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Here are the 18 pressure points that physical therapist Ralph Havens recommends you target when massaging the foot to help alleviate calf and Achilles' tendon problems.
Tennis balls may be the answer for foot faults
Just about anyone who has run for an extended period has suffered a lower-leg injury. A pulled calf muscle. A strained soleus. A tight Achilles' tendon. Ralph Havens, a physical therapist at Mission Hills Physical Therapy, offers an unusual technique that has alleviated lower-leg pain for a number of patients.
All you need to carry out Havens' program is a tennis ball and 7-15 minutes a day. The program is based on firmly pressing down on a tennis ball at 18 different locations on the bottom of your bare foot.
The first three spots are at the base of your toes. With the ball pressed against a wall, keep your heel and the ball of your foot on the floor. Push down for 10 seconds at each spot,, wrapping your toes around the ball. You should press down pretty hard. As you move around your foot, some of the spots might hurt a bit initially. The pain, though, shouldn't be excruciating.
The next three spots are just behind the ball of your foot. From there, move to the middle of your foot, then to the back, just in front of your heel.
Next, turn your foot parallel to the wall. Hit the three spots on the inside edge of your foot. again starting just below the ball of your foot, to the middle and then just in front of the heel. Finally, hit the same three spots on the outside of your foot. Again, make sure you apply the pressure for 10 seconds. "People say their whole leg feels lighter," says Havens, who completed the Boston Marathon on Monday in 2:51:52.
|Havens says some patients suffering from sciatica, knee
and hip pain have experienced improvement from the exercises. Havens isn't
certain why the technique works, but he believes the pressure helps unblock
When carrying out the exercises you don't want to roll the ball around. Just press down against it. Try to do the exercises twice a day.
Matt Sheremeta is a disciple of the program. Sheremeta once suffered from chronic Achilles' tightness. He tried heel lifts, orthotics and visited a chiropractor.
"I was kind of skeptical at first," said Sheremeta, a 2:28 marathoner. "This guy is going to change my life with a tennis ball? Sure he is. Believe it or not, within 48 hours I was pretty much pain free. I'm fine now."
Terry Schalow, a sales representative for Asics, uses a modified version of the tennis-ball technique. Schalow tapes two tennis balls together and places them underneath his hamstring when stretching the muscle.
"I've had tons of running-related injuries," said Schalow. "Of all the therapies I've tried, the single best device or stretching routine has been the two tennis balls.'"
Reprinted from an article by Paul Horn in the San Diego Union Tribune
|Mission Hills Physical Therapy (PT, HT) 928 Ft.
Stockton Dr. #201 San Diego, CA 92103 619/543-1470, 619/543-1421 (fax)
certified; State licensed; Medicare certified;
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CALF MUSCLE SOLEUS.ACHILLES TENDON. PHYSICAL THERAPIST. THERAPY FOOT INJURY INJURIES STRAINS SPRAINS HEALTH CHRONIC PAIN. NEUROMUSCULAR LEG SCIATICA KNEE HIP RALPH HAVENS MARATHON RUN RUNNER RUNNING.
Calf Muscle Soleus.Achilles Tendon.Physical. Therapist Therapy Foot Injury Injuries Strains Sprains Health Chronic Pain Neuromuscular Leg Sciatica Knee Hip Ralph Havens Marathon Run Runner Running.
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