Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Tensegrity and massage at Optimum Sports Performance

You may or may not have come across the principle of tensegrity, but I'm guessing that if you are involved in any sort of soft tissue treatment you will have discovered that sometimes the area that presents with pain or problems is not always the area that you need to treat.

Sometimes therapists are guilty of making these relationships sound way too mystical as if there's some sort of secret knowledge that reveals the true root of the problem. A more straightforward understanding simply points out that the soft tissues are are dynamic structure that works under load and tension. Tightness in ove muscle or group is bound to have an impact on other tissues and structures with which it has a connection. Tensegrity is just one way of describing these relationships.

Anyway, there are a couple of interesting articles about some recent studies that explore these principles at Optimum Sports Performance. Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Treating my plantar fascial pain

Well it's been a few weeks since I started to develop some pain under my heel, a classic sign of plantar fasciitis. Getting moving in the morning was uncomfortable rather than painful, so I took a fairly typical approach and just hoped it would go away! It didn't!

Knowing how difficult it is to get an appointment with my doctor, and knowing that the solution would probably be an injection rather than soft tissue therapy, I decided that my foot was accessible enough to treat it myself. Massaging the are under my foot with one of my spikey massage balls and also with something a little harder and stretching both the fascia and the calf muscles and calcaneal tendon seem to have worked a treat. I also applied some K tape to the area.

All in all, this simple approach has reduced my pain to zero in the morning and I can put my heel down as soon as I get out of bed.

It's just another reminder to me that stretching and working on flexibility is such an important component  to remaining healthy and retaining effective range of motion! I'm off to take part in the South of England Veterans Tennis tournament on Monday without the worry of the discomfort of landing on my right heel when I jump and run.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Eccentric Training and Flexibility

I found an interesting article looking at a range of studies that suggest that eccentric training has a significant effect on flexibility and injury prevention. Eccentric exercises are those that involve the lengthening phase of a muscle through a controlled eccentric contraction.

I always recommend a dynamic form of stretching for warm ups rather than static stretching, and I wonder how this relates to the concept of eccentric training. something to think about.

You can read the article here.