I have a problem with chronic pain in my left shin and have had bouts with plantar fastitis. Suddenly by shoe inserts to support my high arches feel awful. What are the right exercises and what else can I do?
There is a great book called Stretching by Bob Anderson. It has the correct stretches for every sport. Your shin pain and plantar fasciitis may be related. When your shin hurts you may be adjusting your movement and huring your heel. Once you have the right shoes, both conditions will be helped by stretching.
Stretching isn't the best way to improve flexibility—lifting weights through a full range of motion is, according to a recent study at the University of North Dakota. Pausing for 2 to 3 seconds at the "down" position of the lift (where you feel the stretch) without relaxing your muscles is even more effective.
Why it works: During resistance exercise, your muscles first contract, and then stretch to their full range between each repetition, increasing overall flexibility, says study coauthor James Whitehead, Ed.D.
Static stretching before a workout good. What it does is force the target muscle to relax, it makes it weaker. The result, is a strength imbalance that can occur between opposing muscle groups. An example is stretching your hamstrings causes them to become weaker than your quadriceps. And that could make you more prone to muscle strains, pulls, and tears. When you static stretch it also reduces blood flow to your muscles and decreases the activity of your central nervous system that inhibits your brain's ability to communicate with your muscles, which limits your ability to generate force. That said don't perform static stretching before you work out or play sports.
I am not a doctor or a therapist, so you should consult with someone who is, but I suggest you try to find a fitness studio, gym, or physical therapy clinic that uses whole body vibration machines. Standing on a vibration platform can improve flexibility and mobility, and many people have reported relief from foot problems. Hope that helps!
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