Foot injuries can occur when playing sports but a shoe or cleat can often protect the foot from injury. Some sports, like gymnastics, are performed barefoot. Gymnasts have extra demands placed on the small muscles of the foot as they are not getting the support of a shoe. When training barefoot, there is an increased demand of the muscles in the foot and lower leg. These muscles will help to stabilize the foot and ankle which may reduce the risk of ankle sprains or injuries higher up the leg such as in the knee or hip. How can gymnasts help prevent injury when training barefoot? Here are some ways gymnasts can strengthen their foot muscles to improve their performance.
Achilles pain or injury can prevent itself in the form of tendinopathy (i.e. tendinitis or tendinosis), or the more critical Achilles tendon tear or rupture. The Achilles tendon is the tendon to the gastroc and soleus, which together are known as the calf muscles. The role of a tendon is to transfer the force from the contracting muscle to the intended joint of movement. Together these muscles plantarflex the ankle joint, or point the foot downwards. This action creates the force needed to push the ground away and help propel the body forwards (or upwards) when we are walking, running, or jumping. The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body, and the gastroc and soleus are the primary ankle plantar flexor muscles.
The body is one resilient structure that changes based on the loads you put on it to protect itself from damage. This is the entire reason why we get stronger when we lift and better endurance when we move. However, if we stay sedentary, the body finds no need to get stronger or build endurance. Therefore, exercise may just be the best medicine to keep you strong, moving, and healthy, especially if you’re 50 or older. Read on to discover the best exercises to stay fit and healthy after 50!
The IT band, or Illiotibial band, is connective tissue that runs along the lateral thigh from the hip to the outside of the tibia (shinbone), just below your knee. IT band pain occurs due to inflammation caused by friction between the IT band and thigh bone, often with repeated knee flexion and extension. This inflammation leads to pain on the outside of the knee, especially with repetitive use in running, walking, hiking and cycling.
Your hips are some of the most unique structures within your body. Not only do 17 muscles cause movement of the hip, but also the joint itself is very diverse in its movement capabilities. Unique groups of muscles that control these movements at the hip are able to move in all three planes of motion. These planes include frontal plane (or side-to-side), sagittal plane (or forward/backward), and transverse plane (twisting or rotational movements). Because of the diverse nature of the joint, maintaining strong muscles and flexibility are key in optimizing hip health as we age. The following will be a set of exercises that are good starting points to target hip strengthening and flexibility.
Waking up with pain and soreness is quite common, especially because when we sleep, we maintain relatively similar positions for 6-10 hours with minimal movement. I have heard many patients say that they wake up with low back pain or neck pain in the morning. For some patients, that pain goes away throughout the day. However, other people experience lingering pain that lasts for most of the day. Here are four recommendations for people who wake up in chronic pain.
Overhead athletes are required to have tremendous strength and stability in not only their shoulder, but their entire body. The forces that go through the shoulder during a pitching motion are some of the highest that occur within the sports realm, with the fastest motion recorded at over 7000 degrees of rotation per second (that equates to 20 full arm revolutions in a second). It makes sense that these forces require tremendous strength and stability throughout the whole body (often referred to as kinetic chain with throwing), and special care for the arm is to be taken through all seasons of play. What follows will be exercises and stretches that are key to helping provide strength and stability required for throwing.