Lower Leg/Foot Pain Keeping You From Exercising? Try This.
Plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis, shin splints, calf cramps: all ailments that are A) no fun, B) surprisingly debilitating to one's everyday life. A major and consistent issue I see with my clients is that the interconnectedness of these issues is very poorly understood. For example: the connective tissue in the calf converges to become the achilles tendon which then becomes the plantar fascia (tissue at the bottom of our foot).
As another example: most don't know that "shin splints"is simply an umbrella term for "pain in the shins" that can be caused by many things, but is generally positively affected by stability and mobility in the other areas of the lower leg and foot.
As a trainer and massage therapist of many years (not a doctor), the question I ask is: "what are the exercises that have the largest odds of helping the largest number of people with these issues?"
Below I've outlined a few of these helpful tips (...drumroll).
Remember the 5 questions to help you take control of your pain? USE those questions to help you improve your body awareness around your ankle/foot/shin pain. This helps us immensely when we A) track our progress, B) communicate with medical professionals/trainers/massage therapists, C) get to the next step (...another drumroll).
The fastest way to become defeated by your pain is to let your pain keep you from moving. Even if it may not feel like it, there are low-impact exercises you can do that won't exacerbate your pain. USE the evaluations above to figure out what triggers your pain, and avoid those movements, and find something else (or let me help you find something) that you can use as a substitute.
In the video below I outline some stability and mobility exercises you can do for your lower leg/ankle/foot pain. I also recommend foam rolling your calves, stretching your hamstrings and quads, and massaging your feet (even if it's just rolling your foot on a lacrosse ball or golf ball) regularly.
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Have a Pain-Free day!