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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

Many of us simply forget that efficient breathing enhances your fitness performance AND reduces stress. ¬†As something we do naturally, it seems crazy to find myself writing about breathing. However, I’ve noted that many of my clients ‚ÄėReverse Breathe‚Äô. Additionally, I have noted when breathing patterns are corrected that there are very obvious and dramatic results both immediately and long term.

Click HERE to book your Stress Busting | sport specific treatment

What is Reverse breathing?

Naturally we breathe using our diaphragm. If you watch a baby breathing you will see what I mean. However poor posture, stress, anxiety, and general tension all affect our capacity to breathe ‚Äėproperly‚Äô Upper chest breathing causes you to expel excessive amounts of Carbon Dioxide (therefore depleting your carbon Dioxide stores). This causes you to feel tense, agitated, breathless, and can cause your nervous system to go into overdrive. In extreme cases this can result in pins and needles/ tingling in hands, a tingling feeling in the lips, metallic taste in the mouth, and cramping of the feet or hands.

Carbon Dioxide is often seen as the ‚Äėbaddie‚Äô, however it’s vital to our health and general well-being acting as our ‚Äėnatural tranquilliser‚Äô

Re-learning to use your diaphragm in breathing and to reduce your rate of breathing is an important first step in managing the symptoms of anxiety, anger, panic, AND increasing your physical activities, clearing training plateaus etc.

How Does Reverse Breathing Affect You?

I have noted that with my clients (who are keen Sports participants) the effect of reverse breathing can lead to plateauing, as well as less energy and a longer recovery period, whilst my non-sporty clients, many of whom have very stressed, busy lifestyles, feel more stressed and even more lethargic!!

Click HERE to book your Stress Busting | sport specific treatment

Check YOUR Breathing Pattern

  • Rest one hand on your upper chest and the¬†other over your navel area
  • Breathe normally for a minute or so
  • Notice which hand rises¬†first when you inhale

Results:

  • ¬†If the upper hand rises¬†first you are reverse breathing
  • If the lower hand rises¬†first you are breathing with your diaphragm
  • If both move at the same¬†time you are using a mix of both

Breathing Exercise To Reduce Stress & Normalise Breathing

Sit in an upright position looking straight ahead. (You can close your eyes if it helps). Put one palm on your upper chest and the other over your navel. (The aim is to have the lower hand rise first when you breathe in.) Breathe out gently and effortlessly. Now wait for a second or two until the body spontaneously begins the inhalation. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly.

I find it helps if you count slowly as you breathe in…. i.e.¬†breathe in to the count of 6 (lets say) hold for 2 seconds, breathe out for 7. ¬†Also,¬†I find it beneficial to increase¬†the duration of the¬†inhale/ exhale¬†increase when comfortable (easy), i,e Breathe in (and out)¬†to 7, 8, 9 etc.

You may be tempted at this point to ‚Äėforce‚Äô a deeper inhalation, but¬†this really won‚Äôt help! Allow your body to find its natural rate, I‚Äôm certain¬†that as you try this you will already be feeling your body automatically relax! Continue doing this for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Your New Breathing Pattern

Your new slow, relaxed, method of breathing may take a little time to get used to particularly if you have been desk-slumped or experiencing stress for a long time, but don’t despair, it gets easier and easier to change this pattern!

Feedback using this technique has been varied….from the reduction of ‘plateau’ when training to¬†personal bests*, to ease of training, an instant calming solution and even enhanced orgasms (really!). Breathing this way also helps¬†relieve (and alleviate) ¬†tension between the shoulder blades!

*Please note: Whilst breathing ‘properly’ enhances many aspects of your life, muscle tension/ lack of flexibility¬†will affect the outcome. Did you know excessive amounts of Oxygen (relative to the level of Carbon Dioxide) in our system causes us to feel agitated and jumpy. Whereas too much Carbon Dioxide (relative to the level of oxygen) can leave us feeling sluggish, sleepy and tired!

Click HERE to book your Stress Busting | sport specific treatment

Can massage and specific stretches improve your golf game? The answer is simply YES!! Efficient conditioning of your muscles permits greater control and allows you to increase the speed of the golf head.  In short, If you want to improve your game and prevent injuries this article is written just for you! You may or may not be aware that the golf swing has four phases: the back swing, downswing, ball strike and follow-through. The back swing stretches the muscles in preparation for the powerful forward release. The forward swing segment of the drive releases the full power of the swing and determines the distance the ball is hit. The follow-through completes the proper swing. The forward portion of the swing incorporates 22 separate muscles! Muscle groups involved in the golf swing include:

    • Core muscles used in¬†generating torque and increasing club head speed
    • Forearm muscles for¬†controlling the golf club and supporting the wrists
    • Hamstring muscles essential¬†to maintaining proper posture and stabilizing the lower back
    • Muscles of the wrists and¬†fingers
    • Quadriceps used in flexing¬†the knees
    • Shoulder muscles¬†(particularly, the rotator cuffs), used to position the upper body and¬†generate speed
    • Upper back muscles assisting¬†in rotation during the backswing and maintaining an erect spine

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect the way that you play.

Most Common Golf Injuries

The golf swing requires a combination of shoulder movement through a wide range of motion at high speed, and strong rotation of the trunk. Both movements produce risk of  injury, as do other aspects of the game. A variety of golfing injuries fall into two broad categories, cumulative (usually the result of overuse) and acute or traumatic injuries. Back injuries are common in golf and generally involve muscle or ligament strains. Such injuries tend to be self-healing within a few weeks, provided proper rest and appropriate treatment is received.

Back injuries include:

  • Muscle strains- in which¬†muscles, particularly in the lower back are either fully overstretched¬†or in some cases, torn.
  • Backaches – due to overuse¬†and stress.
  • Herniated disks – in which¬†the soft core within a vertebral disk is forced through the fibrous outer¬†layer of the vertebrae. These more severe injuries may require serious¬†medical attention.

Shoulder injuries include:

  • Shoulder Tendonitis,¬†Bursitis, and Impingement Syndrome – These conditions are similar and¬†result from inflammation, irritation and swelling of the rotator cuff and¬†bursa. As a result, these structures may be pinched in the shoulder joint resulting in acute¬†pain.
  • Torn Rotator Cuff – a common¬†traumatic injury, characterized by aching and weakness in the shoulder¬†when the arm is lifted overhead.
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis –¬†Irritation, swelling and inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder.

Elbow injuries include:

  • Golfers Elbow (Medial¬†Epicondylitis), Elbow Bursitis and Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) –¬†each resulting from repetitive stress to muscles of the arm and forearm.

Wrist and hand injuries include:

  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome: a¬†painful, repetitive stress disorder affecting nerves of the hands.
  • DeQuervain’s Tendonitis –¬†caused by an inflammation of the tendons controlling the thumb.
  • Fracture of the hamate – a¬†small bone on the outside of the wrist, sometimes fractured during the¬†golf swing.
  • Trigger Finger – caused by¬†pressure or inhibition on the flexor tendon sheath which encases the¬†tendon. The condition causes the finger to lock up.

Injuries To the knee include:

  • Arthritis of the knee¬†(osteoarthritis), a torn meniscus or kneecap pain (chondromalacia).

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect your performance. Need assistance?

REMEMBER, MAGA THERAPY WORKS!

Injury Prevention

Many injuries occur early in the season. Such injuries may affect tendons, muscles and ligaments, as well as the joints of the upper body, (including back, elbow, wrist and shoulder). Massage and stretching is a great way to avoid injuries, as is your technique. Attention¬†to your technique is critical to avoid injury, a poor technique¬†can result from over-swinging, twisting the spine, an incorrect grip or hitting the ground during the forward swing. I’d like to gently remind you that if you already have tension issues due to your day-to-day lifestyle and don’t have a regular therapeutic treatment you are already at a higher risk of injury.¬† Read¬† more about Tips To Improve Your Posture…..

To avoid  back injury:

  • Rotate the shoulder and hip¬†about the same degree during the backswing.
  • Keep the spine vertical¬†during the follow-through, avoiding any hyperextension of the spine.

To avoid shoulder and elbow injury:

  • Shorten the length of the¬†back-swing, ending with the club head at a 1 o’clock rather than 3 o’clock¬†position.
  • Strengthen rotator cuff and¬†scapular muscles to prevent overuse or tearing injuries.
  • Strengthen muscles of the¬†chest and back, which generate the power of the swing.
  • Study the mechanics of¬†proper swing with a pro.
  • Slow the velocity of the¬†swing in order to produce less shock to the arm when the ball is struck.

To avoid hand, wrist and elbow injuries:

  • Graphite shafts can lessen¬†vibration
  • Select irons with larger¬†heads and lower vibration
  • Select larger and softer¬†club grips
  • Select the correct club¬†length
  • Strengthen forearm muscles¬†through exercise
  • Use a neutral grip to hold¬†the club

Physical conditioning and a regular sports massage to the appropriate muscles along with careful attention to correct technique tends to limit golfing injury, and improve your game.

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect your game.

Hitting practice balls with shorter irons is a good means of loosening the muscles and avoiding strains. Additionally, proper rest, a consistent warm-up routine and core-strengthening exercises should be part of an overall approach to an injury-free game.

There is nothing worse than not knowing how to treat your back pain when you are struck with acute back pain.

Acute back pain is the sudden onset of immobilising back pain. In most cases there has been back ache previously, but the most ‚Äėnormal‚Äô movements can trigger debilitating pain e.g. bending to tie a shoe lace, brushing your teeth or making the bed.

What Causes The Pain?

The acute onset of pain is the response to a ‚Äėnormal‚Äô movement which (on this occasion) the body sees as a threat. What happens is that the ‚Äėmovement‚Äô causes one of vertebrae slightly shearing across another. The nerves in the area send a panic response to the brain, which in turn sends chaotic messages from the muscles in that specific area to either rotate, flex, extend, side-bend and spasm. It is total chaos and excruciatingly painful.

What Do I Do When It First Happens?

How bad the pain will be depends on the amount of muscles in spasm. If all you can do is lie there, try to get onto all fours. Next try to stand. I remember crawling to a corner and using the wall to stand up against, the presence of the other corner wall gave me the confidence to ‚Äėlet go‚Äô of one wall with a hand and transfer it to another. I believe that confidence brings relaxation which in turn will help lessen the muscle spasm and help with pain reduction.

Sometimes I found it easier to push myself up into a standing position by pushing down onto my thighs. Once you are upright try to walk a little, as it becomes easier extend the amount to time walking. The action of walking normalises the response from the brain to the muscles and it time it will settle.

Believe me; I’ve experienced the most horrific back pain so I really know how back pain makes you feel and the fear of it re-occurring….

What’s next?

Initially, if the pain is very bad lie down. Bed rest is fine providing your bed is firm and supportive. The floor is good, however, many people experience the scenario of ‚Äėonce you‚Äôre down there you can‚Äôt get up‚Äô

  • Taking an anti-inflammatory medication (tablets or gel) may help by reducing inflammation and pain-control to allow further mobilisation and stretching.
  • Ice the area
  • If it really bad and you are unable to move bed rest for 1 or 2 days may help, but remember if you do not work the muscles they will loose tone- even after 48hours.

Often you get re-occurrence of acute episodes and in time you can end up with a serious and debilitating back issue with other complications. Prevention (as always) is better than cure.

I find myself dealing with chronic and acute back on a very regular basis. Initial deep tissue work and minor adjustments will bring about an instant response of releasing tension, couple that with the knowledge of how to strengthen and protect your back you could have even greater confidence and knowledge to minimise the severity and frequency of acute back pain.

If you require body-work, physical therapy to reduce pain, alleviate symptoms, re-gain mobility and prevent further problems I can help. BOOK YOUR TREATMENT HERE

muscle tension

Are you overtraining?

Suffering from pain, fatigue or simply not achieving your personal bests?

If you’ve been over-training and want to fix your body, your first priority is to put your feet up and take a rest! If not, lets not beat around the bush here there will be a point when your body will object so much you may end up having to stop your sport.

How much time will it take?

Obvious that depends on the severity, but start by taking 3 to 5 days rest. It is important to have a massage treatment and receive target, bespoke stretch advice to turbo boost (and maintain) your recovery. Try to get as much sleep and relaxation as possible. Go to bed early and catch a nap when you can. Make sure you increase your intake of highly nutritious foods and take an extra dose of vitamins and minerals….. Read More.

The hardest part for any keen sports participant is the psychological side of rest, but I’d like to invite you to focus on how much better your performance will be post-rest. Your body’s condition will be greatly enhanced.

In fact I would go as far to say that there’s no point in beating yourself up mentally over losing a few days exercise, and I would like to particularly ask you to consider the point that you don‚Äôt have to work so hard to achieve even better results! Please try not to underestimate the benefits of a good rest and a decent deep-tissue¬†/ sport specific massage

After the initial 3 to 5 days rest you can gradually get back into your normal exercise routine, but start off slowly. Most research suggests that you can return with the same intensity and time of exercise but you must cut back on the frequency. So if you would normally exercise 3 or 4 times a week, cut that back to only twice a week for the next week or two. After that you can build towards your normal training regime.

The Benefits Of Stretching

Stretching is a great recovery tool, and you should be using stretching exercises during your normal exercise routine both to assist in recovery and to prevent injury. For more about stretching click HERE

 

BOOK YOUR DEEP TISSUE | SPORT SPECIFIC MASSAGE TREATMENT HERE

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‚Ķ.
  • 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‚Ķ.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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