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!

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, & IMS.

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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Guide to Tennis Elbow

Most people who get tennis elbow don’t play tennis! In fact, less than 5% of all cases of tennis elbow occur in people who play tennis. Tennis elbow can happen to anyone who repeatedly uses their elbow, wrist, and hand for their job, sport, or hobby.

What Is Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)?

Tennis elbow is a painful condition caused by overuse of the “extensor” muscles in your arm and forearm, particularly where the tendons attach to rounded projections of bone (epicondyles) on the outside or lateral aspect of the elbow. The muscles you use to grip, twist, and carry objects with your hand all attach to the “lateral epicondyle” at the elbow. That’s why a movement of the wrist or hand can actually cause pain in the elbow.

Prolonged use of the wrist and hand, such as when using a computer or operating machinery —and, of course, playing tennis with an improper grip or technique—can lead to tennis elbow. It can happen to athletes, non-athletes, children, and adults. It occurs more often in men than women, and most commonly affects people between the ages of 30 and 50.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of tennis elbow can occur suddenly as a result of excessive use of the wrist and hand for activities that require force, such as lifting, twisting, or pulling. Forceful activities—like pulling strongly on a lawn mower starter cord—can injure the extensor muscle fibers and lead to a sudden onset of tennis elbow.

More commonly, though, symptoms of tennis elbow develop gradually over a period of weeks or months as a result of repeated or forceful use of the wrist, hand, and elbow. If you work as a grocery store cashier, you might have symptoms of tennis elbow as a result of repetitive (and often too forceful) typing—combined with continuous lifting of grocery bags.

Your symptoms may include:

  • Pain that radiates into your forearm and wrist
  • Difficulty doing common tasks, such as turning a doorknob or holding a coffee cup
  • Increased pain when you use your wrist and hand for lifting objects, opening a jar, or gripping something tightly, such as a knife and fork
  • Stiffness in the elbow
  • Weakness in the arm

How Is It Diagnosed?

Tennis elbow usually occurs due to repeated movements. As a result, other muscles and joints in this region of the body may be affected as well. Your physical therapist will perform a careful examination not only of your elbow but of other areas of your body that might be affected and might be contributing to your pain. Your therapist will perform special manual tests that help diagnose the problem and help detect conditions such as muscle weakness that might have led to the problem in the first place. For instance, the therapist might ask you to gently tense or stretch the sore muscles to identify the exact location of the problem. Rarely is an x-ray required to diagnose this condition.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

The First 24 to 48 Hours

For the first 24 to 48 hours after acute onset of your pain, treatment includes:

  • Resting the arm by avoiding certain activities and modifying the way you do others
  • Using 10-20 minute ice treatments
  • Using elastic bandages or supports to take the pressure off of the painful muscles

Your physical therapist will decide if you should use a brace or support to protect your muscles while the area is healing. Depending on severity, your therapist may recommend that you consult with another health care provider for further testing or for consideration of additional treatment such as medication. In rare cases, treatments such as cortisone injection or surgery might be needed. Your physical therapist can help you determine whether you need a referral to another health care provider.

Your physical therapist can design a specific treatment program to speed your recovery. There will very likely be exercises and other treatments that you will be expected to do at home. Your physical therapist also might use special physical therapy treatments to help relieve pain, such as manual therapy, special exercises, ice or heat treatments or both, and electrical stimulation.

For an “acute” case of tennis elbow—one that has occurred within the past few weeks— it’s important to treat as early as possible. Left untreated, tennis elbow may become chronic and last for months and sometimes even years. This is especially true if treatment is focused only on relieving pain and not on correcting the muscle weakness and bad habits that might have led to your condition in the first place.

Improve Your Ability to Move

Your physical therapist may use manual therapy to enable your joints and muscles to move more freely with less pain.

Improve Your Strength

Insufficient muscle strength can lead to tennis elbow. Sometimes the weakness is in the muscles of the wrist and forearm. In many cases, the problem stems from weakness of the supporting postural, or “core,” muscles. In fact, you might find that it is necessary to improve your overall level of fitness to help manage your elbow condition. Based on the evaluation, your physical therapist can determine the type and amount of exercises that are right for you.

Physical therapists prescribe several types of exercises during recovery from tennis elbow:

  • Early in the treatment, when the pain is most intense, your therapist may recommend passive exercises in which your wrist and elbow are moved without the use of your muscles.
  • As your symptoms improve, you can move the wrist and elbow actively without assistance.
  • As the muscles become stronger and the symptoms have lessened, you will be able to begin using weights or resistance bands to further increase your strength. The amount of weight will need to be carefully monitored to make sure you continue to progress and avoid re-injuring your muscles.

Use Your Muscles the Right Way

Your physical therapist can help you retrain your muscles so that you use them properly. For example, when you lift a heavy grocery bag, you should contract the muscles around your shoulder blade and trunk to provide support for your arm muscles. This simple movement can be easily taught to you by a physical therapist can lessen the stress to the injured muscles and help you return to your normal activities while avoiding re-injury.

Return to Your Activities

Your physical therapist will help you remain active by teaching you how to modify your daily activities to avoid pain and further injury. Sometimes it’s necessary to make changes at work, on the playing field, or in the home. Your physical therapist can help you make simple modifications to your work site, your computer set-up, your kitchen devices, your sports equipment, and even your gardening tools to lessen the strain to your hand, wrist, and forearm. Your therapist will emphasize the importance of taking stretch breaks so that your muscles get frequent rest from repetitive movements and standing or sitting in the same position.

Tennis may be a contributing factor to tennis elbow for several reasons. Sometimes the problem results from over-training. In other cases, the weight of the racquet or its grip may need to be adjusted. For others, the problem may stem from improper form, poor overall fitness, or a lack of strength in the supporting or “core” muscles of the trunk and shoulder blades. A physical therapist can help analyze the source of the problem and help find a solution.

Can this Injury or Condition be Prevented?

Yes! You can help prevent tennis elbow by staying fit, using proper technique in your sport or in your job, and using equipment that is well designed and appropriate for your body type and your level of activity. Your physical therapist can show you how. If you had tennis elbow years ago, you might be at risk for re-injury if the tendons did not have time to completely heal or if your muscle strength and joint mobility were not fully restored. Returning to sports or activities before you have fully recovered might result in an elbow that has persistent pain or is easily or frequently re-injured. A physical therapist can help determine when you are ready to return to your activities and sports and can help make sure that your elbow, forearm, and wrist are strong and ready for action.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Myofascial Pain in Buttock Muscles

What is Myofascial Pain in Buttock Muscles?

One of the most common causes of buttock pain is myofascial pain, which is characterized by pain starting from tight bands of muscle or knots in the gluteal muscles.

The gluteal muscles are strong muscles located at the back of the pelvis building up the buttock. The gluteals mainly comprise of three major muscles they are:

  • Gluteus minimus.
  • Gluteus medius.
  • Gluteus maximus.

Gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus start from the pelvis and insert into the upper side of the thigh bone i.e. femur. Many smaller muscles are also present in the deeper side of the gluteal muscles such as the piriformis muscle.

The gluteal muscles help in straightening the hip while performing activities, stabilizing the pelvis and aiding in other movements of the hip like side elevation and hip rotation. Gluteal muscles are specifically active while squatting, lunging, running and jumping.

The piriformis muscles and gluteus medius are the areas that are very much prone to develop the trigger points associated with myofascial pain in buttock muscles.

Pelvic instability, lower back injuries and overuse of the gluteal muscles result in the formation of excessive tight bands of muscle called as knots or myofascial trigger points. This may also lead to soft tissue and muscle shortening, increased pressure on nerves and local tissue followed by pain which ultimately results in myofascial pain in buttock muscles.

Causes and Risk Factors of Myofascial Pain in Buttock Muscles

Myofascial pain in the buttock muscles is caused by excessive tightness of the piriformis muscles and gluteals. Myofascial pain in the buttock is caused due to lower back injury, pelvic instability or subsequent overuse of the gluteal muscles. Myofascial pain in the buttock more frequently occurs with activities and sports that involve repeated use of the gluteal muscles such as jumping, running particularly while changing direction, squatting, lunging and sprinting.

Other Causes May Include

  • Muscle weakness, especially in the gluteals and piriformis muscles.
  • Pelvic instability.
  • Muscle tightness, especially in the gluteal, piriformis and adductor muscles.
  • Lower back injury.
  • Poor hip joint flexibility.
  • Inappropriate and excessive training.
  • Poor biomechanics.
  • Muscle imbalances.
  • Poor core stability.
  • Inadequate warm up.

Signs and Symptoms of Myofascial Pain in Buttock Muscles

  • Ache or pain is often experienced in the buttock.
  • Sometimes pain may also spread into the foot, ankle, calf and at the back side of the thigh.
  • Exacerbation of pain in the buttock while stretching the affected muscles such as while bringing the knee toward the opposite shoulder and during forceful contraction of the gluteal or piriformis muscle such as while running and changing directions.
  • Squatting, lunging, sitting and climbing stairs may aggravate the symptoms.
  • Decreased range of motion.
  • Tightness in the buttock area.
  • Tenderness in the gluteal or piriformis muscles on firm palpation.
  • Applying pressure on the trigger points may sometimes radiate the pain or symptoms down the leg.

Treatment for Myofascial Pain in Buttock Muscles

  • Starting a comprehensive stretching routine for the muscles of the hip, groin and lower back.
  • Identification of the cause of the myofascial pain and trigger points, which can many a times be secondary to some other problem.
  • Application of deep tissue massage techniques with the combination of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching.
  • Acupuncture and dry needling may help in releasing tension and lengthening of the muscles.

Physical Therapy for Myofascial Pain in Buttock Muscles

Physical therapy for myofascial pain in the buttock muscles is important in speeding up the healing process. Physical therapy also decreases the likelihood of recurrences in the future. Physical therapy may include:

  • Electrotherapy such as ultrasound.
  • Dry needling.
  • Soft tissue massage.
  • Stretches.
  • Trigger point release techniques.
  • Muscle energy techniques.
  • Joint mobilization.
  • Neural mobilization.
  • Heat and ice therapy.
  • Education.
  • Biomechanical correction.
  • Progressive exercises for improving flexibility, core stability and strength.
  • Technique correction.
  • Activity modification advice.
  • Monitoring and devising a return to activity and sports plan.

Exercises for Myofascial Pain in Buttock Muscles

Gluteal Stretch Supine: This exercise is performed by lying down on the back. Now with the help of hands bring the knee towards the opposite shoulder until a mild to moderate pain-free stretch is felt in the buttocks or at the front side of the hip. Hold the position for about 15 seconds and release. Repeat four times.

Gluteal Stretch Prone: This exercise is performed on the knees and hand. Keep the leg stretched beneath the chest and stomach in such a way so that the knee should come in front of the hips and the foot should come side way. Now by keeping the back leg in a straight position slowly bring the upper body towards the ground until a mild to moderate pain-free stretch is felt in the buttocks. Hold the position for about 15 seconds and release. Repeat four times.

Gluteal Self Massage: This exercise is performed by keeping the Spiky massage ball beneath buttock. Now with the help of legs and arms gradually move the body in forward and backward direction and from side to side in order to allow the Spiky ball to rub the buttock region. Make sure to breath normal and keep the leg relaxed. Repeat for about 15 to 90 seconds ensuring there is no exacerbation of symptoms. Applying sustained pressure to a specific tight spot for about 15 to 60 seconds or until the muscle relaxes may also be helpful.

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What is Myofascia?

Fascia or myofascia is the dense, tough tissue which surrounds and covers all of your muscles and bones. This outer fascial covering is very strong and very flexible. In fact, it has a tensile strength of over 2000 pounds.

Under a microscope, myofascia resembles a spider web or fish net. It is very organized and very flexible in a healthy state. myofascia can best be described as a complete body suit which runs from the top of your head down to the bottom of your toes. It is continuous, has no beginning or end and can be found almost everywhere in your body. Like yarn in a sweater the entire body is connected to every other part of the body by the fascia. It is a continuous weave of material. And, like a pull in a sweater, damage to an area of fascia can effect other distant areas in your body even years later.

In the normal healthy state the fascia is relaxed and soft. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When you experience physical trauma or inflammation the fascia loses its pliability. It can become tight, restricted and a source of tension throughout the rest of the body. Trauma such as a fall, whiplash, surgery or habitual poor posture has a cumulative effect over time and myofascial release can help. In a healthy body fascia helps to maintain good posture, range of motion and flexibility. It also gives our bodies tremendous strength and helps us deal with stress and injuries.

An example of fascia would be when you remove the skin from a chicken breast, that white filmy tissue underneath the skin is fascia, and in a living state is very strong.

To summarize, fascia is like a superficial body suit which allows us to move freely, breath properly and perform our daily tasks pain-free. It spans the whole body and is totally connected as one piece of material. It is called “the tissue of movement”. And one of the more effective treatments is Myofascial Release.

When fascia is damaged or traumatized it can become too tight and cause a number of problems such as:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain and spasms
  • Chronic back and neck pain
  • Recurring injuries
  • Sciatica
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Sensations such as numbness and pins and needles
  • Poor posture and reduced flexibility

Things that can cause this once flexible tissue to become too tight are:

  • Inflammation
  • Traumas, such as a fall or car accident
  • Work injuries
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of stretching such as prolonged sitting or standing
  • Emotional/psychological stress
  • Repetitive motions, such as factory work or keyboarding

However, there is a treatment that can effectively treat this tough, tight fascial tissue making it more relaxed, pliable and soft.

It is called Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release is an effective hands-on therapy which can directly change and improve health of the fascia. The purpose of Myofascial Release is to break down scar tissue, relax the muscle and fascia and restore good posture.

The techniques of Myofascial Release are used focus on relaxing the deep tissue of the body, providing lasting and effective relief to the client.

As mentioned, Myofascial Release is a hands-on technique is applied directly on the body and uses slow and sometimes deep pressure to restore the proper health of the fascia.

  • Low back pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck stiffness
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Arthritic conditions
  • Sports injuries
  • Plus many more

What does a Myofascial Release treatment feel like?

The pressure used can range from very gentle touch to deeper pressure. The pressure from Myofascial Release should never be beyond your tolerance and it is important to give feedback to your practitioner during the treatment.

Some patients receiving a Myofascial Release treatment may experience a slight tingling or burning sensation in the skin, which is perfectly normal and safe. Others may feel a gentle to deep stretch on the area being treated.

The treatment of Myoofascial Release can last from 15 minutes to over an hour. It is performed by a qualified practitioner who has studied this advanced work.

These Myofascial Release techniques help to reorganize and lengthen the tight tissue allowing for better movement and health.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Plantar Fasciitis Release Technique

Plantar Fasciitis

The name may sound mysterious, the experience isn’t. Millions of people undergo any number of the following on a daily basis: a pain in their heel the moment their foot hits the ground in the morning; tenderness in the heel and arch area; pain in the heel or arch area after taking the first few steps following a long period of sitting; discomfort and throbbing in the heel and arch area after long periods of standing.

What It Is

Plantar fasciitis is painful inflammation of the heel and bottom surface of the foot. It is generally caused by overstretching of the fibrous tissue (fascia) that connects the heel to the forefoot.

Breaking the injury cycle requires an overall approach, examining critical elements such as postural alignment, biomechanics, musculoskeletal balance, correct footwear and training.

In addition to working on larger corrections in your posture, stride, strength and flexibility, here are a few specific tools to help you get on your road to recovery:

Reset It

Bend the knee of your exercising leg. Place your hands under your metatarsal heads and toes. Flex your top arch and toes toward you. Move until your natural end range of motion. Gently assist with your hand as you continue to move. Return to start position. Exhale as you flex your toes and arch toward you. Inhale as you return to start position. Repeat for two sets of 8-10 repetitions.

Stabilize It

Assume the same starting position as your “reset” exercise–bending the knee of your exercising leg. Place your hands under your metatarsal heads and toes. Extend your toes and top arch toward the ground. Resist with a gentle pressure with your hand resting on the top of your foot. Exhale as you move. Inhale as you return to start position. Repeat for two sets of 8-10 repetitions. Increase resistance with your hand as you get stronger and your body adapts and adjusts to the exercise.

Release It

While seated, cross your affected leg over your opposite thigh or bend your knee. Using your thumb or fingers start applying a very gentle pressure between the inside of your heel and inside anklebone. Because your fascia may already be inflamed, go slowly, allowing your thumb or fingers to be taken into the distorted tissue. You can use a muscle salve or a more adhesive substance for a better grip. Take the time to allow the micro bundles of your facial fibers to unwind at their own pace.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

The Four Best Types of Massage For Runners

Which type of massage is best for runners?

It’s not surprising that runners get confused about what type of massage would benefit them most. Depending on where you look, there are over 30 different types of massage identified on the internet. Of course, some of these styles are obviously not specifically beneficial to athletes, but runners can go beyond the typical “sports massage” to get results. The following are the four most beneficial types of massages for runners:

Active Release Technique

Active Release Technique, commonly known as A.R.T., is massage technique that combines movement with specific, deep pressure to help relieve muscle adhesions and reduce scar tissue buildup.

During an A.R.T session, the therapist uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and mobility of the soft tissue and then works to break up these adhesions with their hands, as well as movement of the muscle.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is perhaps the most well known of the common massage modalities and is often associated with relaxation and pampering. However, Swedish massage can also benefit runners, especially before big competitions.

Swedish massage utilizes long, flowing strokes of various pressure, although usually light, to release muscle tension and increase blood flow.

Swedish massage is best used in the days before big competitions or as a recovery tool after hard workouts. The lighter, relaxing strokes help relieve stress and muscle tension without damaging the muscles, which is important if you have a big race on the horizon. A Swedish massage before a race, especially if you’re coming off a hard week of training, can help you reenergize, relax, and get your legs back under you.

Trigger Point

Trigger point therapy is a massage modality that targets muscle knots and areas of referred pain in the muscle tissue. Therapists target and find knots in the muscles or areas of referred pain and use deep pressure to help loosen the adhesions.

Like A.R.T., trigger point therapy is best used to treat injuries. Specifically, trigger point therapy is effective in the treatment of IT band tightness, calf strains, and hamstring injuries.

Deep Tissue Massage

Most runners are familiar with deep tissue massage, which is often confused with deep pressure (e.g., when you tell the therapist to “go harder”). Deep tissue massage targets both the superficial and deep layers of muscles and fascia and are often quite intense as a result of the deliberate, focused work.

Deep tissue massages typically focus on a few specific problem areas and, unlike trigger point therapy, work the entire muscle. Because runners often have tight spots and interconnected issues when volume and intensity are high, deep tissue massage is often the modality of choice during hard training segments.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.
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