Calf strengthening – 5 good reasons why ?

shutterstock_328172750Calf strengthening is not only a common denominator in alot of lower limb rehabilitation programs, but also plays an important role in lower limb biomechanics, as well as a key aspect of injury prevention.

Here are five good reasons why calf strengthening is important.

  1. The calf helps with shock absorption on landing, in both running and jumping sports.
  2. The calf plays a role in forward and vertical propulsion with running and jumping sports respectively, hence strengthening will assist with power and performance.
  3. Calf strengthening is an important component of injury rehabilitation for a number of injuries directly related to the calf such as achilles tendon issues, calf muscle tears, or ankle sprains.
  4. Calf strengthening plays a major role in lower limb biomechanics, and is a common exercise when doing rehabilitation for knee, hip and lower back injuries. Increasing strength in the calf can assist in offloading the injured area.
  5. Calf strengthening helps to prevent achilles tendon issues and calf muscle tears, where fatigue and lack of strength may be a contributing factor to injury.

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Self remedy tips for plantar fasciitis

shutterstock_117796435Plantar fasciitis or more appropriately termed plantar fasciopathy, is a common condition in the foot causing pain in the arch and/or heel. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes and forms the arch of your foot acting as a natural shock absorber for the foot. Due to the nature of this fibrous tissue, it is not very elastic and limited in its capacity to stretch and elongate, thus with too much traction on the plantar fascia microtearing will occur.   Read more

Marathon Tips

image006With the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon fast approaching, this is usually around the time we start to see injuries trickle into the clinic, where people are madly ramping up their mileage each week to ensure they are on target with their training plan or catching up for lost time and simply haven’t had the chance to train as planned.

With several other running events across Asia which happen all year round, here are some handy hints for distance running, injury prevention and enhancing performance.

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DOMS – what is DOMS? (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)

DOMSDOMS is an acronym for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness which is the muscle soreness experienced 24-48 hours post-exercise. It can also start as early as 6 hours and last till 72 hours post-exercise.

DOMS is a common result of intense physical activity that stresses the muscle beyond what it is accustomed to. Eccentric contractions are more likely to cause DOMS because eccentric loading puts a higher demand on your muscles compared to a concentric contraction of the muscle, and with these higher loads/demands the muscles suffer microtrauma.

DOMS is thought to be microtrauma in muscle and connective tissue and causes inflammation and subsequent pain. Anyone can get DOMS and is more pronounced when a new training activity or increased training load (volume or intensity) is introduced. DOMS is not a bad thing, it is really a sign of your body trying to make adaptions in an attempt to better prepare your body to do the same activity again.

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Pubic Rami Stress Fractures

PELVIS_large-pubic-bone-painStress fractures to the pelvis are rare in the general sporting population, but a real risk in distance runners and triathletes. Stress fractures occur over a period of time when bone can no longer withstand submaximal repetitive forces. In an athlete these stress related injuries can occur due to abnormal stress placed on normal bone, or normal stress put on bone with decreased bone density (osteopenic or osteoporotic bone).

Inferior pubic rami stress fractures usually occur in the inferior pubic rami adjacent to the pubic symphysis, and commonly occur at the insertion of the adductors and/ or external rotators of the hip Read more

Are your calves tightening up from running ?

shutterstock_110888123Do you find your calves always stiffen/tighten with running? Let’s take a look at some potential reasons behind why the calf muscles get stressed.

1) Overload of the muscle due to inadequate muscle strength and power in the lower limbs.

Decreased lower limb strength can lead to the overload of the calf during the push-off phase of running. Our gluteal and quadriceps muscles play an important role in propelling ourselves forward. Without strength and endurance in these muscles, the calf muscle can become the sole driver of propulsion, hence can become fatigued and tired. Consideration also needs to be given to the calf itself in terms of strength and endurance, to handle the load placed upon it in running.

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