Tag Archives: Feet

Stretch Loosens up Spine and Hips

Use this stretch to release your back and hips if you’ve been seated for a long period of time or after brisk walking, hiking or biking. You’ll stand taller and feel more energized once your spine and hips have been loosened up.

Step 1.

Sit on the floor or a padded mat. Bend your knees out to the side with the soles of your feet pressed together in front of you. Place your hands behind you on the floor, close to your hips, with fingers turned away from your body. Lift your spine tall without overarching your lower back. Allow your thighs and knees to drop to the floor.

Step 2.

Reach forward with your hands, grasping your feet. On an exhale, round your back, bringing your face close to your feet. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds while you focus on breathing deeply and fully. Think of expanding your entire back when you inhale, then letting go of all tension when you exhale.

Sources:Los Angles Times

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Stretch Exercise for Leg, Back and hip muscles

Step 1->

Sit on the floor with your left leg straight in front of you. Bend your right leg, moving your foot up to press against your left inner knee. Inhale, sit tall and reach your arms overhead, your palms facing inward. On an exhale, bend forward at your hips, maintaining a straight spine, and place your hands on the floor. To engage the front of your leg, think of lifting your left kneecap up to your thigh. This will help stretch the back of your thigh. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, release and repeat on the other side.
Step 2->

For a more advanced version, try to stretch deeper into this pose and reach around your left foot’s toes with both hands. Bend at your elbows and move the front of your torso lower to your leg. Be sure to keep your chin tucked in slightly to elongate the back of your neck. Don’t round your back to get lower, rather maintain a long straight spine and go only as low as possible without curling your spine. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

An important component of fitness is flexibility, especially for your leg, back and hip muscles. The above two stretch exercises target all three areas in one simple move.

Practice dailt atleast three sets each and take one minute rest.

Sources: Los Angles Times

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Thigh-Muscle Stretch (Yoga Exercise)

Thigh-muscle stretch works best if body stays in alignment

It’s very easy to cheat when performing some of the more popular stretches. But without proper form, we can end up wasting our time or worse — creating undue stress on our joints. When done correctly, this is an excellent way to stretch the muscles in the front of the thigh.
Step 1:->.

Stand with both feet together, then shift your body weight over your left leg and bend your right knee. Reach your left arm in front of you, or place it directly on a sturdy surface to help you balance.

Step 2:->

Bend forward and reach down to grasp your right foot with your right hand. Be sure to hold around the arch or the shoelace area of your foot (not the toes). Stand upright and point your right knee straight toward the floor; be sure your knee does not point out to the side. For a deeper stretch, tuck your hips under your torso and pull your heel closer toward your buttocks. Release and repeat on the other leg.
Now leave your hand, come back to the straight standing position and do the same stretching of the other hips.

Try to remain in stretched position for at least 30 seconds and minimum 3 sets of the above exercise to be done at a time.

This stretching exercise is very helpful to get rid of leg fatigue and knee pain.

Sources:Los Angles Times

 

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Corns and Calluses

Callus evolution.

Image via Wikipedia

 

The foot is an engineering marvel that cannot be duplicated by robotics. It is composed of 26 bones, 33 joints and around a hundred tendons, ligaments and muscles of various sizes, well oiled and sliding smoothly over each other.

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The foot is encased in thick and leathery skin that protects it from injury. Our feet take us everywhere from the time we first learn to walk till we are finally laid to rest. Yet, somehow, we tend to take our feet for granted until they malfunction, cause pain or refuse to perform as instructed.

Some orthopaedic abnormalities of the feet, like clubfoot, flat feet, congenitally dislocated hips or knock knees, are present from birth. Sometimes shoes may be purchased for conformity to fashion disregarding the requirements of the feet. They maybe ill fitting, too tight or too large. Pointed toe stilettos are notoriously guilty. The gait becomes abnormal as pressure is applied unevenly to the skin of the foot. Irregularity may also occur in old age as a result of arthritis or injury.

When pressure is exerted unevenly on the foot, the skin tends to thicken abnormally. This callused skin may remain like that or develop into a corn. This happens in areas where the skin is rubbed persistently or where the skin is under uneven pressure. Common places are the heel, the ball of the foot and the sides of the toes.

The skin over the unsightly hardened area on the foot, a callus, is dead. So there is no inflammation or pain. Eventually the callus may harden to form a corn. The corn has a central area of inflammation and is painful and tender. It is usually situated near the base of the fifth toe. If the feet are pushed into tight fitting shoes, corns will form between the toes as well. Perspiration and moisture cannot escape from this area causing the corn to become macerated and tender.

If a callus or corn is beginning to develop, the first step would be to determine if there is any source of pressure which has set off the thickening of the skin. Sometimes it may even be due to a sudden increase in the level of exercise or interest in some new sport. Once the cause has been identified it should be removed, or else the callus will exacerbate.

The foot should first be soaked in warm water with rock salt and commercially available liquid soap. After 10 minutes the affected area should be gently rubbed with a pumice stone or a foot scrubber. Some baby oil or moisturiser should then be applied. This gets rid of the corn (or callus) at an early stage.

If the callus is hard and the punctum or tip of the corn is easily visible, commercially advertised OTC (over the counter) corn plasters may be used. Most of them contain salicylic acid — a keratolytic agent that softens and breaks down hard skin. They need to be applied on a dry foot and left in place till the corn softens and falls out. They should not be used on soft corns between the toes.

Wearing loose footwear with low heels and a well-cushioned insole can also relieve the pain. Slippers should be made of soft rubber like MCR (micro cellular rubber). Acupressure slippers are also helpful.

If the corn does not respond to these simple measures, it has to be surgically removed. A qualified dermatologist or surgeon can do it as an outpatient office procedure.

Newer, relatively painless techniques involve freezing the corn with liquid nitrogen or dry ice or removing it with laser technology. It is dangerous to perform “home surgery” — slicing off the corn with a knife or blade. Dangerous debilitating infections can occur due to such amateur attempts.

Diabetics need to take particular care of their corns and calluses and consult their physicians if they have a problem. They may have compromised blood supply to their feet or numbness of the nerves. This may make them insensitive to the pain making them inadvertently ignore the corn. Any self-treatment (especially salicylic corn plasters) is likely to result in dangerous infection.

Some simple rules one should follow:

• Wear proper footwear and socks

• Wash the feet well at night before going to bed

• Moisturise the feet with oil or cream once a day

• Keep the areas between the toes dry, particularly after a bath

• Treat arthritis, blisters, corns and calluses promptly

Appropriate footwear for various sports should be used. One pair of “canvas” shoes should not be used for all activities.

You may click to see more information on Corns and Calluses

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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