Allan Villappaly

Plantar fasciitis: Self Treatment

Regular, gentle stretching of your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia may help to ease your symptoms. This is because most people with plantar fasciitis have a slight tightness of their Achilles tendon. If this is the case, it tends to pull at the back of your heel and has a knock-on effect of keeping your plantar fascia tight. Also, when you are asleep overnight, your plantar fascia tends to tighten up (which is why it is usually most painful first thing in the morning). The aim of these exercises is to loosen up the tendons and fascia gently above and below your heel.

1. Soleus Stretch
With both knees apart and your toes facing forward, lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in your lower calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

2. Step Stretch
Stand with your toes on a step and your heels off the edge. Slowly lower your heels down, hold for 15 seconds, and then lift your heels to their starting position. You can either do both feet at the same time, or one foot at a time. Repeat five times.

3. Roll Stretch
Using a mini roll, roll it back and forth from your toes to your heels. Alternatively you can use a tennis ball or a glass bottle.

4. Plantar Fascia Massage
Using two fingers, apply small circular friction to any tight knots or lumps in the plantar fascia. The pressure should be deep, but not so much that you tighten up with pain.

5. Elastic Strap Stretch
Sit on the floor with your legs straight in from of you. Take a stretch strap and place it around your toes. Gently pull the strap towards you. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then release. Repeat 3 times.

6. Toe Stretch
Place just toes up on the wall with the ball of the foot and heel on the ground. Lean into the wall slowly until stretch is felt. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Low Back Pain: Moving is better than Resting

Low-back pain (LBP) is the most common chronic pain issue. While many conditions can lead to LBP, inadequate core strength is a common causal factor.
Increased sedentary jobs and sitting time can lead to muscle imbalances and weak core musculature, putting the low back at increased risk of injury.

The deep core muscles are meant to endure prolonged contractions to support and stabilise the spine. When we slouch in a chair all day, the core remains relatively inactive. This results in a decreased signal from the brain to the core telling it to “turn on” and protect the spine when necessary.
The psoas major, one of the strongest hip flexors, originates at the lumbar spine. Sitting can shorten this muscle, putting chronic stress on the low back.
The gluteal muscles, which are the powerful hip extensors, become lengthened and weak, known as “glute amnesia.” These muscles are then unable to do their job in regular activities of daily living, forcing other muscles, such as those in the low back, to compensate.
While avoiding sitting altogether is unrealistic, specific exercises can help to minimise your chance of developing LBP.

It’s Not Just Tight Muscles

!It is uncanny how often I hear someone tell me that they have tight muscles that need to be released in order for their pain to go away.⁣⁣I don’t blame the patient at all.

They are most often just recalling what they have been told by a previous provider or have read online, which is where this belief pattern starts.⁣⁣It is then often strengthened through gaining relief from soft tissue therapies.⁣⁣

Naturally, the thought process goes…

🔹 I feel like I have tight, stiff muscles.

🔹 I’m told I have tight muscles causing pain.

🔹 This confirms what I feel.⁣

🔹 Therapy given to release said stiff muscles.⁣

🔹 Relief obtained.⁣

🔹 Relief must be because of physical changes.⁣

🔹 Belief confirmed and strengthened.⁣⁣

Then, as so often happens, the perception of stiffness comes back, and it is assumed that the muscle has gone back to it’s previous state and another treatment is needed.⁣⁣

Over time, this can lead to frustration and/or reductions in self efficacy.⁣⁣You can apply this narrative to at home stretching / rolling or professional therapies. ⁣⁣In that, you end up riding the symptom modification roller coaster without ever acknowledging other potential contributors to your pain.⁣⁣

That’s where research like this paper is so important.⁣⁣They showed that muscle stiffness is the same in women with and without chronic neck pain but those with pain perceive higher levels of stiffness. ⁣⁣The muscles PHYSICALLY were the same.⁣ So it makes us question what all these therapies are doing and how necessary they really are

.⁣⁣Based on this and previous literature, it would seem that they should primarily be viewed as options to alter sensation temporarily, but not for long term structural change.

⁣⁣And that’s ok!

⁣⁣Just know what things are doing and what they’re not.⁣

The Common Belief Exercisers Have That Isn’t Always Correct

It’s a common belief among exercisers that muscle soreness and quality of workout exist in a linear relationship.

That is, the more sore you get from a workout, the better it is, right? WRONG! Soreness from a workout is NOT always a sign of a good workout.

WHAT IS MUSCLE SORENESS?

Muscle soreness resulting from a workout is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Typically DOMs takes 24 – 48 hours to develop and peaks between 24 – 72 hours post exercise.

Any significant muscle soreness lasting longer than 5 days could be a sign of significant muscle damage beyond what is beneficial.At the end of the day please remember, how sore you get and how good of a workout you had are definitely NOT the same thing!

The Quadratus Lumborum (aka QL aka: coolest muscle named in the body)

The Quadratus Lumborum (aka QL aka: coolest muscle named in the body)

The Quadratus Lumborum (aka QL aka: coolest muscle named in the body) is a deep back muscle that connects the last rib, transverse processes of the lumbar spine and the iliac crest.

QL helps you 👉🏻side bend, 👉🏻extend and 👉🏻flex… but this dude will pull double time when there is some instability around the low back/pelvis- probably your glutes🍑 not doing their thing.

The QL will absolutely wreck havoc on your low back when it’s short/tight and send referral pain all over the place😡…okay not all over the place but certainly to your low back/glutes/hips.

Symptoms of QL dysfunction could include:

🔻Pain running down the leg (sciatica) or

🔻Pain referring into the hips, glutes, SI joint or even anteriorly into the groin

🔻Painful side bending, twisting, forward bending

🔻Pain when rolling side to side when lying down

🔻Pain with coughing, sneezing, straining

🔻It might also present as an obvious “hip hike” meaning one side of the pelvis is higher than the other