Tendonitis in the foot is often related to inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tendon located on the bottom of the foot. Tendonitis is normally caused by overuse and the repetitive motions of certain exercises, such as running, jumping or sprinting. This can cause tiny tears in the tendon which can become inflamed if it is not allowed to heal properly. Symptoms of tendonitis include stiffness or pain in the foot upon getting out of bed in the morning or when first starting an exercise. This pain can decrease during activity once the tendon is warmed up, but it usually comes back afterward. If caught early, treatment of tendonitis in the foot can be relatively simple.
Recognize the activity that is causing the foot pain and reduce or eliminate it until the pain is gone. Avoid running or playing through the pain because this is likely to make it worse. Rest is the best way to let the foot heal. You can still remain active, just choose exercises that do not put stress on the foot. For example, if you run, try something non-impact like swimming instead.
Cold helps reduce the pain and inflammation. Wrap a thin towel around a bag of frozen vegetables or ice pack and apply to the heel and bottom of the foot three to four times a day for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Do not put the cold pack directly on the skin because this can cause frostbite. You can also do an ice massage directly to the foot and heel.
Once the pain is reduced or gone, gently stretch the foot, ankle and calf three to four times a day. Focus on stretching the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia. Use stretches such as calf wall stretches and heel raises on a step to stretch your plantar fascia. Tight muscles and tendons can trigger inflammation and put more strain on the foot.
If your doctor agrees, take an NSAID, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen, to help reduce swelling if the plantar fascia is inflamed.
Sports massage therapists can be helpful in relieving the pain caused by tendonitis and inflammation. They can identify which muscles, ligaments and tendons are tight and massage and loosen those to relieve the pressure. They can also break up adhesions and scar tissue that can cause tightness.
Physical therapy is often used to treat the source of the problem. Stretching, massage and ultra-sound therapy can relieve the inflammation, increase blood flow and stimulate healing of the tears in the tendon. Other medical treatments can include cortisone shots, shock wave therapy or surgery. All of these options are reserved for more serious cases of foot pain, if none of the above treatments work first.
Baseball requires a high degree of skill to play well. Athletic ability will help a player compete with other top players, but the specific skills of hitting, throwing and catching the baseball require significant work and practice to acquire. Many of the top hitters in the game don’t have a tremendous speed or strength, but they all have a high-level of eye-hand coordination.
Hitters who can drive the ball over the fence, such as Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, are lionized, but many hitters who don’t hit frequent home runs can be just as important to their teams. Hitting the ball consistently takes timing, hand-eye coordination and confidence. These skills are developed through regular batting practice. Hitters must be balanced when standing at the plate and drive their hands through the ball with all their strength and momentum behind their swings.
Catching and fielding the baseball takes athleticism, aggressiveness, timing and coordination. Fielding ground balls requires the player to get to a spot on the field quickly, to get his body in front of the ball and to catch it out in front of him. Catching fly balls takes speed, timing, anticipation and coordination. Fielders need to catch hundreds of ground balls and fly balls in practice to learn how to field consistently.
Throwing the ball well requires arm strength, balance and timing. The shoulder is a delicate part of the body and the four muscles of the rotator cuff that allow the baseball to throw the ball overhand can be damaged easily. Baseball players must build the strength in their arm by throwing regularly with the proper technique. That means players must step toward the target when they throw and must get their momentum traveling toward their target.
This is one of the skills that many players and coaches overlook. Having speed alone does not make one a good base runner. Speed helps, but understanding the route to run, the arm strength of opposing outfielders and the game situation are more important skills than flat-out speed. A good base runner will listen to advice from coaches on the base paths, but will make the final decisions whether to run or stop based on his own knowledge.
We’ve all heard the myth: Keep your cardio and resistance training separate, or you’ll spoil your results. But recent studies have shown that the order in which you do your cardio or your sit-ups and push-ups might not matter.
Of course, how you schedule your workout ultimately depends on your fitness goals. Your body does respond differently to specific ordering and combination of your exercise routine, but your strength and performance will improve regardless of when you schedule certain moves.
Mixing cardio and resistance training, like push-ups and sit-ups, has long been rumored to inhibit the progress of both strength and endurance. The concept of muscle interference implies that the aerobic stresses of cardio inhibit your muscles from maximizing on your strength training, and that your strength training limits the development of your aerobic endurance.
According to the International Sports Sciences Association, muscle interference has its roots in research conducted in the 1980’s by R.C. Hickson of the University of Illinois College of Kinesiology. Hickson’s research showed that adults who skipped cardio but performed regular resistance training garnered greater strength gains.
Research conducted since Hickson’s initial inquiry has painted a clearer picture of the effects of muscle interference, showing it’s not always wrong to mix your cardio and resistance training.
Read more: Morning vs. Evening Cardio
Of course, how you schedule your workout ultimately depends on your fitness goals.
Muscle interference has been a subject of close research by kinesiologists and scientists over the last few decades. In a meta-analysis of 21 studies, J.M. Wilson of the Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance at the University of Tampa identified the most important findings in research surrounding concurrent workouts, where cardio and resistance training were mixed.
If your goal is to develop power through your sit-up and push-up workouts, Wilson’s review shows that cardio isn’t your friend. The International Sports Sciences Association recommends limiting cardio to 30 minutes or less, and only three times a week. A concurrent workout is fine, as long as your cardio is kept under the recommended threshold.
If you’re looking to maximize your cardiovascular system for endurance sports, a concurrent workout shouldn’t have any effect on your performance. In other words, strength training through push-ups and sit-ups won’t impact your cardio workout negatively, so you’re free to do as many of each as you please.
If your goal is to trim your waistline, a concurrent workout is encouraged. You’ll see better weight loss results if you pair up your cardio and resistance training. In fact, the results shown in the research reviewed by Wilson shows that a concurrent workout is better than either type of training by itself.
Read more: The Best Cardio Workouts to Lose Weight
Luckily, the order of your workout hasn’t been shown to have any effect on the quality of your performance gains. You’re free to mix and match sit-ups, push-ups and cardio in the order of your preference.
Research conducted by Stuart Phillips, professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario showed that the individual cells in leg muscles expanded their endurance capability and their strength equally, regardless of the order in which cardio and resistance training was done.
¡°We saw no indications of interference,¡± Dr. Phillips told the New York Times, which corroborated with results in other studies conducted in Sweden. As it turns out, the order of your workout doesn’t produce a significant change in your results.
Football is brutally physical, with physical collisions between players a regular part of the game. Only recently has research conclusively shown, with some help from the courts, that playing football for a long period of time often leads to serious head and bodily injuries.
In the course of a regular game, football players undergo multiple collisions involving their heads. The exact number and severity of these collisions varies on playing position and other factors, but concussion is an ongoing risk. When you get a concussion, the brain¡¯s cells are stretched or injured in a way that can affect your mental and physical well-being. In 2007, a United States Court of Appeals upheld a lower court¡¯s 2005 ruling that long-time center Mike Webster¡¯s brain damage was caused by playing football. Such damage can be avoided if players have the proper amount of rest after a concussion, but many coaches and players operate under a code of toughness. The result can be brain damage, with affects felt immediately in the form of dizziness, imbalance and head pain, as well as later in the form of balance issues, clinical depression and more.
The number of blunt force injuries a football player accumulates throughout his career can lead to head and brain injuries that affect a player¡¯s mental disposition. Some of the physical damage to the brain can lead to depression. In some cases, such as that of Andre Waters, depression leads to suicide. A 2007 study by Julian Bailes, et al. found that the risk of depression in retired players was twice as high in those who had suffered concussions. That number went up to three times the risk in former players who had suffered five concussions or more.
Like all professional athletes who play sports involving a large amount of physical contact, football players are at risk for injuries during and after their careers. The more they strained their bodies playing, the more repercussions they face. Flexing, pushing off, and making hard contact taxes your joints, ligaments and muscles. This can lead to immediate injuries like strained muscles and broken bones, as well as later complications like severe arthritis and joint pain.
Football players — who may upwards of 300 pounds –often have to do deal with the side effects of their weight long after they¡¯ve stopped playing. Sleep apnea, for example, affects football players both mid- and post-career. The best way to treat sleep apnea is to lose weight, but players who are encouraged to remain large for their position, or players who cannot lose weight once they retire, are at serious risk for sleep apnea. A 2003 New England Journal of Medicine study found that 14 percent of the active players in the NFL had sleep apnea. Similarly, the consequences of obesity, such as diabetes, may affect heavier football players long after they retire. These players are also at risk for cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Sesamoiditis is a foot ailment that causes pain on the ball of the foot beneath the big toe. It is so called because of the sesamoid bones, which are tiny bones in the tendons of the big toe. Sesamoiditis is usually due to overuse and is not serious. Rest, ice, over-the-counter pain medication and the use of cushioned footwear is usually recommended. Gentle exercises to increase range of motion and strengthen the foot may also be helpful.
Toe crunches help restore movement to the big toe after the pain and inflammation have subsided. Sit in a chair and place a hand towel on the floor beside your affected foot. Use the toes of your injured foot to grab and pick up the towel and then release it. Perform this exercise 10 times daily or as directed by your doctor.
It’s common to lose range of motion when there has been inflammation, which there often is with sesamoiditis. As the inflammation subsides, simple toe stretches can help restore mobility. Sit comfortably and extend the leg of your affected foot. Using just your foot muscles, curl your big toe under and then pull it back toward you. Start with smaller motions and work up to exaggerated motions. Stop if there is any pain. Do this exercise 10 to 20 times daily or as directed by your doctor.
This exercise should be performed only when your pain and inflammation have completely subsided and your doctor has given you the go-ahead. Stand upright and simply rise up on to your toes. Hold the lift for two counts and then lower back down. Repeat 10 to 15 times daily or as directed by your doctor.
In most cases, rehabilitative exercises are not necessary unless your doctor recommends them. After resting your foot for a period of time, applying ice and wearing appropriate footwear, pain and swelling should go away and you can resume normal activity. In some cases, it may be helpful to wrap your foot in a supportive elastic bandage for a time when returning to your activities. If your pain recurs or is chronic, speak to your doctor about other treatment options.