Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Achilles Tendinitis Pain? Trigger Point Therapy Helps!

Previously I covered trigger pointing for plantar fasciitis and inner heel pain. Since then, I received a few questions about trigger pointing for pain in various parts of the body. (Thanks for all your questions!) One of the enquiries was how to trigger point achilles pain. This is pain in the back of the ankle/s.
Credit: 'The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook'

Target trigger point #1: Soleus
I would first target the soleus trigger point (see pic to the right). Use your thumb to feel along the soleus muscle, until you find the trigger point. It will feel like a solid roundish mass. It will HURT when you press on it. This HURT almost always seems way out of proportion to the pressure you apply to it.

Use the opposite knee to rub out the trigger point firmly. This means, for a trigger point in your right soleus, rub the right soleus on your left knee. Thumbs work fine too.

Or you can get someone who enjoys hurting you to rub on that trigger point with their thumbs.

It's more fun that way :p

Target trigger point #2: Tibialis Posterior
Next, feel along the tibialis posterior muscle for a trigger point (see pic to the right). This muscle is quite deep - under the soleus and gastrocnemius. You will find the trigger point along the vertical line between the two 'heads' of the gastrocnemius. That's kind of the depression in the middle of the calf.

The trigger point will feel like a solid roundish mass. It won't hurt when you press on it....

I'm lying - of course it will hurt.

How much Hurt?
Rub out these trigger points 6-12 times, every hour. It should be enough pressure to be a 'good' hurt. Expect to feel immediately relief from your achilles pain. And for stubborn trigger points, it could take up to two weeks to completely resolve. Keep at it!

Let me know if these worked for you and if you managed to find those trigger points! And keep those questions coming!

Next post: Trigger Pointing for Knee Pain, even 'arthrtiic' knees

Friday, September 14, 2012

Women's Mountain Bike Clinic: Secret Training Files

I'm struggling with my fear of mountain biking. My biggest fear right now is going downhill.

I really do want to get over this bike phobia.

And I have tried.

  • I did a Kayuh Lasak 15 mile mountain bike race with over 1000 others in Malaysia - I walked the bike for about 70% of it. 
  • I did a solo mtb ride on a beginner's trail in FRIM. I fell.
  • I did a mtb race at Yellow Creek SP. I walked 50% of it. And DNFed

I would have signed up for the Zero2Hero mtb clinic run by Darcy Steinhardt. But I takut (scared)...

Sue Teoh on the Zero 2 Hero mountain bike clinic conducted by Darcy Steinhardt. That looks scary.
Anyway, while spectating a mountain bike race at Roaring Run last week, I found out about a women's only mountain bike group that rides together: "Dirty BELLAS - W. PA Women Mtn Bikers" .

In their About Page on FB: 'This group is created to help unite the girls in the W.PA/Pittsburgh area that want to tget out and mountain bike, learn the trails, improve on skills and advance in the sport with peers and without the intimidation that boys tend to bring with them.'

Jamie and I carpooled to North Side in Allison Park. My first time there. Nice dog park.

We followed the girls on a mostly rideable trail. I managed to stay on my bike for most of it.

Jamie took a hard fall. Hats off to Jamie for:

  • Riding a single speed.
  • Riding a single speed geared for a 37 year old hardcore male mountain biker 
  • Riding a single speed geared for a 37 year old hardcore male mountain biker, and in clipless pedals.
Oh, I should mention that this was only her third time on a mountain bike.

Congrats Jamie, you win the Crazy Chick of the day Award! :)

I'm hopeful I'll get better. I had a great time with the girls and I'm looking forward to the next one!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Inner Heel Pain: Trigger Point Therapy

Previously: Plantar fasciitis Heel Pain
In a previous post, I described how to locate and deactivate trigger points for plantar fasciitis, which gives a sharp pain directly on the heel. Plantar fasciitis pain is worst upon waking up in the morning, and it comes right back after sitting down for a long time.

This Post: Inner Heel Pain
I'll tackle trigger pointing inner heel pain. I had both plantar fasciitis and inner heel pain, and found trigger points that made the pain go away. Runners unite against Heel Pain!

Where and What
The pain on your inner heel is on the Adductor hallucis muscle. The trigger points are in the 'belly' of that muscle.

Use your thumbs or fingers to feel along the adductor hallucis. You might find two trigger points.

Credit: 'The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook'
These trigger points will feel like a solid crunchy/mass/lump about the size of a pea that hurts like heck when you push on them. Actually, the entire area around the trigger point will also hurt, so it will hurt when you try to find the trigger point. But it is very important that you find it so you can directly deactivate it.

  • Self massage: My second finger works better for me than my thumbs in locating the the trigger point.  I find one lump in my right adductor hallucis when I run my left second finger from arch to back of heel as hard as I can. 
  • Helping hand: Thumbs work better when locating and deactivating trigger points on another person. Today I found a monstrous one on Ruth's inner heel, drawing my thumb firmly across the adductor hallucis (also from arch to back of heel). 

Heal Pain!
Firmly rub on the trigger point/s 6-12 times, in a rolling motion. You could also use a golf ball to get in deep.

It's okay to cry. Screaming is optional.

Repeat this every hour or two. I mean the trigger pointing. :p

What to Expect
I've found this inner heel pain more stubborn and persistent than my plantar fasciitis pain. I've found that I need to trigger point this regularly, especially after long runs. But it works. Once I find the trigger point and deactivate it, the pain goes away.

You? Pain?
Did trigger point help your inner heel pain? Any problems finding that trigger point? Would seeing a video tutorial help?

Where else do you hurt? Achilles tendinitis? ITB? I'm all ears!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Trigger Point Plantar Fasciitis Away Now: How To Ease Pain Fast

I'm going to show you exactly where to trigger point massage to get rid of that plantar fasciitis heel pain that you have been suffering from.

Don't be like me
I spent close to RM1000 before finding this free solution to my plantar fasciitis. I found it in the
The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief book, borrowed from my library.

If you have heel pain, this is definitely worth trying. It might save you a lot of pain and grief and needless icing and abstinence (from running). It might spare you the fruitless search for heel cushions, padded shoes, foot splints, custom insoles, bla bla bla.

So, please try this first. Don't be like me ya. :)

You will Need

  • A golf ball
  • Your thumbs 

Where Does it Hurt?
If it hurts directly on your heel it could be one of two trigger points, or both of them. If it hurts on the inside of your heel it could be a different set of trigger points. I'll cover the direct heel pain first. This is a sharp pain that feels like you stepped on a stone. Or a nail is being driven into your heel.

Find The Trigger Point
Credit: Trigger Point Therapy Workbook
Use your fingers and thumbs to feel along your: 1) calf muscle, and 2) your quadratus plantae, to find the trigger points.

As I explained in previous post, the pain in your heel can be 'referred pain' originating from a trigger point in your calves. It is usually located in the 'belly' of the muscle and is a solid/hard mass ranging from 'noodle' to 'pea' shape/size (read about my two guinea pigs here).

In Figure 10.29, the black dot marks where the trigger point will be. Feel very carefully along every inch around there, rubbing back and forth with your thumb with a rolling motion.

Q: How do I know For Sure I Found It? 
Ya. It hurts when you push down on it. You don't even need to push hard. Just firmly. It surprised me the first time I felt and found that trigger point. That pea-like mass hurt exquisitely - only when I pressed on it.

A Good Kinda Pain
Now that you've found this first trigger point, use your thumbs and firmly rub it out in a smooth rolling motion. Do this 6-12 times. It will hurt, but in a good way. :)

This should deactivate the trigger point, resulting in the muscle being able to relax. You may discover that the heel pain and the tightness in your calves has eased. At this point you can safely stretch.

It's Still There
Okay, let's find the trigger point in your quadratus plantae next (Figure 10.55). This trigger point is very deep, so you will need to apply monstrous pressure with your thumbs to find it. Mine felt like a crunchy mass the size and shape of a bison rump steak gristle.

It will hurt.

And I don't mean the gristle.

To make it hurt some more, roll that painful spot over a golf ball. Work out the trigger point for about 6-12 good rolls.

And... Repeat
Do this every hour or two throughout the day. Stubborn trigger points can take up to two weeks before deactivating, but you should feel relief quite soon. For me, the pain went away like, immediately. Now, if you have pain on the inside of your heel, that's a different set of trigger points and I'll cover that soon.

It's Still There
If it didn't work for you, I'd love to hear about it!

xo Gracie

Lance Armstrong Stripped of 7 Tour Titles, Livestrong Donations Surge 25x!

The End, But Not Really
On Friday, Lance Armstrong announced he had ended his fight against the doping allegations brought by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Nobody ever tested me for taking steroids :p

Despite passing hundreds of drug tests throughout his cycling career, allegations of doping have always shadowed him.

However, it is apparent that his bigger battle against cancer will not be overshadowed.

Even as USADA found Lance guilty and disqualified him from all results dating back to 1 August 2012 (that's 14 years), Livestrong donations surged from $3,000 to $80,000 - a huge outpouring of support from donors.

Quoting Nike
"We are saddened that Lance Armstrong may no longer be able to participate in certain competitions and his titles appear to be impacted. Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors."

Whether Lance doped or not, at this point, does it matter? 

I first really started following him after reading his book "It's not about the bike". He survived testicular cancer. He has one ball. He went back to win the Tour de France six more times after surviving chemotherapy. He has raised $60 million over $470 million to help fight cancer.

I have total respect for this dude. Maybe even a little hero worship. :p

So, does it matter if Lance cheated? You tell me.

xo Gracie

p.s. It would be great if you could click on any ad here - my sponsors give me a few cents per click. Thanks for supporting my blog!