Sunday, 26 March 2017

Ankle Pain after Running

Running is most the natural and widely loved form of exercise, and there are numerous benefits associated with it. Some take it up as a part of their fitness regimen, some for psychological reasons, and some as a sport. Knee, foot, ankle, and calf injuries are the most common form of injuries affecting runners. Among these, the ankle is easily prone to injuries, as this joint between the foot and the leg, and it bears the weight of the whole body and also acts as shock absorbers. After running, knee and ankle pain is a common complaint and can have many causes. It can vary in its intensity and can be a result of injury in either the bones, ligaments, or tendons. Sometimes, it just starts as a slight feeling tenderness and can be quite severe in some cases. It is important to follow proper techniques to avoid ankle pain after running, some of which are discussed below.

Causes

It is very crucial to follow the tips on safe running to avoid any kind of injuries. There are several reasons why ankles hurt after running, like wearing inappropriate shoes, running on slippery or uneven surfaces, and twisting of ankles. Psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, etc., which are some of the inflammatory diseases of the joints, too can lead to this condition while you run and also afterwards. Though these diseases are not directly related, running can aggravate the condition. Therefore, the main causes of can be attributed to:

  • Sprain: is the most common form of injury caused due to a stretched or torn ligament in the ankle joint. This injury is graded as I, II, and III as per the severity in the tear of ligament. The sprains are of 3 types. If the pain remains on the outer side and is not internal, then the sprain is called inversion sprain. In medial ligament sprain, the ligament of the medial is injured leading to internal pain. The third type is the high ankle sprain, which occurs due to injury of syndesmosis ligament located above the ligament joint.
  • Achilles Tendonitis: leads to pain due to inflammation and degeneration of the Achilles tendon. Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone and is the strongest tendon of the human body. This tendon is designed to withstand the pressure and stress while running, so repetitive and intense activity can strain and cause injury. The condition worsens due to improper shoes, prolonged activity, running uphill, and inadequate recovery time after injury. Achilles tendonitis can be considered acute or chronic depending on the period of occurrence.
  • Fracture: is most often categorized with a sprain, however, it differs in the intensity of injury. A fracture takes place when either of the 3 bones, namely, the tibia, fibula, or talus, found in the ankle are broken. Bone fracture is a traumatic injury leading to severe pain accompanied by swelling and tenderness. A fracture is easy to detect due to the visible deformity, and it can be confirmed with the help of an X-ray.

Symptoms

There are several signs related to this problem. Some of these are acute, while some can be chronic and aggravated by either not following the proper tips or due to inadequate rest after an injury. These can be listed as:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Slight ache to sudden throbbing pain
  • Inability to put weight on the ankle

Treatment

Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. In most cases of sprain and Achilles tendonitis, treatment can be carried out successfully at home. The recommended method is to follow the R.I.C.E. therapy:

  • Rest by reducing regular activity and avoiding putting any weight on the swollen ankle for 48 hours.
  • Ice pack is applied for 20 minutes to the injured area and repeated several times a day.
  • Compression bandages are used to reduce swelling.
  • Elevation method is used by keeping the ankle above the level of heart to minimize swelling.

Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen can be taken to ease the pain for a short period of time. If the swelling and inflammation does not subside despite these methods, it is always advisable to consult an experienced doctor. If fracture is suspected, one should not delay the treatment process by attempting treatment at home. Severe cases of fracture might require a cast or a splint to be fitted on the injured area, and some might even require a surgery. When the swelling subsides, stretching exercises for runners targeting muscles, tendons, and ligaments help in relieving pain and expedites healing.

Prevention

It is always good to prevent the injury in the first step to avoid a tedious process of recovery. To reduce the risks of this kind of injury, proper footwear that supports ankles and has enough padding and cushioning should be chosen. Avoid slippery and uneven tracks for running, and follow a healthy diet to strengthen the bones and reduce the risks of injury. It is mandatory to allow the affected part to heal properly, as ignoring the pain can make the ankle susceptible to injuries in future.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Shoulder Pain? Isometric External Rotation Exercise

This exercise is for the rotator cuff and can be done almost immediately with most types of shoulder pain. Begin by rotating the arm outward at the elbow with either resistance from the hand or the wall. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 5 times every day. It’s safe and not harmful to have a 3/10 rating of pain or less during this exercise.

Shoulder Pain? Isometric Internal Rotation Exercise

This exercise is for the rotator cuff and can be done almost immediately with most types of shoulder pain. Begin by rotating the arm inward at the elbow with either resistance from the hand or the wall “Wax on/ Wax off”. Do this for 30 seconds, repeat 5 times every day. It’s safe and not harmful to have a 3/10 rating of pain or less during this exercise. 

Shoulder Pain? Isometric Abduction Exercise

This exercise is for the rotator cuff and can be done almost immediately with most types of shoulder pain. Begin by abducting the arm outward at the elbow with either resistance from the hand or the wall . Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 5 times every day. It’s safe and not harmful to have a 3/10 rating of pain or less during this exercise.

Shoulder Symptom Modification Test



Ask the patient to perform the movement that causes them pain. Repeat this movement but the second time perform an assisted lift to either the shoulder blade or shoulder. The exact direction or pressure of the hands-on assistance is not important. It’s important to produce a reduction in pain for that particular movement. Once you find a successful movement, repeat with the patient 15 times as a treatment.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Neck Strength Predicts Concussion Risk, Study Says

New research shows that stronger necks may lead to safer heads.

For years, biomechanics researchers have suspected that girls had higher concussion rates than boys in sports like soccer and lacrosse because of gender differences in neck strength. The weaker your neck, the more likely your head will bob around on impact. And concussions are caused by the brain shaking inside the skull.

For the first time, new research backs up this conclusion. Before practices and games, athletes shouldn’t just be stretching and strengthening their legs and backs. They should be working out their necks as well.

At the fourth annual Youth Sports Safety Summit in early February, the findings showed that presented the findings. During the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years, athletic trainers collected measurements of head circumference, neck circumference, neck length, and four measurements of neck strength — extension, flexion, right lateral and left lateral — on 6,704 athletes nationwide across three sports; boys’ and girls’ soccer, lacrosse and basketball. These measures were taken before the start of the season; during the season, athletic trainers reported injury data — including concussion incidence — for each athlete.

And the results didn’t favor those with tiny necks: concussed athletes had smaller mean neck circumference, a smaller mean neck-circumference-to head-circumference ratio (in other words, a small neck paired with a large head), and smaller mean overall neck strength than athletes who did not suffer a concussion. After adjusting for gender and sport, overall neck strength remained a statistically significant predictor of concussion. For every one pound increase in neck strength, odds of concussion fell by 5%.

Neck strengthening exercises are easy. For example, you can use your own hands as a resistance tool — put your hands on the back of your head, and press them forward while your bend your neck backwards. They don’t require any huge investment in additional equipment; that’s important for today’s cash-strapped schools.

The takeaway is clear: don’t neglect your neck. Your head may thank you later.

Monday, 13 March 2017

How to Remedy Thoracolumbar Fascia Back & Spine Pain

When you think of pain in the back, the thoracolumbar fascia is not likely the first guess as to what is causing the discomfort and pain you are experiencing. The thoracolumbar fascia is a very important tissue of the body as it is needed for coordinated movement, plus it is an attachment site and a connective element for a number of muscles and joints of the lower and upper back. Therefore, it is not uncommon for pain to occur in the middle or lower back regions stemming from thoracolumbar fascia injury.

Thoracolumbar Fascia Back Pain Causes

The thoracolumbar fascia is a tough membrane composed of three layers that cover the deep muscles beneath the back, covering the thoracic spine. Muscles are also enclosed within the layers. This fascia tissue crosses the entire low-back area and it connects the shoulder to the opposite hip. This transitional area between the upper and lower half of the body allows forces to be transferred as needed for athletic and daily movement. Besides enabling movement, the thoracolumbar fascia is also important for stability and sensory roles.

Some tasks can take a toll on the fascia, resulting in thoracolumbar fascia back pain or a loss of mobility of this tissue over time. Excessive strain, overuse, repetitive stress or having poor posture when lifting an object or squatting can bring on thoracolumbar pain in the low-, mid- or upper back.

This injury is relatively common among those who lift moderately heavy loads on a regular basis at work, such as construction workers or farmers. It is also seen among athletes, especially those who lift weights without proper form.

Sitting all day can also damage the thoracolumbar fascia. If you are looking to correct your posture try wearing a posture brace or following these simple tips while sitting at your desk.

Symptoms of Thoracolumbar Fascia Injury

Besides pain in the back, you might also develop trigger points in the fascia, adhesions and scar tissue that can diminish your strength and range of motion. Pain in the back can also cause you to alter your motion to compensate for the discomfort, leading to pain elsewhere in the body. These symptoms can worsen if you do not pursue thoracolumbar pain treatment.

Achieving Thoracolumbar Fascia Pain Relief

Most instances of thoracolumbar pain can be remedied using conservative methods, such as tissue manipulation, relaxation techniques, exercise and stretches, or wearing a thoracolumbar treatment brace.

Tissue manipulation, more commonly known as massage therapy, is often the go-to mode of treatment for thoracolumbar pain. Seeing a professional is usually preferred, but regular self-massage via tools like a foam roller or massage stick can also help. Tissue manipulation can increase the blood flow to the region, reduce tension and stress, and improve mobility.

Wearing a thoracolumbar support can also help support the back, especially if your career involves a lot heavy lifting or twisting. This support applies compression to the lower spine region. It also has a pocket for easy application of ice or heat therapy.

Other relaxation techniques, breathing exercises or meditation can also help to regulate the pH of the body and it can help the thoracolumbar fascia to relax.

Engaging in mild exercise on a regular basis can also help. The same can be said of daily thoracolumbar exercises and stretches to improve the strength, stability and flexibility of the back and core. Some also have success with deep tissue laser therapy for relieving pain in this thoracolumbar fascia.

How To Treat Inflamed Thoracolumbar Fascia Strain

Preventing thoracolumbar fascia pain involves following many of the guidelines for general back health. Shown below are 7 remedies that can help to treat your thoracolumbar fascia pain and discomfort.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight
  2. Practice good posture
  3. Take frequent breaks for stretching and movement when sitting for long periods of time
  4. Warm up and stretch before exercising or heavy lifting
  5. Strengthen your core muscles
  6. Wear a back brace to help apply compression and support to the spine
  7. Use massage therapy to increase the blood flow to the injured area