DMFA Blog

Posts for: January, 2018

By Dr. Sarah Matouk
January 15, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: foam roller   stretching  

At DM Foot and Ankle, we are proud to provide our patients with a tool to combat tight calves: foam rollers. Tight calves are a leading cause of limited range of motion in our ankles, heel pain, and reduced functioning of the rest of our bodies. 

 

Foam rolling is a form of self-massage to loosen tight structures in our bodies. The muscles in our bodies are surrounded by a layer of connective tissue called fascia. Due to the shoes we wear, sitting or standing for prolonged periods and poor stretching around exercising, the connective tissue that surrounds our calves are shortened. To address this shortening and tightness that we feel in our calves with a foam roller, we use a technique called self-myofascial release, or trigger point massage. It is a technique that massage therapists, physical therapists, and chiropractors commonly use. A foam roller can be used in place of the therapist’s hands in the comfort of your home.

 

Begin by placing one leg on the roller. Raise the hips and slowly begin to roll from below the knee to the ankle. If you find a sore spot, stop and hold the foam roller at that spot for about 20 to 30 seconds before continuing. Continue to roll through your calf area four times. Foam rolling also increases blood flow to our muscles and creates better mobility, helping with not only recovering from injuries, but also improving overall performance and daily functioning.

 

Take advantage of one of the most effective tools to dramatically and immediately impact your health. We offer top of the line foam rollers in our office.Stop into DM Foot and Ankle for a consult and further education about how foam rollers may improve your overall wellness. 

 

Foam rollers are 10% off for the month of January!


Many of us will be looking to hit the gym and control our weight as our New Year's resolution this year. Being motivated is key, but beginning  your workouts gradually can be even more important when it comes to starting and keeping your gym time goals.

When starting a workout regimen, it is important to begin slowly. Trying to jump back into the same routine with the same amount of intensity as was done in the past can have a negative effect on your body. By gradually increasing your stamina and the length of your workouts,  it will be easier to avoid overuse injuries such as stress fractures or tendons strains and sprains. Give your body some time to become acclimated before you decide to add on those extra laps in the pool or the heavier weights from the weight bench.

Another key to starting your new fitness routine gradually is being sure that you stretch before and after your workout. By doing so, you are helping prevent injuries to your body. Don't forget to stretch all areas of your body even if you are focusing on a specific area during that day's workout. Realsimple.com put together a stretching routine that is sure to make your muscles and tendons do the happy dance; next time you hit the gym, give these stretches a go:

 

Stretch 1: The Runner's Stretch

Step your right foot forward and lower into a lunge, placing your fingertips on the floor or on two firm cushions if your hands cannot reach to the floor.

 

Stretch 2: The Standing Side Stretch

Stand with your feet together and your arms straight overhead. Clasp your hands together, with your fingers interlaced and pointer fingers extended. Inhale as you reach upward.

Breathe out as your bend your upper body to the right. Take five slow breaths. Slowly return to the center. Repeat on the left side.

 

Stretch 3: The Forward Hang

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your knees slightly bent. Interlace your fingers behind your back. (If your hands don't touch, hold on to a dish towel.) Breathe in and straighten your arms to expand your chest. Exhale and bend at your waist, letting your hands stretch toward your head. Hold for five deep breaths.

 

Stretch 4: The Low Lunge Arch

Step your right foot forward into a lunge and lower your left knee onto the floor or a folded towel or blanket. Bring your arms in front of your right left and hook your thumbs together, palms facing the floor. Breathe in as you sweep your arms overhead, stretching as far back as is comfortable. Take five deep breaths. Switch sides.

 

Stretch 5: The Seated Back Twist

Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Bend your right knee and step your right foot over your left leg. Put your right hand on the floor, fingers pointing outward, for support. Bend your left elbow and turn to the right, placing the back of your arm against your right knee. Inhale as you sit tall. Breathe out as you twist, pressing your arm into your leg and looking over your right shoulder. Hold for five breaths, then slowly return to the center. Switch sides.

 

Stretch 6: The Bound Angle

Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees drop toward the ground. Hold your shins as you inhale and stretch your chest upward. Exhale as you hinge forward from your hips (without rounding your back) and place your palms on the ground. Hold for five slow breaths.

 

We at DM Foot & Ankle Associates love to see our patients succeed in all that they do. Your New Year's fitness goals are important to us too. We hope that you strive to keep the quality of your workout routine as the most important aspect. Remember to start your workouts gradually and always make stretching the first step in any of your workout routines to avoid harmful effects on your body. Hoping 2018 brings everyone much happiness and health, cheers to you from all of us here at DMFA!