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WESTMED Medical Group
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Yonkers, NY  10710

914.848.8060

 

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Before beginning any exercise regimen, proper stretching is essential. If muscles are properly warmed up, the strain on muscles, tendons, and joints is reduced.

Stretching exercises should take 5 to 10 minutes and ought to be conducted in a stretch/hold/relax pattern without any bouncing or pulling. It is important to stretch the propulsion muscles in the back of the leg and thigh (posterior) as well as the anterior muscles.

Some effective stretching exercises to prepare the foot and ankle for exercise include:

  • The wall push-up. Face a wall from three feet away, with feet flat on the floor, and knees locked. Lean into the wall, keeping feet on the floor and hold for 10 seconds as the calf muscle stretches, then relax. Do not bounce. Repeat five times.
  • The hamstring stretch. Put your foot, with knee straight and locked, on a chair or table. Keep the other leg straight with knee locked. Lower your head toward the raised knee until the muscles tighten. Hold to a count of 10 then relax. Repeat five times, then switch to the other leg.
  • Lower back stretch. In a standing position, keep both legs straight, feet spread slightly. Bend over at the waist and attempt to touch the palms of your hands to the floor. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. Do not bounce.

Excessive tightness of the calf muscles can contribute to many foot and some knee problems. A key point of injury is the Achilles tendon, which attaches the calf muscle to the back of the heel. When the calf muscle tightens up, it limits the movement of the ankle joint. 

Calf muscle stretching is very useful in the prevention and treatment of many foot problems. Two typical methods for stretching your calf muscles include the wall push-up (described above) and this technique: Standing approximately two feet from a wall. While facing the wall, turn your feet inward ("pigeon toed") and lean forward into the wall, keeping your heels on the floor and the knees extended. Keep your back straight and don't bend at the hips. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and do the stretch 10 times in a row.


 

Review interesting recent articles on feet.

 

From Journal Watch, June 6, 2013

The Agony of the Feet

By Amy Orciari Herman

Several new studies, including one in theJournal of Applied Physiology, have found that running barefoot or in minimalist footwear does not result in greater physiologic efficiency or injury prevention, according to the New York Times "Well" blog.

Indeed, it seems that when it comes to running, one style does not fit all. The Times quotes one expert: "I always recommend that runners run the way that is most natural and comfortable for them.... Each runner runs a certain way for a reason, likely because of the way they were physically built. Unless there is some indication that you should change things, such as repeated injury, do not mess with that plan."

New York Times "Well" blog

Journal of Applied Physiologyabstract

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22555774