Motion Stability's Blog

What Can I Do For Plantar Fasciitis? by charlestlee

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

Pain in the arch or heel of your foot is commonly diagnosed as ‘plantar fasciitis’. However, there are several reasons that can cause pain at the bottom of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis: Usually due to an over-stretched arch. Treatment by taping, manual therapy, orthotics, and use of night splints can provide short-term relief. Long term prognosis is based not only treating the plantar fasciitis itself, but also restoring proper mechanics of the entire leg.

Nerve Pain: The tibial nerve, which is a branch of the sciatic nerve can cause symptoms in the bottom of the foot. The key to treatment in nerve injuries is to determine why and where the injury occurred and treat the nerve accordingly.

Muscle Trigger Points: According to Travell and Simmons, muscle trigger points in the calf and foot muscles can cause referred pain to the foot. Soft tissue techniques and intramuscular manual therapy can be used.

Play Golf? Avoid Lower Back Pain With These Stretches. by charlestlee

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

There are numerous studies that have come out recently that show the loss of lead leg internal rotation of the hip in the golf swing has a high prevelance of low back pain in golfers. This is due to the lead leg in the golf swing acting as your swivel / finishing point in the swing. With limitations in the hip, the back has to work harder to finsh the swing. 

You should work on the foam roll to loosen the lead leg hip musculature, knee to chest and pirformis stretches can also help.

Standard back stretches can help alleviate your back after golf, but consider the causitive reasons why your back is hurting in the first place. I work at a Nike Golf Performance Center called Terminus Club ( we utilize 3D Motion Capture Reality systems to analyze your swing, as well as utilize a Physical Therapist to determine the physical limitations of the body. From there we tailor your swing based upon who you are as an individual and not just the way a PGA Tour swings.

How can I prevent repeat ankle sprains? by charlestlee

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

It is important to improve ankle dorsiflexion after an ankle sprain. Research indicates a loss of ankle mobility with chronic ankle sufferers – primarily in ankle dorsiflexion – which is the motion you need to walk correctly. Reserach also indicates a change in muscle control patterns not only in the ankle but also up the kinetic chain, such as a loss of hip control.
1. Improve ankle dorsiflexion: calf stretching, seeing a Physical Therapist to mobilize your ankle and decrease swelling.
2. Ankle stability: ankle circles, resistance bands to strengthen lateral/medial ankle musculature/tendons.
3. Ankle proprioception: standing balance exercises as indicated
4. Hip stability: primarily with gluteus maximus and medius exercises. It is important to find a specialized Physical Therapist that can specifically help facilitate you gluteal muscle patterns.
5. Specific training for sports/function: proper footwork in your sports can help decrease you chance of ankle sprains as well.

Is stretching supposed to be painful? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

Stretching should at most be moderately uncomfortable. Many people think that stretching only targets the muscles, but consider that there the joints, ligaments, nerves, and fascia are also stretched. If you have a joint hypermobility or an irritated nerve, such as sciatica, over-stretching can actually injure the tissue and cause more problems than good.

Does stretching decrease the chance of getting injured? by charlestlee

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Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

Most people present with imbalances in muscle forces. This may include anterior – posterior muscles and specific muscles affect joint mechanics. It is recommended that you have a qualified health practitioner assess your body mechanics to make recommendations what muscles should be elongated, and then other that should be stabilized to improve the efficiency of you body.

Also consider tight muscles may be due to an underlying irritated nerve. Many people with old sciatic nerve injuries feel tightness in their hamstring, however attempting to over-stretching the hamstring can aggravate the nerve again.

What stretches should I do before I workout so I do not get back pain? by charlestlee
Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT
There are many stretches you can do to help loosen your back up before you work out. Please keep in mind  that stretching does not guarantee that your back will not hurt – as there other causes of back pain than just tight muscles. Some light stretches you can do to loosen your back include:
Pelvic tilts: Laying on your back with knees  bent – rock your pelvis back – flattening your back against the bed and return to neutral, and if it doesn’t bother you progress to arching your back a small amount. Oscillate back and forth.
Knee to chest: Bring one knee up to your chest, stretching your hip and your back. You can progress to both knees to your chest.
Trunk rotation: Laying on your back with knees bent and together slowly let your knees go to one side – allowing your trunk to rotate. Switch to the other side. If that does not bother you, you can progress to have one leg straight and let the other knee hook over it allowing the spine to rotate more. There should be a slow stretch in your spine.
Cat / Camels: On you hand and knees – you can arch your low back up and down. Focus on a slow stretch trying to move from your lower back and pelvis. Many times people arch their
backs but move mostly from the mid-back or thoracic spine, which does not stretch the lower back as well.
Prayer stretch: On your hand and knees – sit your bottom down to your heels and reach out along the ground with your arms to stretch your lower back. Take your arms and trunk side to side to feel more of a stretch along your sides of your back as well.
Please consult with a qualified health practitioner such as a Physical Therapist to recommend the proper stretches and form.

Can stretching my hamstrings get rid of my low back pain? by charlestlee

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT

There are cases when stretching your hamstrings can be good for your back and other cases when it can make it worse. It can be good to stretch your hamstrings when they are tight due to poor mechanics and posture. Many times people use their hamstrings too much to move and stand. Your hips and butt muscles, as well as your ankle/foot joints and muscles should be the primary areas that provide stability and movement. If they don’t work correctly or fatigue easily, then your hamstrings will, by default, have to be used to get you through the day. Your hamstrings attach to the bottom of your pelvis that connects with your back. If they get tight it can put excessive stresses on your pelvis and back. In these cases, stretching the hamstrings followed up with exercises to improved the strength and mobility of your hips and feet can help reduce stresses and pain on your low back.

One reason not to stretch your hamstrings when you have back pain is when you also have current or recurring sciatic nerve pain. The sciatic nerve starts from the low back and runs down the back of your leg, in between your hamstrings. When sciatica occurs not only do you get pain down the back of your leg, but the muscles that surround the sciatic nerve can spasm and a feeling of ‘tightness’ can occur. The patient at times may perceive what they think is ‘hamstring tightness’ may actually be muscle tightness or guarding from an irritated sciatic nerve. We have seen patients trying to stretch their hamstrings and make their back pain worse because they were essentially overstretching their sciatic nerve instead. Nerves don’t like to be ‘stretched’ as much as muscles. The sciatic nerve also comes directly from the back. Over-stretching the sciatic nerve can thus put more stress on the back. In these cases, it is important to consult with a Physical Therapist that understands how to differentiate whether the sciatic nerve is involved.