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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The Iliotibial (IT) Band is a tendon on the lateral aspect of the hip/thigh/knee. It is a large, wide, thick tendon. A tendon is a structure that attaches muscle to bone. IT band syndrome is a typical injury occurring in runners. A commonly recommended treatment for IT band syndrome is stretching exercise. Searching Google for…

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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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Over the years, I’ve noticed that my female patients experience unilateral hip and/or knee pain (pain on one side of the body) more often than my male patients do. This predisposition has been observed by others as well Lateral hip pain is typically called bursitis, piriformis syndrome, or gluteal tendinopathy. Studies have shown the incidence…

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  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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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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In the realm of health and fitness, the term stiffness often has a bad connotation. In reality, being stiff can have positive benefits.   When something is stiff, it is difficult to change. When the range of motion of a joint is limited, it is also described as stiff. There is an optimal range of motion…

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What is known about benefits of stretching and flexibility exercises continues to evolve. Some commonly held beliefs are being supported with new research and some beliefs are being proven false. Common beliefs about stretching exercises are that stretching exercises decrease risk of injury, relieves pain associated with stiffness, and improves sports performance. Stretching exercises are…

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