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Showing posts from 2015

8 Tips for Running Injury Prevention

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No one wants an injury to derail their training plans. It doesn’t matter if you run for your mental health or are training for a race, an unplanned break is something we’d all like to avoid. Although no plan is 100% injury-proof, there are steps you can take to prevent running injuries. 1. Warm-up Many runners go from standing on the curb to running without a workout. We’ve heard pre-run stretching may be bad, so what else is there? A great way to prepare your body for the work ahead is to add Neuromuscular Activation & Dynamic exercises to your pre-run routine – particularly on strength, speed, or distance workouts. NMA (or Neuromuscular Activation) refers to communication between the nervous & muscular systems. The goal is to prepare your muscles for a specific movement pattern – in this case, a certain type of run. The result is increased force and power from the muscle fibers, which is an ideal way to get the most out of your workout. The Dynamic stretching part of the…

7 Ways to Avoid Injury as a New Skier

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Hitting the slopes for the first time? Here’s what you should know to stay safe and come home in one piece. If you’re new to skiing or it’s your first time on the slopes since last season, listen up. When you’re hurtling down the mountain and you lose control, there are tons of ways to get hurt, and the last thing you want to do hit a tree (or another person) and take a bone-breaking tumble. With these simple tricks in mind, you’ll make it home from your ski trip unscathed—and be able to hit the slopes all season long. Hit the gym. Priming your muscles before the snow even falls will prep you for skiing's intense quad and hamstring workout. Plus, cardio is important because it’ll help your body adjust to the mountain altitude. A lot of skiers live at sea level, then head up to the mountains come winter. If you aren't in good shape in the low elevation, moving up will make any exercise even harder. You’ll feel light headed at high altitudes because your body works harder to s…

The Warning Signs From Your Body You Should Never Ignore

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One of the best ways to stay healthy is to constantly analyze any signs that our body is giving us. Humans have a huge amount of feedback from their body, but there are a few symptoms that no one should ever ignore. Here is a closer look at a handful of warning signs that might indicate a serious medical issue is taking place. Sudden Headaches A headache could be nothing more than a pinched nerve or dehydration, but any severe headache that comes on quickly requires immediate action. This type of discomfort could be the result of any number of medical issues that are taking place such as a burst blood vessel. The most severe headaches will generally peak in terms of pain within just a few minutes and can last for five minutes or longer. Unexplained Weight Loss Those that are not trying to lose weight and do not have a history of fluctuating weight should understand that weight loss could be a sign of trouble. For the average individual, gaining or losing more than a pound of weight p…

Stretches to Relieve the Pain of Piriformis Syndrome

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The piriformis muscle is located deep in the buttock, and connects the sacrum to the top of the femur, or thigh bone. Its function is to roll the leg out to the side. Piriformis syndrome is pain deep in the buttock caused when the piriformis muscle traps the sciatic nerve. Symptoms include pain deep in the buttock, which often radiates up into the low back or down the leg along the path of the nerve. Causes The piriformis muscle can become too short and tight because of overuse and repetitive motion, direct trauma or a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for long periods of time keeps the piriformis muscle shortened. Running on hard or uneven surfaces, in poor-fitting shoes, or running with your toes turned out can irritate the piriformis. Treatment While the pain is acute, rest for the first 48 to 72 hours. Use ice packs for 20 minutes several times a day to reduce pain and inflammation. Continuing to exercise in pain can make further injure your muscles. After the pain begins to subside,…

Foods to Soothe Sore Muscles

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If you’ve been exercising more, you may be suffering from the aches and pains of having overdone it at the gym. Making sure your workout is challenging without overdoing it is one way to prevent muscle soreness. But research also points to some foods and beverages that can help ward off and minimize exercise-related muscle soreness. 1. Blueberries New research out of New Zealand suggests that the antioxidants in blueberries may help ward off muscle fatigue by mopping up the additional free radicals that muscles produce during exercise. 2. Tart Cherries & Pomegranates British researchers recently found that people who drank 1 ounce of concentrated cherry juice twice daily for 10 days bounced back faster from their workout (an intensive leg-resistance training session on day 8) than those who skipped the juice. The reason: The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in tart cherries—and other fruit juices like grape, pomegranate, acai, blueberry and cranberry—essentially act a…

Common Causes of Neck Pain

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Posture and Neck Pain Poor posture is the most common reason many people will complain about neck pain during their lifetime. Luckily, several lifestyle habits that cause neck pain can be reversed. Most typically experience pain in the back of the neck where the postural muscles are located. Trapezius, splenius capitis, erector spinae, and the suboccipital group are a few of the muscles continuously working to hold the head upright. These postural muscles become tight, tense, and overworked when the head is too far forward. When muscles are continuously contracted and overstretched they become depleted of water and nutrients usually creating trigger points. Tension headaches are the result of trigger points in the upper trapezius muscle that refer pain to the temples. When the head is too far forward, the ear is in front of the shoulder, the muscles in the front of the neck such as the scalenes and sternocleidomastoid are shortened pulling the head forward. Those who treat themselves…

How to Treat a Pulled Muscle in 7 Steps

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Every time you exercise, you put microscopic tears in your muscles. That's what's behind that next-day hurts-so-good soreness. And after your body repairs these tears, you become stronger, faster, and fitter. But if you stretch a muscle too far, lift too much, or are working out with a muscle imbalance, you might not just have microscopic tears to deal with. You could literally tear your muscle into pieces. We have your solution. Pulls, sprains, and tears (all the same thing) range in severity. Grade 1 means the injury hurts but you can still move the muscle without too much trouble and it could heal in less than a week. Grade 3 means the muscle has ripped clean off of your tendon or bone and you'll probably need surgery to reattach it. Ouch. Think of your muscles like a piece of fabric that you're holding in front of you, between your two hands, If you were to pull that fabric in opposite directions, it would stretch up to a certain point. If you continued to pull,…

Stretching: How to Stretch the Hamstrings

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To start your Hamstring Stretching do a few jumping jacks or running in place to warm up your muscles. For your first Hamstring Stretching exercise stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent, your other leg out in front by about one foot, knee held firmly in place, bring the toes up towards your shin (dorsiflexion). Then place one hand on each of your thighs, elbows bent, with your back arched forward, slowly continue to bend your upper body (torso) forward, focus on the feeling in your hamstring. Do not bounce, but continue to tilt your upper body forward slowly until you are not able to bend it any further, hold for a count of 10 to 20, return to starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
How to Stretch the Hamstrings using a bench or a bar Here we advance to a little more stretching of the Hamstrings by placing one leg on a bench or a bar. Stand in a similar position as above, placing the heel of the foot of the leg to be stretched on a bench or bar. In the beginning rel…

Injury Prevention Workout For Runners

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Training for a race is no easy task, and proactively preventing injuries is key to crossing the finish line with zeal. Here are some stretching and strength-training exercises to keep you healthy and strong as you log all your miles. Performed in order, this combination of exercises can help minimize common running injuries that often occur as you increase your weekly mileage or up your speed. Lying Knee TucksLying on your back, hug one knee into your chest while fully extending the other leg, hovering it above the ground.Keep your focus on lengthening your leg away from your body while simultaneously squeezing your knee to your chest.Hold for 2-3 seconds then alternate legs, complete 10 reps.Trunk TwistLying on your back, extend your arms out to your side as an anchor. Bring your knees up to a 90-degree angle. Starting the movement from your core, rotate your knees to the left, hold for 5 seconds. Then, slowly rotate to the right.Complete 10 reps in each direction. Tip: If your back…

How to Strengthen the Sciatic Nerve

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When you have sciatica, you experience pain radiating from the sciatic nerve. Symptoms of sciatica include pain starting at the buttocks and extending down the back of the legs. To treat sciatica, a doctor may recommend exercises to strengthen the sciatic nerve. If you are pregnant, speak to your doctor about any modifications you need to make before doing the exercises. Here are some steps on how to strengthen the sciatic nerve. Step 1 Exercise daily. Exercise is better than rest for sciatic nerve pain. If you do not exercise, the muscles weaken and the condition may worsen. After a flare-up, rest for only two days until you start working the area. Step 2 Stretch the hamstring muscles. Hamstring stretching will help strengthen the sciatic nerve if done on a regular basis. Place your right foot in front of you with the toes pointed upward. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Hold for five seconds and switch legs. Do a total of 10 reps for each leg. Step 3

4 Ways to Treat Recurring Acute Injuries

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Recurring acute injuries are not only painful and disruptive, they can also be damaging if left untreated. Treatment recommendations vary depending on each individual case, but often include a combination of the following approaches. 1. Wrist Wraps A wrap or splint that immobilizes the wrist may be recommended for daytime and/or nighttime use to help relieve uncomfortable symptoms such as numbness or tingling. Wrist wraps are available in a variety of materials that provide a range of support from total immobilization to relative flexibility. Some people also choose to wear these types of wraps as a preventive measure to limit motions that may contribute to future injuries. 2. Bandages with Ice Packs Cold therapy has long been used to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Soft elastic bandages are often used to keep an ice pack in place while also providing compression. Although this method has been used for decades, it is not an ideal solution because: It is not possible to re…

10 Effective Home Remedies to Treat Achilles Tendon Pain

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Have you hurt your Achilles tendon? Is that giving you terrible pain in your calf and restricting your movement? Achilles tendon pain might be a common issue, but can get complicated if ignored. So, how can you treat this ailment? There are a number of excellent home remedies that can treat the pain very effectively! Here are 10 of them to try: 1. Castor Oil: This plant-based oil is used for treating a number of ailments and problems, from stomach pains to dandruff and even wrinkles. Castor oil is also the oil of choice for treating Achilles tendon pain. How does the oil do so much? We know that castor oil is a triglyceride, which comprises of almost 90 percent ricinoleic acid, a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It is this acid in castor oil that relieves pain and inflammation of the Achilles tendon when applied to the affected areas. 2. Vitamin E Oil: Vitamin E oil is a potent antioxidant. Vitamin E helps in relieving inflammation and pain by cleaning up free radicals from the body …

Simple Stretches to Relieve Stress

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These stretches help relieve your stress, but they can also boost your mood, improve your work performance, relieve headaches, reduce neck pain and reinvigorate you from any stresses in your life! First, what you need to do is breath. Take a few seconds before you do the stretches to try a few breathing exercises. Close your eyes and just focus on your breathing. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this about 10 times for one set. Try this for about three sets before you start your stretches. It will put you in a more relaxed state! Shoulder and Neck Stretches: The first stretch has you sitting in your chair. Plant both feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Put both your hands behind your neck and interlock your fingers. Now tilt your head towards the floor and press your shoulder blades together. You’re going to want to hold this for about 10 seconds and then release. Do this three more times. Cat Pose: This move you will start on all fours. Begi…

Ice It Or Heat It? What To Do About 6 Common Sports Injuries

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It’s an age-old question among athletes: Should you use ice or heat after an injury? Jumping into an ice bath might not be the most comfortable situation, but ice is the most effective treatment for acute injuries, experts say. You should never heat the immediate area after injury. As a rule of thumb, between five to seven days after immediate injury, you should always ice. Icing a strained or sprained muscle can help reduce swelling and inflammation and control pain by constricting blood vessels in the skin to decrease blood flow. But that doesn’t mean you have to forgo your heat pads for good. Heating promotes blood flow and warmth throughout your muscles, and can be administered with a heating pad or even through physical activity. You can also go for a light jog or walk. This wakes and warms up tight, overused, or injured muscles for a workout or physical therapy session. Injuries should then be followed up with ice. Think you can find a quick fix in pain-relieving creams l…

Guide to Tennis Elbow

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Most people who get tennis elbow don't play tennis! In fact, less than 5% of all cases of tennis elbow occur in people who play tennis. Tennis elbow can happen to anyone who repeatedly uses their elbow, wrist, and hand for their job, sport, or hobby. What Is Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)? Tennis elbow is a painful condition caused by overuse of the "extensor" muscles in your arm and forearm, particularly where the tendons attach to rounded projections of bone (epicondyles) on the outside or lateral aspect of the elbow. The muscles you use to grip, twist, and carry objects with your hand all attach to the "lateral epicondyle" at the elbow. That's why a movement of the wrist or hand can actually cause pain in the elbow. Prolonged use of the wrist and hand, such as when using a computer or operating machinery —and, of course, playing tennis with an improper grip or technique—can lead to tennis elbow. It can happen to athletes, non-athletes, children, …

Myofascial Pain in Buttock Muscles

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What is Myofascial Pain in Buttock Muscles? One of the most common causes of buttock pain is myofascial pain, which is characterized by pain starting from tight bands of muscle or knots in the gluteal muscles. The gluteal muscles are strong muscles located at the back of the pelvis building up the buttock. The gluteals mainly comprise of three major muscles they are: Gluteus minimus.Gluteus medius.Gluteus maximus. Gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus start from the pelvis and insert into the upper side of the thigh bone i.e. femur. Many smaller muscles are also present in the deeper side of the gluteal muscles such as the piriformis muscle. The gluteal muscles help in straightening the hip while performing activities, stabilizing the pelvis and aiding in other movements of the hip like side elevation and hip rotation. Gluteal muscles are specifically active while squatting, lunging, running and jumping. The piriformis muscles and gluteus medius are the areas that are…

What is Myofascia?

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Fascia or myofascia is the dense, tough tissue which surrounds and covers all of your muscles and bones. This outer fascial covering is very strong and very flexible. In fact, it has a tensile strength of over 2000 pounds. Under a microscope, myofascia resembles a spider web or fish net. It is very organized and very flexible in a healthy state. myofascia can best be described as a complete body suit which runs from the top of your head down to the bottom of your toes. It is continuous, has no beginning or end and can be found almost everywhere in your body. Like yarn in a sweater the entire body is connected to every other part of the body by the fascia. It is a continuous weave of material. And, like a pull in a sweater, damage to an area of fascia can effect other distant areas in your body even years later. In the normal healthy state the fascia is relaxed and soft. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. When you experience physical trauma or inflammation t…

Plantar Fasciitis Release Technique

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Plantar Fasciitis The name may sound mysterious, the experience isn't. Millions of people undergo any number of the following on a daily basis: a pain in their heel the moment their foot hits the ground in the morning; tenderness in the heel and arch area; pain in the heel or arch area after taking the first few steps following a long period of sitting; discomfort and throbbing in the heel and arch area after long periods of standing. What It Is Plantar fasciitis is painful inflammation of the heel and bottom surface of the foot. It is generally caused by overstretching of the fibrous tissue (fascia) that connects the heel to the forefoot. Breaking the injury cycle requires an overall approach, examining critical elements such as postural alignment, biomechanics, musculoskeletal balance, correct footwear and training. In addition to working on larger corrections in your posture, stride, strength and flexibility, here are a few specific tools to help you get on your road to recov…

The Four Best Types of Massage For Runners

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Which type of massage is best for runners? It’s not surprising that runners get confused about what type of massage would benefit them most. Depending on where you look, there are over 30 different types of massage identified on the internet. Of course, some of these styles are obviously not specifically beneficial to athletes, but runners can go beyond the typical “sports massage” to get results. The following are the four most beneficial types of massages for runners: Active Release Technique Active Release Technique, commonly known as A.R.T., is massage technique that combines movement with specific, deep pressure to help relieve muscle adhesions and reduce scar tissue buildup. During an A.R.T session, the therapist uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and mobility of the soft tissue and then works to break up these adhesions with their hands, as well as movement of the muscle. Swedish Massage Swedish massage is perhaps the most well known of the common massage…

Top 10 Health Benefits Of Walking

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Moderate physical activity is a must for those trying to lose weight. Walking is one of the easiest and most economical ways to do so. It is no wonder then, that it is one of the most preferred forms of exercises among people of all age groups. It is imperative for any form of exercise that is chosen in order to lose weight to be performed on a regular basis. It is for this reason that doctors and nutritionists highly recommend walking as a form of exercise as it can not only be a year round activity, but can also fit effortlessly into everyday life. A few other of the walking health benefits are given below. Top 10 Health Benefits Of Walking:1. Healthy Body: Walking daily can lift your mood and will make you physically strong. Just walk for half an hour a day and you can feel the difference yourself. Walking is the easiest way to have a healthy mind and body. It is a kind of aerobic fitness which is easy to do and provides many benefits. 2. Weight Control: Walking helps in keeping w…

How You Can Effectively Treat Frozen Shoulder (Capsulitis)

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Frozen shoulder affects the joint capsule – a water tight compartment that holds the synovial fluid of the glenohumeral joint. A build up of scar tissue forms within and around the joint capsule, and restricts the shoulder's physical ability to move without pain. Some of the tissue that surrounds the capsule forms two ligaments called the coracohumeral ligament and the glenohumeral ligament. When you injure your shoulder you experience pain and stop moving it. However, this lack of movement is thought to allow the scar tissue to accumulate within the joint capsule as the damaged tissue heals. This is the reason that physical therapy and other means to reduce scare tissue are so important in recovery of all shoulder ailments or surgeries. What confuses medical professionals is that some people who develop frozen shoulder have no other conditions. It starts as a stiffness in the shoulder, and progresses into pain and loss of ROM (range of motion) within the shoulder joint. Becau…