I am a “shoeholic”. Every time I visit the shopping mall, I spend hours in the shoe section. Unfortunately, I always get carried away with how amazing the shoe looks and I don’t always buy the best shoes for my feet.
My husband is always trying to convince me to buy comfortable shoes especially since I recently woke up with sore feet. I decided to heed his advice and look for a pair of shoe that will fit my plantar fasciitis problem and perhaps help activate the right trigger points.
These are the best sandals for plantar fasciitis that I recommend for anyone with the condition.
The feet are probably one of the parts of our body that are under constant pressure throughout the day. Whether you have a desk job or are on your feet for long periods of time, there are many reasons why you may experience foot pain.
As a runner, you no doubt have experienced such pain at one time or another. In this article, I’d like to address a complaint often heard: waking up with sore feet.
I have always been a fitness freak. When I’m not running, I do Pilates and HIIT workouts at home. The other day, my husband and I were painting and did a lot of squatting. The next day, I felt so much tension in my legs I wondered how it could be possible considering how much I exercise. I decided to find out what I did wrong and which activity will create tension in the legs. What I discovered was an eye-opener.
It turns out that things we do every day can actually put pressure on our legs and make them feel tense or worked out. These are the top activities that create tension in the legs.
Squatting is always one of the first exercises recommended to get strong legs. As a runner, I do a lot of squatting and really believe in its power. What I didn’t realize is because of the number of muscles involved in the exercise, soreness and tension in the legs is expected. (1)
The upper legs and glutes are two of the most affected muscle groups but tension may occur in other parts of the leg as well. If performed with the proper technique, chances of experiencing tension reduce.
This explains why my squatting caused so much tension - I was squatting in awkward positions. I wasn’t in a regular squat but had to adjust to get to the places I needed to paint.
Generally speaking, when your muscles are stuck in a fixed position for extended periods of time, they will become stiff. Sitting is one of the first culprits when it comes to feeling tension in the legs. If you work at a desk job and sit most of the day, the blood flow in your legs decreases causing them to become numb or stiff.
Although standing is generally better than sitting, it still isn’t ideal for your muscles. Standing in one place puts your legs under a lot of pressure. Calve muscles adjust constantly to help you keep your balance and over a long period of time, can get tired and stiffen up. (4)
Another reason why standing can cause tension is because your feet carry all your weight when you stand. Many end up walking up with sore feet after standing for a long time.
In addition to the pressure on your feet, standing also causes pooling of blood since your heart cannot efficiently pump blood up your legs.
This was a surprising discovery for me. Not drinking enough water can actually trigger muscle stiffness. The reason is because muscles require a lot of electrolytes that are found in water. These electrolytes help transfer orders from your muscles to your nervous system and vice versa.
When your muscles lose water, blood flow is reduced which makes the muscles weak. Also, dehydrated muscles lose flexibility and elasticity which make them more vulnerable to tears and strains.
Thinking back, I bet this was one trigger of my muscle tension. I was so focused on painting, I forgot to stay hydrated.
I always thought that the more I use my muscles by working out intensely, the less likely they are to get stiff. I was terribly wrong. A condition called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) can be felt as muscle stiffness from 24-72 hours after eccentric exercise. For example, running downhill can trigger the condition. (6)
Although the exact cause is debatable, many researchers agree that it is caused by the small raptures within the muscle. The microscopic tears in the connective tissue and surrounding muscle create muscle stiffness.
Usually, massaging the right trigger point can help alleviate the stiffness.
The good news is all these triggers are very preventable. Sometimes we simply lack accurate information and have certain beliefs that work against us. I don’t want any of you to have to go through the stiffness I experienced for days. Here are five tips to help prevent muscle tension in the legs.
I believe every runner should do squats. Not only do they strengthen your legs but greatly help you to keep proper running form. The secret is to do them correctly. Here are some things to avoid: (7)
If you cannot escape sitting for extended hours, there are some great things you do to try and keep your legs from becoming stiff. (9)
Instead of standing in one position, consider pacing back and forth. Walking distributes the burden of your body weight to more muscle groups including the calves, arms, and buttocks. Pacing also allows your muscles to rest since weight is shifted from one leg to another.
Choosing the right sandals when walking is also important. This is especially true if you have a condition such as plantar fascia which requires special footwear.
Staying hydrated especially during physical activity may sound easy, but it is challenging. I have the habit of drinking water whenever I feel thirsty. If you are like me, its time for a change.
It turns out that basing our water intake on our body’s signals will not be enough. Here are some tips we can all use: (10)
Since this is one of the most common causes of muscle tension in runners, it is clearly something we are all guilty of. Here are some suggestions to prevent the condition: (11)
Experiencing tension in the leg isn’t something to be concerned about especially if it happens immediately after exercise. However, leg cramps can also be a symptom of more serious medical conditions.
These include osteoarthritis, peripheral heart disease, multiple sclerosis diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and hypothyroidism. If you suspect that the cause of your leg stiffness is more severe, please consult a physician as soon as possible.
Generally, the five mentioned causes are what trigger leg stiffness. Squatting, prolonged sitting or standing, dehydration and muscle overuse is most likely the cause of any tension you feel in the legs.
Thankfully, taking proper preventive steps can reduce the likelihood of your stiffness become more severe.
I’m happy to have discovered the reason for my leg tension- I was careless about my squatting position and didn’t drink enough water. The next time I do anything physical, I will remember to stay hydrated, maintain proper form and warm up- things I should have been doing all along.
When was the last time you suddenly got a pain in your foot? What was your immediate reaction? Probably, you tried to massage the area with your hand. I find this natural reaction very interesting and have always believed that massaging the right points can relieve most pains. The only secret is finding the exact point to activate. Today, I’d like to talk about the plantar fascia trigger point that can help alleviate pain for plantar fascia
Before we go into the details how the plantar fascia trigger point, let’s understand the condition first.
The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes while supporting the arch of your foot. Out of strain, the ligament gets weak, swollen and inflamed. This causes the bottom of the foot to hurt when you walk or stand. (1)
It can develop in one or both feet and the pain is usually a sharp pain that occurs with the very first steps in the morning.
Usually, the symptoms include numbness, tingling or swelling. People who are on their feet for long periods of time. Also, using poor footwear, age, obesity and lack of physical exercise are other risk factors. (2)
Many common home treatments are used to cure the condition. These include:
In this article, we will focus our attention on one method that is often overlooked-using the trigger points to alleviate pain.
A trigger point is also known as a “muscle knot”, and their nature is very uncertain. Although they are not literal knots in your muscles, they are a small patch of contracted muscles. This patch can cause pain because the blood supply is chocked which irritates. (5)
A trigger point in the muscle or fascia tissue can lead to what is called a myofascial pain which causes the entire muscle to be painful, weak or fatigued.
Trigger points can pose a serious threat for three main reasons:
Because of these issues, there is a chance that the pain you experience is a manifestation of a totally different problem. However, if you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, plantar fibroma massage can be performed by a therapist.
Also, there are four exercises you can perform at home to activate the right trigger points.
Often, the pain generated by the plantar fasciitis comes from trigger points in the soleus, quadratus and gastrocnemius muscles. Focusing on treating these trigger points may greatly alleviate the pain. While performing these trigger point exercises, remember to identify which activity will create tension in the legs and stay away from it. (6)
Since plantar fascia pain is mostly caused by the weakening the ligament, steps can be taken to ensure it remains strong. (7)
It took a lot of pain before I discovered the power of using trigger points but now that I know its potential, it will always be my first option. For runners like you and me, plantar fasciitis is a challenge we will face at one time or another. Understanding how to activate the three trigger points for the condition: the soleus, quadratus and gastrocnemius muscles is the key to getting rid of the pain for good.
As with most conditions, plantar fascia is very preventable. Take care of your footwear and avoid going barefoot and you’ll never have to deal with pain.
Since we have been talking about Meniscus surgery a lot lately, I wanted to make sure I don’t miss anything out. The last article discussed a specific type of tear in the meniscus called the bucket handle tear.
Although this tear can usually be fixed by trimming the edges of the tear, surgery may still be needed. For many who have undergone surgery, a knee popping after meniscus surgery is one of the conditions they have to face.
What causes the knee popping after surgery? Is it normal to experience such knee popping? What else can you expect to experience? Let’s get together the facts of these questions one by one.
The good news is that knee popping or snapping after surgery is as normal as experiencing knee pain after meniscus surgery. These noises can come from different sources such as the metal and plastic implants, fluid around the knee and tendons. If you have undergone a total meniscus surgery, the reason for the clicking is possible because of the replacement material used. (1)
Another possible cause is after the surgical repair of cartilage, your muscles and ligaments are out of shape and may tighten. Think of it as a door that hasn’t been used for a while, it screeches and squeaks when you use it.
During surgery, fluid is run through the knee for the surgeon to see through the scope. This causes the swelling of the knee which in turn causes the muscles to become weak and stiff after surgery.
No matter how ‘normal’ popping knees may be, nobody wants to hear sounds frequently. To help reduce the popping, some tips that have been recommended by doctors. These tips also apply to those who experience popping knees even without having undergone meniscus surgery.
Most patients experience the popping or snapping sound when they engage in specific activities such as climbing up or down stairs or squatting. There are some suggested measures you can take in order to prevent or at least minimize the sensation. (3)
In some cases, the popping sound continues after surgery but there is nothing to worry about if this is the case. Unless you experience pain along with the popping, you will have to get used to your new popping knees and accept the change.
However, if the popping is caused by weak muscles, there are some leg strengthening exercises you can perform post-op in the comfort of your home. Here are four of the most common.
Before we go into the details of these home exercises, it is important to point out that you need always to consider the instructions of your surgeon. Some patients are told to avoid bending the knee or putting weight on it while others are instructed to put as much weight as they can bear.
It all depends on the kind of meniscus tear you had and the surgery that was performed. No two cases are the same. You can, however, select from among these exercises those that fit the criteria and restrictions given to you. (4)
To perform this exercise:
To perform this exercise:
You will need a chair for this exercise.
A word of caution about this exercise- if you have sutures and were instructed not to bend your knee, do not do this exercise. However, for meniscus replacements or trims, it is safe to perform this exercise.
You will need a chair to hold on to for balance.
Start with once a day and progress to three times a day.
Although a meniscus surgery may only take about half an hour and involve a few small incisions, it is still a major operation. Some patients are able to bounce back to full physical activity within a few weeks while others take months to recover.
It is important you remember that not all surgeries are the same and some factors can have an impact on how fast you recover.
For example, if you have more damage to the cartilage lining at the ends of the bones, you can expect a slower, more painful recovery.
Comparing your recovery with others will only end in frustration. Instead, focus on your own recovery, be happy with every small step you take and look forward to the time when you can get back to running.
Nobody likes to hear their knees popping after meniscus surgery but thankfully, there is nothing to be worried about if this happens to you. Knee popping is part of the healing process and often because of the muscles weakness after surgery. On the other hand, there is still a lot you can do to speed up recovery and get rid of the sound such as strengthening your legs with the four exercises mentioned.
Remember I told you about my friend who is recovering from surgery? Well, he has now upgraded to using a cane instead of crutches. The only problem is I laugh so hard whenever I see him walking like an old lady with a cane. (He actually got his cane from his grandmother!). So, I thought it would be much better if he could instead use a brace.
Of course, before I suggest anything to him, I need to find enough information to help him make the upgrade. The more I read about knee braces, the more I was convinced this was the best solution.
These are the top 5 best knee braces for meniscus tears.
According to an internal 21 season NBA study, for every 10,000 practices and games for each athlete, there were 1-2 meniscus injuries with an average return to a playing of 6 weeks.
Only 20% of these athletes with injuries never returned. Thankfully, all those who were able to return to the same playing levels they had before the injury. (1)
Like every athlete, I have always had this fear of ruining my life because of an injury. Reading the above survey gave me a huge sense of relief. I have been hearing my knees pop every time I squat and fear I have a meniscus tear.
I need some motivation before I go to the orthopedic to assure me that I will be back on my feet in no time. In this article, I will answer the question “what is the torn meniscus recovery time for athletes”?
The amount of time it takes for an athlete to return to full physical activity will depend much on the kind of procedure he has undergone. The more serious the procedure, the longer it will take. Three main types of surgical procedures are used to treat a meniscus tear: (2)
So how long does it take to recover from these three types of surgical procedures? I was really hoping the answer would be at most a month but what I discovered made me realize the seriousness of the injury no matter how common it may be.
During the initial stage of recovery, a knee brace is required for all weight-bearing activities. Also, flexing the knee more than 90 degrees is discouraged.
It is critical during this stage that no forced flexion is done and high impact activities or workouts are completely avoided. Instead, focus on gaining full control of the knees.
If any soreness is experienced during this phase, it should resolve within a day. Although the knee is recovered, it is best to still avoid end range knee flexion.
During the phase, I of recovery, no weight-bearing with flexion greater than 90 degrees should be conducted. The knee brace should be worn for at least 6 weeks after the operation and no tibial rotation should be done for the first 8 weeks.
After six months, it is important that a maintenance program for strength and endurance is maintained.
After being quite disappointed with the long period that was required to recover from meniscus surgery completely, I finally found some good news. It is possible for the meniscus tear to heal without surgery.
This will depend on two main factors: (9)
If the tear happened because of bumping the knee or lifting heavy objects, it is quite possible that the tear will recover on its own without surgery. However, if the injury is a result of high impact sports, it may be more severe and require surgery.
The location is another factor to consider. If the tear is in the inner part of your meniscus, it is harder to heal. Injuries that are in parts of the cartilage with better blood supply may be more likely to heal even without surgery. (10) To determine where your injury is, read the recent article I wrote about torn meniscus tests.
The degree of pain and degree of loss of function are other determining factors that will affect whether or not surgery is required.
A torn meniscus may be considered one of the most common injuries in athletes; it does take a few months before you can get back to running. For both meniscectomy and the meniscal repair surgery, it may take up to three months before full use of the knee is achieved. If a meniscal transplant is performed, the recovery time may double to up to six months.
I may not be a professional athlete but I love my running so much I dread the thought of not being able to run for months at a time. On the other hand, it's very comforting to know that so many athletes especially professional ones suffer from meniscal tears at one time in their career. Whatever my fate becomes, I know now how valuable my knees are.
This morning, I had a very frightening experience. While I was doing wide feet squat, I heard a locking sound in my knees! I immediately stopped my workout worried I had seriously injured my knee. I have never felt such a sensation before so I looked for what could be the reason behind the locking. I discovered something called a bucket handle tear meniscus.
Basically, the tear is in your meniscus - the cartilage that acts as a cushion between your two bones in your knee. The tear is called a bucket handle tear because it occurs in the outer part of the meniscus making it resemble a bucket handle.
There is a lot every runner should know about these tears so I’ll break down the information for you.
One of my fondest teenage memories is going running with my Dad. I loved these evenings until one day something terrible happened- he hurt his knee. Without his regular running, my dad has gained weight and has developed high blood pressure.
I have been looking for a way to help him since then. The other day, I heard about using a knee brace after ACL surgery. I started looking for the best knee brace for torn ACL which could help my Dad to overcome the pain and also support him not only daily activities but also sports. Here is what I found.
Since my husband and I started preparing to move apartments, I have been doing a lot of heavy lifting. Yesterday, as I was lifting a box, I felt my knee make a popping sound! I was so afraid that I had injured my knee so I quickly did some research to find out.
It turns out that the sensation of slipping or popping in the knee is one of the symptoms of a torn meniscus. I have always been a DIY person so I decided to conduct the seven torn meniscus tests myself praying I would fail.
First, a little about the meniscus and how it could get injured.