That’s a Stretch: Why Stretching May Not Always be the Solution

It’s good to stretch a dollar. It’s bad to stretch the truth. But what about stretching your calves? That might depend on whether you believe Dr. Google every time a search result says to stretch sore calves. Calf stretching aims to increase the range of motion (ROM) for ankle dorsiflexion. “Dorsi” is a prefix meaning…

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Keeping the Spring in Your Step: Ankle Joint Power & Aging

As we amass more birthdays and get older we tend to walk/run slower, take shorter steps, and fewer per minute. Why do we seem to have less spring in our step the older we get? Kids move fast and crash elderly move slow and crash. One factor is kids have good ankle power elderly have…

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Can Isometric Exercise Help Plantar Heel Pain: What is Best Joint Position?

Anyone who has had tendon pain will tell you it is a frustrating problem to resolve.  Common repetitive use tendon problems include: plantar heel pain; Achilles; patellar (knee) tendon; hamstring tendon; gluteal (buttock pain) tendon; rotator cuff (shoulder) syndrome; and tennis elbow. Tendon problems take a long time to heal. Understanding the continuum of tendon…

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Shoes too big for foot contributes to injury

A majority of all people are in shoes that are incorrect shoe size according to Fawn Evenson director of the Footwear Industries of America. There are two potential errors when selecting what size shoes to wear. Either the shoe will be too small for the foot or too large for the foot. In my experience…

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Cuing to Alter Gait Deviation of Too Long a Step

Cuing to Alter Gait Deviation of Too Long a Step Mathematics helps explain walking or running faster. Step length X steps per minute = speed. In order to move faster there are 3 opportunities take longer steps or strides, increase the steps/minute (cadence), or do both longer steps and a faster cadence. Taking longer steps/stride…

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Shoe Soles: Stiff Rocker Bottom Sole versus Flexible Sole “Barefoot”

There are many things to consider when selecting shoes, including comfort, injury and energy expenditure. Arnie Davis a Certified Pedorthotist has coined the term shoes with rocker bottom soles are the proverbial “aspirin” for chronic foot problems. A rocker sole shoe is recommended to help manage a number of painful injuries including: low back pain;…

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Pain on Bottom of Heel: Too Much Big Toe Motion

 Pain on the bottom of the heel (Plantar Heel Pain) is a complex problem with variable diagnoses and explanations. And with variable diagnoses there should be variations in treatment. Unfortunately, the common treatment recommendations do not recognize such variability. For example, the universal suggested treatment for plantar heel pain is calf stretching and stretching of…

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Aging Muscles & Tendons: Achilles/Calf Strain

  As we age muscles and tendons will change. Calf muscles in older individuals are weaker, smaller, shorter, less stiff, and not as coordinated.  Older athletes may experience greater incidence of injuries (Tauton 2003, McKean 2006). Two most common repetitive use injuries in older runners are Achilles tendonopathy and strained calf muscle (Marti 1988).  A…

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Gait Analysis – Gait Training for Achilles Tendon Pain

The manner you walk or run can be one of the contributing factors to the development of Achilles tendon problems. If you are experiencing pain in the Achilles when walking or running working with your Physical Therapists and using slow motion video analysis the following model can provide a beginning point to solve the problem.…

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Strengthening Exercises for Intrinsic Foot Muscles

Exercises to strengthen the foot are frequently used to treat injuries to foot, ankle, knee, hip and low back.  Toe curl or toe scrunching exercises is not appropriate for strengthening the muscles intrinsic to the feet. Muscles about the foot and ankle are described as either extrinsic muscles or intrinsic muscles.  Extrinsic foot muscles have…

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