In her third session, my client came in with amazingness that he core was feeling a lot stronger, more support and she no longer needed her blue inhaler, which was a bonus…all because we had been doing some work on her diaphragm and breathing.
However, with a pain she couldn’t quite pin-point, around the inner knee, inner thigh area, we did some Neuro Kinetic Therapy tests on her Quads , when one of those quads was tested, there was an aching pain on the outer hip.
The body leaves clues…NKT teaches you what to look for..which takes the guess work out of assessments and means clients get fast and long lasting relief from pain.
So, it seems that her inner quad muscle, the Vastus Lateralis was Inhibited..as when tested it tested weak. Weak doesn’t mean its totally not working, but that its less effective than it should be.
Seeing what it was Inhibited for, and the pain she experienced during the test lead me to the
Ilio Tibial Band, which you can see here:
Now she’s been running in a few dog agility competitions.
IT Band issues are common in runners , but rather than roll it on a foam roller, find out why its tender and whats going on.
get it tested, it may need rolling, it may not, if it does, its Facilitated, find what its compensating for, strengthen that muscle or those muscles and your IT Band should be as high as rain again.
Appointments can be booked by emailing me : firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07800797300
Appointments are from my home studio in Portreath, North Cornwall.
Why your calf muscles are tight & what to do about it
Bit of a long title, but does what it says on the tin..tight calf muscles, stretch them and they are just like your tight hamstrings, they always come back, why is that, could it be they are tight for a reason, tight because something else isn’t allowing them to “let go”?
This could possibly be inhibited glutes, which means your glutes may not be doing their job, but your calves are instead.
Get the bum working and the calves can release.
How you can do that?
Find a tender area on your calf and give is a massage with your fingers or with a tennis ball or foam roller.
About 30 – 60 seconds is just fine
Then strengthen the glutes by doing 5 reps of a glute bridge. Don’t hold your breath or clench the jaw.
Ever looked at your feet and wondered why you have got bunions?
Take a look at the sole of the shoes you wear the most, it tells a story of how your foot works when you walk. Bunions often tell the story of a pronated foot. A pronated foot means that the arch is not as visible , however pronation is not a bad thing your foot pronates when you walk, its supposed to, but it becomes an issue if it gets stuck in pronation, creating bunions and an ankle that has limited mobility.
An ankle with limited mobility will look to the knee for help which can result in a painful knee. Its not the knee thats the problem, look to the ankle first before fixing the knee.
Standing up, place your feet in a pronated position, lose the natural arch of the foot, observe what happens to the knee, hip, shoulder and head. Take a few steps with a pronated foot, you may be able to notice that you use the big toe and second toe quite a lot as you walk. Your inner part of the shoe will be more worn than the outer part.
What can you do about it?
The Peroneals can be tender when bunions are an issue, this picture is a great shot that demonstrates where your Peroneals are, at the side of the shin,on the outer edge..find an area that feels tender, like you are pressing on bruise. Massage the area gently, don’t go in too heavy , for a 30 – 60 seconds.
Then once they’ve released go to the outside band of the thigh called the Tensor Fascia Lata, TFL for short.
Strengthen the TFL by lying on your side so the leg you pronate on (however, it may be both feet..so you need to practice this on both sides) is on top, lift it slightly away from the bottom leg, no higher than your hip, and bring it forwards about 30 degrees, slowly and gently lift and lower the leg…its a very small movement, don’t be tempted to go big, you may be missing a trick by overdoing it.
5 reps max or until you feel the leg being to shake, if you feel that after the first rep, then stop, 1 rep is all you need, you will find that as you practice this at least twice a day, you will get stronger and be able to do more repetitions.
I sit here at my laptop studying, reading, writing, and I do exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. Crossing my legs, tilting the pelvis, shortening the quads – rectus femurs mainly – front of the thigh.
You know what though?
Theres no perfect seated posture! yay!! Stop sitting up straight!
I’m so happy about that because I can be such a fidget. I hate sitting still, well, for too long anyway. I will sit still when I am meditating, or watching a really good movie.
I sat still watching About Time last week, such a sad movie, a bit cheesy, but I adore Bill Nighy! He’s a great actor, but I also love that he is very rarely in the celebrity limelight. He is just himself.
So, anyway, back to those hips – which Bill sways quite nicely in the film by the way when he does a little dance, but also when he’s playing Table tennis.
Tightness, and restriction in your hips can create tightness in the lumber spine, and further up the chain, affecting the head position too. No hip sway, more lower back and shoulder compensation.
So when you stretch the thigh, what happens?
The thigh muscles, the quadriceps – theres 4 of them – one of them attaches at the knee and runs up the front of the thigh to your hip bone. Hip flexor and hip extender.
It can affect the knee as well, but thats for another post as theres other things that can affect the knee like limited ankle mobility and side thigh muscles like Tensor Fascia Lata .
Tightness can affect the knee and pelvis when walking, running, walking up and down stairs.
It can also inhibit the hamstrings from doing their thing and compress the hip joint which can in turn inhibit the glutes.
Pretty amazing muscles then aren’t they?
If you are used to stretching it by holding the ankle, have a look in the mirror and see whatyou do this what happens to the rest of your body
Shoulder must be level
Hips must be level
Knees must also be level
Common issues are that the shoulders change position
The ribs lift
The breathing changes, usually gets held
The knees change position, usually the knee thats being stretched moves forward.
Use a band around the bottom of the leg to assist you until you feel you can stretch the quads without affecting any compensational movement patterns in your body, the first picture is how not to do it, and how I see it done often though.
Heres what I mean lying down on your front- as long as you keep your pelvic bone ON the floor, if you don’t, your pelvis will be arching and your lower back gets tight. Don’t hold your breath as you stretch. When you lie on your front you can use the surface as feedback for your breath, breathe in press the belly out into the floor/mat, exhale as you gently draw it in.
Melanie Collie is an anatomist and movement therapist who specialise in helping clients out of pain and back into a life of loving movement again. Her studio is where you usually find her with her bands, balls, and circles, mats, circles, weights and TRX. She calls it her torture chamber, her clients call it their little haven.