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Friday Fitness: The Big Five

Once again we welcome you to Friday Fitness! This week’s focus is going to be on the most common cardio injuries known as the “Big Five.” The Big Five is a phrase used to describe the five common injuries associated with aerobic activity: Achilles Tendonitis, Chondromalacia, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Plantar Fasciitis and who can forget Shin Splints.

 

No matter who we are, at some point we will be faced with some degree of these injuries. Also, individual’s just beginning an exercise program become much more susceptible. Therefore, for each of the big five we’ll discuss the symptoms, causes, and the different steps to take for self-treatment and prevention. At the end our discussion, check out a quick How-to Video to self-treat two of the Big Five.  It will help get you back to your exercise program in no time!

 


 

Achilles Tendonitis

Symptoms:

–   Dull or sharp pain close to the heel
–  Redness around Achilles
–  Nodule or cracking sound

Causes:

–  Fatigued calf muscles
–  Increasing activity too quickly
–  Overpronation (foot strike)

Self-Treatment and Prevention:

– RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation – this will be a reoccurring theme)
– Aspirin or Ibuprofen
– Stretch calf muscles
– Avoid weight bearing exercises

 

Chondromalacia

Symptoms:

– Pain beneath or the side of the knee cap

Causes:

– Overpronation
– Weak quadriceps and tighter hamstrings
– Hills and inclines

Self-Treatment and Prevention:

–  RICES
–  Quadriceps strengthening exercises and stretches
–  Check footwear
–  Aspirin (block further breakdown of cartilage)

 

Click to see the final 3!

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Symptoms:

–  Dull ache along hip that comes on during exercise
–  Disappears after the fact

Causes:

–  Inward leg action, tight IT Band
–  Overpronation, downhill’s
–  Improper footwear

Self-Treatment and Prevention:

–  Possible to work thru the pain
–  Must restore Flexibility (IT Band Stretch)
–  RICES and self-massage

 

Plantar Fasciitis

Symptoms:

–  Pain at the base of the heel (feels like a bone bruise)
–  Most severe in the morning

Causes:

–  Extra stress, tension, and pulling
–  Tight Achilles tendons
–  High arch foot or flat feet

Self-Treatment and Prevention:

–  Reduce activity for the time being
–  Aspirin and ibuprofen
–  ICE (Freeze water in paper cup method)
–  Plantar Fascia Stretch (Video*)

 

Shin Splints

Symptoms:

–  Aching, throbbing or tenderness on the inside of shin
–  Pain when pressed on inflamed area
–  May go away, but resumes after exercise

Causes:

–  Tired or inflexible calf muscles
–  Overpronation and hard surfaces
–  Most common when starting a new exercise program!

Self-Treatment and Prevention:

–  Cut-down on exercise
–  May take up to 1 – 2 weeks to heal
–  Ice (15X3)
–  Exercise tendons and muscles in front of the leg
–  Band exercises and ankle weights

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