Stretching releases restricted tissues to eliminate and prevent chronic tightness and muscle pain. Here are some examples of stretches that cover the four main muscle groups and are very helpful for runners of all fitness levels. These are great for after a walk or run, or if you're just feeling tight from being on your feet. To warm up, in general, you do stretches that move, like leg swings and heel-to-toe rocks. To cool down, you hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds, or about 6 deep breaths.
IT Band: “C” Stretch – Standing up, one foot in front, same side arm stretch over head creating a C shape. Feel this stretch in the hip.
Hamstrings: Leg on table/bumper of car/ stairs. Keep legs straight, stretching one out onto at least a 2 ft platform.
Calves: Place one foot against a wall with toes up. Keeping your body straight, lean in toward wall.
Quads: Place opposing hand in foot behind you. Pull foot up to butt and hold 30 seconds.
Because the feet are the foundation of the entire skeletal system, even a slight misalignment can allow the arch to collapse and cause foot pain to spread to the knees, hips, back shoulders and neck. Strained muscles, spinal distortion and poor posture can follow. Without a firm foundation to hold your body's infrastructure in place, the sensation of comfort is only temporary.
Symptoms may include discomfort while walking, difficulty maintaining exercise routines and painful daily activities.
Ideal biomechanical alignment means your foot can move easily through its full, healthy range of motion, lowering the risk of fatigue and injury. With a firm foundation to hold your body's infrastructure in place, the sensation of comfort is only greatly improved.
Plantar fasciitis is the stretching and possible tearing of the plantar fascia ligament that runs from the heel bone to the metatarsal bones on the bottom of the foot. Small tears in the ligament cause inflammation and pain in the heel region and arch. The condition is commonly triggered by lack of underfoot support, fatigue and improper footwear.
Check out this great video on the Strasburg Sock: http://thesock.com/works/wearing-instructions
There is help! We carry a large variety of insoles that can provide flexible arch support and help alleviate foot pain. Pain from plantar fasciitis can be reduced or prevented by wearing a firm, supportive insole like Superfeet, Sofsole, and SOLE. The underfoot support will begin to stabilize the bone structure of the foot, helping to slow pronation and over-stretching of the plantar fascia ligament.