five more times with each leg.

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