Foam rollers are one of the most widely used tools in the fitness industry. Everywhere you look, you seem to see either someone using one or touting the benefits of one of them, but does the evidence support the use of these therapeutic devices? A casual look into the research shows some positive benefits of using a foam roller, and I will give a few of my favorite ways to use one for your next workout.
Choosing to become a caregiver for a loved one or friend is a kindhearted act. Deciding to provide personal care for someone takes patience and attentiveness. Grocery shopping, housework, cooking, and managing services are typical duties of a caregiver. Along with day-to-day assistance, creating a safe environment is very important to minimize injury to yourself and others.
A common question we get as physical therapists is, “What can I do to stretch this tight muscle?” While stretching may seem like the best method to treat a tight muscle, stretching may also not always be the answer. Muscle tightness can be caused by weakness or tightness of the muscle, and weakness in surrounding muscles. Most commonly, all of these things are involved on some level, which causes a muscle to tighten.
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.