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CINCINNATI - As most of us become more active in the spring and summer we may run the risk of some common over-use injuries. Wellness expert Mary Beth Knight says there are a few self care techniques that we can employ on a regular basis that can eliminate the pain and prevent the pain from holding us back.
Plantar Fascitis: The most common symptom associated with an inflamed or strained Plantar Fascia is heel pain or pain along the bottom of the foot. Most often the pain is at its worst in the morning and may ease as movement increase during the day. . Inflammation or strain can occur when activity levels increase, lack of improper arch support, and tight calves or Achilles tendons.
Self-care techniques that can decrease the pain and potentially eliminate the problem all together would be to stretch the calves (photo 1) and roll the foot on a golf ball (photo 2) to ease the tension. Perform the stretch 2-3 times daily, holding for 20-30 seconds each time. Use the golf ball massage technique every other day for a few minutes in the morning and evening. Apply enough pressure on the ball to feel the massage but not so much that you induce more pain!
IT Band Syndrome: Many walkers and runners suffer from a this common problem. The Illiotibial band is a strip of connective tissue that connects the hip to the knee and the lower leg. When the gluteal muscles are not strong enough to meet the demands of increased mileage or activity, the IT Band can begin to rub the tissues below it and pull or tug at the knee. The pain is more often felt at the knee, but the problem is in the hip/glutes. In this case stretching, rolling and strengthening are a must! The rolling (photo 3) and stretching (photo 4) should be performed for a few minutes a day, while the strengthening shown in photo 5 should be performed every other day for 3 sets of 10.
Other stretching techniques are listed below:
- Massage with roller from hip to knee
- Stretch by bolding this pose for 30 seconds on each side
- Clamshell: stack the knees and ankles, open the top knee towards the ceiling and them lower back to starting position
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