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Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition caused by repetitive strains or overuse of the tendon which runs from under your heel to the front of your foot.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain / tenderness on and under the heel and arch of the foot areas
  • Pain worse first thing in the morning until the muscles warm & free
  • Tenderness & Pain on the heel
  • If untreated the pain experienced first thing in the morning will worsen and become prolonged
  • Foot pain or high-arched feet may cause a gait change, which can cause additional pain.

Causes

  • Running, dancing or jumping
  • Very tight calf muscles
  • Hi or low arches
  • Being overweight
  • Footwear which does not provide arch support

What can you do?

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Ice Therapy
  • Rest
  • Tape the foot
  • PF Night Splint
  • Switch to Barefoot shoes
  • Massage & Stretches – as part of your  sports massage treatment I prescribe specific stretches to improve and rehabilitate your sports injuries. I also offer targeted advice to improve your overall balance, strength and alignment allowing for safe, structured progression within your chosen sport.

Request your sports massage for Plantar Fasciitis HERE

or call 07790 774 239 to book.

Recover from Plantar Fasciitis

After sleeping or resting your plantar fascia tighten and shorten. Hence the dreadful pain with your first steps out of bed. The exercise below helps make the plantar fascia more supple and flexible by stretching the muscles on the sole of the foot whilst giving a gentle massage effect. It should be done  immediately after waking up.

  • Sit barefoot on a chair or the edge of your bed and place a golf ball, tennis ball, or rolling pin under the foot.
  • Whilst seated roll the ball with the arch of the foot back and forth from your heel to the toes, for 30-40 seconds and apply as much pressure as you an without causing more pain.
  • If this feels okay, you can take the exercise further by doing this exercise while you are standing up, making the exercise a lot stronger.
  • Keep doing this for about 4 minutes.

Prevent Plantar Fasciitis

Regular Massage
A regular massage with a seasoned professional will keep your muscles flexible and strong which will help you prevent injury, reach new targets and improve your personal bests. Don’t wait until you have an in jury… an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Warm up properly
This means not only stretching prior to a given athletic event, but a  gradual rather than sudden increase in volume and intensity over the course of  the training season. A frequent cause of plantar fasciitis is a sudden increase  of activity without suitable preparation.

Avoid activities that cause pain
Running on steep terrain, excessively hard or soft  ground, etc can cause unnatural biomechanical strain to the foot, resulting in  pain. This is generally a sign of stress leading to injury and should be  curtailed or discontinued.

Shoes & arch support
Athletic demands placed on the feet, particularly during running events, are extreme. Injury results when your feet are inflexible, tight or weak. Switch to Barefoot shoes which are light and flexible. Regular Foot exercises/ Stretches will greatly reduce the chance of suffering with Plantar Fasciitis.

Rest and rehabilitation
Probably the most important curative therapy for  cases of plantar fasciitis is thorough rest. The injured athlete must be  prepared to wait out the necessary healing phase, avoiding temptation to return  prematurely to athletic activity.

Strengthening exercises
Below are two simple strength exercises to help condition the muscles, tendons and joints around the foot and ankle.

Plantar Rolling: Place a small tennis ball under the  arch of the affected foot. Slowly move the foot back and forth allowing the tennis  ball to roll around under the arch. This activity will help to stretch,  strengthen and massage  the affected area.
Toe Walking: Stand upright in bare feet and  rise up onto the toes and front of the foot. Balance in this position and walk  forward in slow, small steps. Maintain an upright, balanced posture, staying as high as possible with each step. Complete three sets of the exercise, with a short  break in between sets, for a total of 20 meters.

I can help you!

My sports massage studio is in Truro:
The Old Bakery Studios
Blewetts Wharf (just past radio Cornwall)
Truro.

To book your sports massage in Truro with me please call 07790 774 239

Are you over-training?  Is Your Body Under Stress?

Do you know the difference between being just a little tired or on a down-cycle, and being legitimately run down or over tired? One of the biggest challenges to achieving your fitness goals is consistency.

Juggling your training with enough sleep and rest, as well as the ‘perfect’ nutritional diet is hard enough, but add to that your work-life, your personal/ home life and suddenly it gets more tricky! So, how do you keep up the pace without over doing it, becoming sick or injured?

What is over-training?

Overtraining occurs when a person experiences stress and physical trauma from exercise. The key to remember when training is that it’s the exercise that breaks your body down, but it’s the rest and recovery that makes you stronger and healthier. This doesn’t happen overnight, or as a result of one or two sessions.

We all know regular exercise is extremely beneficial to our general health and fitness, but we all must remember that improvements to our body can only occur given time.

Please note when I use the word stress I use it very ‘broadly’. Stress is stress, whether it’s a physical, mental or emotional stress, it still has the same effect on your health and well-being!

Whilst there are no specific tests per se there are quite a number of signs and symptoms to be aware of.

If you suffer from one or two of the following signs or symptoms it doesn’t automatically mean you are suffering from overtraining. However, if you recognise five or more of the following signs and symptoms, then it may be time to take a close look at the volume and intensity of your work load.

Physical Signs & Symptoms

  • Appetite loss
  • Chronic muscle soreness or joint pain
  • Decreased performance
  • Delayed recovery from exercise
  • Elevated resting pulse /heart rate
  • Exhaustion
  • Frequent minor infections
  • Increased susceptibility to colds and flu’s
  • Increases in minor injuries
  • Insatiable thirst or dehydration
  • Intolerance to exercise
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss

Psychological Signs & Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Apathy or no motivation
  • Depression
  • Fatigued, tired, drained, lack of energy
  • Headaches
  • Inability to relax
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Reduced ability to concentrate
  • Twitchy, fidgety or jittery

As you can see by the number of signs and symptoms there are a lot of things to look out for. Generally the most common signs and symptoms to look for are a total loss of motivation in all areas of your life (work or career, health and fitness etc.), plus a feeling of exhaustion. Need help with ‘Emotional’ stress management ? Or Maga Relaxing treatments, click here to read more….

If these two warning signs are present, plus a couple of the other listed signs and symptoms, then it may be time to take a short rest before things get out of hand.

Sounds like you’re over training?

What do you do now? Click HERE to read more….

Cycling stretching exercises to improve your performance and do away with cycling injuries for good.

If you’re looking to improve your cycling or just seeking to prevent cycling injuries it is important to follow the information in this article. In addition, adding a few simple stretches to your fitness program will also help.

Body bits involved

Cycling requires a great deal of muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Therefore,a combination of speed, strength, and endurance work, along with flexibility training, is essential for success.

The major muscles involved in road cycling include:

  • The muscles of the legs and hips.
  • The core muscles are important for maintaining balance and power.
  • The muscles of the arms and  shoulders are important to maintain a support position on the bike when  leaning forward, as are the muscles of the hand, wrist and forearm.

Special attention must be paid to stretching the muscles after use to ensure flexibility in commonly over-used muscles.

Most Common Cycling Injuries

The list of common overuse injuries experienced by cyclists includes Plantar Fasciitis, Knee Bursitis, Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB), Patellar Tendonitis, Lower Back Pain, and Muscle Strains. Cyclists who experience crashes may also be subject to fractures and traumatic brain injury.

  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome  (ITB): causes  the tendon to pull the knee joint out of alignment and rub against the outside of the knee, which results in inflammation and pain. Read More….
  • Knee Bursitis: Bursitis is a condition a fluid filled sac (bursa)that cushions the tendons and ligaments where they cross the bone, become irritated and inflamed. This leads to redness, warmth, and swelling in the area. In some cases the bursa may rupture causing the fluid to leak out and impair the ability of  the bursa to cushion. Repetitive flexion and extension of the knee can cause irritation to the bursa on the outside of the knee or on the top of the knee cap. The pain will subside with rest and the inflammation usually  responds to ice and NSAIDs during rest. Flexibility training during rehabilitation helps to reduce the chance of bursitis recurring.
  • Lower Back Pain: The riding position on the bike, especially during road racing, can cause pain in the lower back due to poor posture or fatigue. Pressure on the intervertebral discs may  require medical help to relieve.
  • Muscle Strains: Muscle strains are sometimes caused by overstretching or working against an extreme load. They may also be caused by overtraining a muscle and not allowing for rest and recovery. The muscle fibres tear causing inflammation and bruising within the muscle. The resulting pain may lead to a guarding of the muscle and stiffness will set in due to scarring. Muscle strains range from severe, large numbers of fibres and a large area of the muscle, to minor, involving a small number of fibres. Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication are used to treat muscle strains. (For more treatment information CLICK HERE…..)
  • Patellar Tendonitis: may be an acute injury, caused by trauma to the tendon. More commonly it is due to overuse, or incorrect pedalling form. The tendon rubs over the bone and causes inflammation that aggravates the condition, leading to a cycle of inflammation and pain. A lot of mileage during training can lead to this condition. Treatment for tendonitis includes discontinuation of the activity that caused the problem, NSAIDs, and ice.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: Foot arch pain….Read More
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Landing on your head or being struck by another cyclist after you have fallen leads to many of the traumatic brain injuries in cycling. Always wear a helmet. Traumatic brain injury is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention.

Injury Prevention Strategies

Effective, efficient conditioning and safety measures are essential in injury prevention strategies of road cyclists.

  • Always warm up prior to training.
  • Allow an adequate cool down period and perform after training/competition stretching.
  • Effective cardiovascular conditioning will prevent fatigue and other overuse injuries.
  • Increasing flexibility in the muscles and joints will reduce the stress on these areas during training.
  • Keeping the bike in top riding condition and maintaining it on a regular schedule will also prevent accidents from occurring.
  • Learning proper cycling technique is important to prevent overuse injuries and those caused by improper form.
  • Stronger muscles will be able to handle the stress of longer rides better than weaker ones.
  • Wearing a helmet while riding is extremely important to prevent head injuries.

The Top 3 Cycling Stretches

Stretching is essential to overall conditioning and should be an integral part of any cycling training program. Due to the long period of time spent in the same position, stretching is very important to the cyclist.

Kneeling Upper Hip & Quad Stretch:

Kneel on one foot and the other knee. If needed, hold on to something to keep your balance and then push your hips forward.

Single Heel-drop Achilles Stretch: Stand on a raised object or step and place the ball of one foot on the edge of the step. Bend your knee slightly and let your heel drop towards the ground.

Lying Knee Roll-over Stretch: While lying on your back, bend your knees and let them fall to one side. Keep your arms out to the side and let your back and hips rotate with your knees.

 

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