Posts for tag: Stretching
Any workout instructor or coach will tell you that you have to stretch your body before participating in strenuous activity, and that is good advice. However, stretching isn’t a cure-all for all that ails your feet. Here are a few busted stretching myths that you may have been taught in physical education class as a youngster. The full truth can be found by making an appointment to talk to your podiatrist.
Myth 1: Stretching Prevents All Foot Injuries
Stretching regularly reduces the chance of injury to the feet, but it doesn’t prevent injuries from happening altogether. Researchers at the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney found that stretching before physical activity doesn’t really make a difference as to whether an injury will occur. Also, if you think that stretching before a workout will eliminate soreness the next day, that’s also a myth. Stretching just gives you more flexibility and may help reduce the occurrences of serious sprains.
Myth 2: Even Stretching for Just Under a Minute Helps
Many people who stretch before a workout or sports game only do so for a few moments before jumping fullspeed into the activity. But studies have shown that stretching for just 30 to 45 seconds is not enough to make a significant effect on the flexibility of muscles and joints in your feet. Stretching longer (at least five to 10 minutes) is a better idea. Some experts suggest that simply easing slowly into the activity may even be more helpful than stretching in some cases.
Myth 3: Stretching Will Heal the Muscles and Joints
Some patients neglect to visit their doctor when they have foot pain because they believe that simple stretching will heal torn or sprained ligaments. Stretching is a way of making your joints and muscles more flexible, but it does not heal them. Additional treatments and therapies are necessary to successfully heal torn, damaged or inflamed body parts.
These myths busted should not discourage you from stretching your feet and other body parts—just know that you shouldn’t think of it as a replacement for professional care and advice from a qualified podiatrist. If you’re an athlete having foot pain or complications, schedule an appointment to discuss the issue with your podiatrist today.
Foot pain can range from your toes to your heel. When it comes to heel pain, also known as Plantar Fasciitis, affects 60% of individuals in their lifetime. When the thick tissue on the bottom of your foot called the Plantar Fascia becomes inflamed, it can become a daily annoyance. But you still need to stay fit. So what's the solution?
Yoga is a low-intensity, simple, and impactful workout. Not only does it help you stay fit when your heel pain prevents you from following your regular execrise regimen, but stretching and low-impact exercise, both of which yoga covers, can help ease your pain. Tight calf muscles often make Plantar Fasciitis worse, and yoga can help stretch and loosen them.
Remember, any pose in yoga should only be performed to the extent that you feel comfortable - pain is not gain! Go at your own pace and react to your own flexibility, making adjustments as you go.
Mountain Pose: This is a great pose to start with, especially if you aren't very familiar with yoga, as it forms the basis for many other poses and helps get you acclimated.
- Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Try to distribute your weight as evenly as possible across all parts of the foot, from the toes to the heel to the arch.
- Straighten your legs without locking your knees. Lift your arches.
- Engage the muscles in your thighs, turning them inward slightly. Try to lengthen through the base of your spine and tailbone without curving your back.
- Press your shoulder blades back and down to open the chest. Allow your arms to hang loose.
- Try to balance as evenly in the pose as possible, breathing deeply. Feeling the distribution of weight in your feet, do your best to keep your weight even at all four corners of the foot, to keep your head lifted with your chin parallel to the floor, and remain as even and symmetrical in weight and posture as possible.
Downward Dog Pose: The pose many people think of when they think of yoga. While this pose doesn't require a yoga mat, performing it on a non-slippery surface is helpful, because you will need to put weight into the feet, and they may slide back if you try it on a hard floor.
- While sitting on the floor, move onto all fours, placing your hands down firmly on the floor slightly ahead of your shoulders, palm and fingers spread. Keep your knees directly in line with your pelvis.
- Breathe out and lift your knees from the floor, tucking your toes under and standing on the balls of your feet falling back almost as if you will sit on your heels. Keep your hands firmly on the floor.
- Then push up with your legs, allowing your heels to fall back toward the floor, pushing your pelvis into the air, hands still on the ground, forming an inverted v-shape with your body.
- Keep your head between your arms rather than letting it hang loose toward the floor. Try to distribute your weight between feet and hands, to avoid putting too much weight on either the ankles or the wrists. Drop your shoulder blades
- Try to press your chest toward your legs as much as is comfortable. You can also try to press your heels into the floor, again, only as much as is comfortable. Try to rotate your arms so your elbows face toward your thumbs, and rotate your thighs inward, as in mountain pose, to engage the quads.
- Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, your feet hip-width apart, and hands and feet should be parallel to each other. Your toes should point straight ahead. Take deep, long breaths, and stretch into the pose as much as you feel comfortable doing.
- Breathe into the pose. When you want to release the pose, perform a reverse of how you pressed yourself up - bend your knees in, then move back to hands and knees.
Chair Pose: Chair pose offers a great stretch. As a pose that involved standing on both feet, one of the great things about it is that you can do it anywhere - even at the office!
- Start in Mountain Pose.
- Raise your arms over your head. Do not bend your elbows.
- Bend your knees and gently push your pelvis down as if you are sitting into an invisible chair behind you. Try to make your thighs as parallel as possible to the floor without losing your balance.
- Keep your lower back lengthened, not allowing it to curve into the pose, maintaining a straight back. Try to also shift as much weight as possible into your heels. Look straight ahead.
- Sink as deep into the pose as you feel comfortable, then try to hold it, again breathing deeply through the nose.
- To release, exhale and straighten the knees, coming back to Mountain.
Yoga offers a heel-pain friendly way to get in a workout, and may even help ease your pain. For other foot and ankle pain remedies and treatments, contact your podiatrist today!