Treating Foot Injuries: 3 Exercises That Can Relieve Pain

Treating Foot Injuries: 3 Exercises That Can Relieve Pain

Your feet are the genesis of many other complex injuries and misalignments, with imbalance and arch problems radiating up as far as the muscles in your neck and head. Common foot problems such as plantar fasciitis (jogger’s heel) or Achilles’ tendinitis can be caused by many different things, ranging from long-term overuse injuries to severe and sudden traumas. Fortunately, these injuries can be easy to treat and don’t often require corrective surgery in order to improve functional movement and comfort while performing exercises or everyday activities.

Exercise #1: Achilles Tendon and Plantar Fascia Stretch

Gently stretch your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia (foot arch) by sitting on the floor and looping either a towel or exercise band around the ball of your feet, pulling your foot back toward your body. Keep your toes straight and avoid over-stretching, especially if you’re just starting out. Hold the stretch for 30-45 seconds depending on your discomfort level and repeat three times for each foot.

Exercise #2: Toe Stretch

Sitting in a chair, bring your leg over the opposite knee and interlace your fingers through your toes. Squeeze your toes and fingers together for 10-20 seconds at a time, then stretch your toes out wide for 10-20 seconds. Repeat three times for each foot.

Exercise #3: Massage Your Arches

Stand on a narrow rolling pin or tennis ball, balancing over it with the second toe of your foot. Roll the ball or pin on the sole of your foot for a few minutes at a time, repeating three times for each foot. This can help strengthen the arches of your feet and improve balance while walking, running, or exercising.

Velo Sports Rehab recommends that people with chronic foot pain consult a physician before conducting any rehabilitation exercises or stretches. Each injury is as specific as each person’s individual body, so the treatment prescribed should follow suit. Find pain relief the healthy way and schedule an appointment with a sports physician at Velo Sports Rehab today.

Image source, labelled for reuse

What’s a Trigger Point?

What’s a Trigger Point?

Also referred to as a myofascial trigger point, a trigger point as it relates to the human body is a “hyperirritable” point in skeletal muscle or the surrounding fascia. By the touch, a trigger point may feel like a “knot” or a tight bundle of tissue that causes pain to radiate to nearby areas.

What Causes Trigger Points?

Many factors contribute to the development of a myofascial trigger point, but the primary culprit is usually repetitive trauma to the muscle group. This trauma can come from repetitive activities, poor posture, or faulty bio mechanics. Stress, anxiety poor nutrition and lack of sleep can also be contributing factors.

Latent and Active Trigger Points

Two types of trigger points exist: latent and active. Latent trigger points contain tight muscle groupings that don’t always cause pain during activity. In fact, there are almost never any symptoms without external force. Once pressure is applied to latent trigger points, significant radiating pain will occur. Even without pain, latent trigger points are fascia adhesions that can  cause weakness, altering biomechanics and preventing muscle growth.

Active trigger points cause significant, limiting pain both during physical activity and while at rest. When pressure is placed on an active trigger point, it’s not uncommon for the person to react swiftly and nearly jump off a massage table. Local muscle groups will exhibit a twitch response to pressure on the trigger point.

Treating Trigger Points

Physical therapy and sports rehab professionals have many tools and techniques to treat myofascial trigger points and reduce muscular pain during physical activity. Graston technique, sports massage therapy, Active Release Technique, are all effective tools to reduce trigger point pain and improve your athletic performance or just your day-to-day lifestyle.

Velo Sports Rehab’s sports medicine practitioners have the expertise and knowledge to diagnose your ailments and design a plan unique to your body’s strengths and weaknesses. Contact us today to make an appointment or give us a call at 425-590-9208.

Image source, labelled for reuse

How Prehab Can Help Your Rehab

How Prehab Can Help Your Rehab

While many people first think of injury rehabilitation when it comes to physical therapy, a large portion of the people we assist are older athletes or people who have suffered stress or overuse injuries for many years.

No matter how active or energetic middle-aged people are, there’s the undeniable fact that older bodies slow down with time. Even the most active people over 50 can suffer orthopedic injuries that may have permanent effects on their mobility going forward. By maintaining a fitness and weight baseline and taking some precautions around the house, you can prevent injuries from slowing you down and help speed up your recovery process should an injury occur.

What’s “Prehab?”

Prehab is a layman’s term for a proactive methodology to avoiding injury. By building strength in particularly vulnerable areas, such as weak or injured parts of your body and your core muscles, you can improve mobility, balance, and flexibility to offset your potential to experience an injury.

With added emphasis on building strength in your hips, core, and shoulders (your “pillar”), posture and alignment improvements will come and allow your joints to move more freely and efficiently as a result.

Prehab for Sports Participation

If you’re like most people, you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, putting stress on your back that weakens and strains your core muscles. After spending all day sitting, it can be harmful to then get up and put stress on your body through weight training or other rigorous exercise.

Sitting also weakens your hips, reducing their mobility and flexibility. Speaking with an athletic trainer or physical therapist about prehab exercises designed for specific athletic activities can help you focus your training to boost performance in very specific ways.

Prehab for General Health

Everyone has a moment in their lives when they experience an injury while performing a simple, everyday task. Prehab for general health and daily living should be built into a personal wellness routine, looking at your body as a whole and identifying functional movement limitations. By increasing strength at a micro and macro level, you can reduce the chance of “freak” or random injuries.

Inactive and overweight people are at much higher risk for general injuries than people who lead active, healthy lifestyles. If you’re struggling to maintain a baseline fitness level or nutrition, speak with a physician or consult an athletic trainer.

Do you want to reduce your risk of injury and identify weaknesses in your general movement? A functional movement screening (FMS) from Velo Sports Rehab can help diagnose your body’s weaknesses and guide you through the strengthening process with targeted exercises and activities. For more information about preventing injury through prehab, contact Velo Sports Rehab or make an appointment with us today.

Image source, labelled for reuse

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Treat Runner’s Knee

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Treat Runner’s Knee

Nothing is more frustrated to a seasoned runner than a physical setback or nagging injury. A sport that demands motivation, it can be maddening to be hampered by your body when your mind and spirit are ready to go. As with injury or lingering physical problem, treating Runner’s Knee early on has many benefits. While some problems can be sorted out with a small technique change or new pair of shoes, some are signs of larger, more serious complications.

About Runner’s Knee

A common term used for patellorfemoral pain syndrome, Runner’s Knee is a common issue for runners that can either be caused over a long period (as with overuse injuries) or suddenly as a result of a physical trauma. Tissue misalignment, sudden increase in physical activity, and muscle imbalances are all contributing causes to Runner’s Knee.

The most documented symptoms are knee pain surrounding the kneecap or emanating from directly behind it, dull and aching with occasional sharp, striking pain. Pain can occur during exercise or while at rest, with many sufferers experiencing the effects of Runner’s Knee with bent or flexed knees.

Prevention and Treatment

There are several ways to offset the effects of Runner’s Knee, beginning with the obvious: proper stretching and warm-up periods before exercise will help prevent any number of injuries. Orthotic inserts and shoes with adequate arch support will help during exercise, but so will running on softer surfaces and avoiding surfaces like concrete.

Any increase in exercise level should be done gradually to allow your body to acclimate to increased strain. If you’ve previously experienced knee injuries, consult with a physician to determine stretches, exercises, and any braces you can use to help you run healthier and safer.

Treating Runner’s Knee is a matter of treating your body in a responsible way. After experiencing considerable pain due to Runner’s Knee (or with any injury), be sure to rest the afflicted area and limit the amount of weight you place on it. Ice your knee after every workout to reduce swelling or whenever you experience pain. Anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve inflammation in your joints – ask your doctor for more information.

Most cases of runner’s knee that we see are related to issues with hip mechanics. If symptoms do not resolve after 2 weeks of reduced activity athletes should be assessed by a sports physician. Our doctors will determine if any underlying issue with lower extremity mechanics exists and work with you to resolve these issues so that you can get back to running faster and stay running pain free.

While everyone’s injury recovery is different, with time and the right guidance, athletes of every level can find relief from the effects Runner’s Knee. To consult with a sports physician about Runner’s Knee or recovering from any other sports-related injury, contact Velo Sports Rehab. Our experienced staff of medical professionals share a wide range of knowledge and expertise among them and can create a recovery plan that’s specific to you and your body. Give us a call or make an appointment online today.

Image source, labelled for reuse

How to Test Your Core Strength in One Simple Step

How to Test Your Core Strength in One Simple Step

There are plenty of resources online that offer multiple methods of testing your core strength, but everyone’s body is unique. While cookie-cutter exercises and benchmarks may provide a lot of information based on generalities, nothing can provide insight into an individual’s core strength and stability like a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Stability Test.

What is FMS?

The Functional Movement Screen is a ranking and grading system based on key movement patterns compared to normal body functionality. In analyzing these patterns, a FMS-certified specialist can easily assess body asymmetries and limitations that can aggravate existing injuries and increase the potential for further damage.

How FMS Helps

The beauty of FMS is in its simplicity. By boiling down complex medical analysis into straight-forward language, evaluation procedures, and corrective measures, both patients and physicians can easily communicate about a patient’s treatments.

By establishing a standard baseline based on athletic ability, age, fitness level, and other factors, the FMS system can streamline the improvement process and help physical therapists and exercise professionals recommend activities for patients to perform to achieve freedom of movement and flexibility. FMS considers an individual’s overall strength, coordination, mobility, endurance, and core stability against a standard grading system, allowing trainers to easily communicate an athlete’s shortcomings so they can improve performance across several categories.

Why It’s Important

Regardless of your athletic level, you should get a FMS. Body imbalances and muscular deficiencies are common and even slight problems can gestate and cause significant problems for years to come. FMS doesn’t prevent injuries, but it can help identify potential problems and help sports physicians prescribe exercises and stretches to correct an athlete’s issues, helping them enjoy their favorite activities without pain or discomfort.

More information on the basics of FMS is available here or on their official website. To schedule an appointment with a FMS-certified sports therapy professional, use the contact form or call Velo Sports Rehab today!

Image source, labelled for reuse