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 ‘Reverse Breathe’. 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 ‘properly’ 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 ‘baddie’, however it’s vital to our health and general well-being acting as our ‘natural tranquilliser’

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 ‘force’ a deeper inhalation, but this really won’t help! Allow your body to find its natural rate, I’m 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

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’t 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….
  • 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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