This one is a plant also that also goes by its Latin name Hedera Helix. This green plant can grow up to 30m high and has aerial roots that help it creep stones and trees. It has some shiny broad green leaves that are poisonous if eaten raw. But, even though it is dangerous, when it is preparеd properly, the ivy can treat respiratory problems such as asthma, coughs and bronchitis.
Health benefits of English ivy (Cough, Bronchitis & Asthma)
When it is being consumеd in the form of tea in small amounts, the plant can be beneficial for your health. This ivy was very much used as treatment of nasal polyps, bladder and kidney inflammation, eye diseases and bone problems. While in the past, the people used the plant to treat skin disorders and minor wounds. When it is being mixed with mint and parsley, it can bе usеd to resolve internal diseases, but it should bе consumеd carefully.
When used in small amounts, this plant can treat rheumatism and other inflammatory diseases, as well as clean your blood vessels and prevent atherosclerosis, relieve stomach inflammation and regulate your menstrual cycle. It is actually also effective against a variety of respiratory problems including asthma, coughs and bronchitis. Sniffing a little bit of English ivy juice has beеn known to relieve nasal polyps.
What is more, the benefits of the plant do not stop there. If washing your hair with English ivy tea can soothe inflammation in your scalp and clean your body from chemicals and pesticides. When you are preparing the tea, it is certainly not recommendеd to use more than 2 tablespoons of dry ivy leaves. They shall be boilеd in about a liter of water, and you shall drink no more than 3 oz. of the tea daily. In case you are growing ivy in your home, it is for the best to keep the berries and leaves out of your children’s or pet’s reach, as they are poisonous and can cause serious problems.
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Are you a runner suffering from bunions? Then you have come to the right place.
For most people, the word bunion conjures up images of ugly feet deformities and long-term pain, especially within the running community where runners have to rely on their feet on every step.
But it doesn’t have to that way.
As repelling and scary bunions can be, there are a few measures you can take to help you live with them and keep running strong.
In today’s post, I’ll share with you what you need to do for treating and preventing the progression of bunions while running.
What’s The Bunion?
Also known as Hallux valgus, A bunion is a deformity of the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint that develops on the inside portion of the great toe.
In plain English, a bunion forms when the big toe joint moves out of place, forcing the affected toe to stick out or develop a bump.
Under constant stress, the big toe joint can jut out of place, turn inward, and swell, causing a painful body protrusion on the side of the foot.
Since the metatarsophalangeal joint carries the bulk of your weight while walking and running, a bunion can cause some serious pain while running.
A bunion may start as a mild issue, but over time, may turn into a severely debilitating and disfiguring foot deformity. This is especially the case when continuous pressure is put on the affected limb.
They Are Common
Bunions are an all-too-common foot deformity that plague hundreds of millions of people worldwide, affecting roughly 1 in 4 people aged between 18 to 65, and more than one-third of people over the age 65.
This is especially the case among women who spend endless hours on their feet such as waitresses, nurses, and teachers—many of whom are also runners.
Does Running Cause Bunions?
Here’s the good and bad news.
Let’s start with the good news first.
Contrary to popular belief, running doesn’t cause bunions.
As a runner, you might be genetically predisposed to develop bunions because of the way your foot is structured—not because you logged in some miles before breakfast.
So, if your father or mother had bunions, you might have them, too.
The bad news is, running can make your existing bunions worse, fast.
Repeated load to the toe and forefront area—unavoidable while running, especially during the push-off phase of running—can exacerbate bunions.
So can the ceaseless friction of the affected toe against the side of your shoe.
Serious cases of the bunions can bring your running routine to a halt, requiring surgery to repair the joint, which is why you should take the following measures at the first sign of discomfort or redness.
So Can You Run With A Bunion?
Of course, you can.
But you definitely need to be more careful than the regular, bunion-free, runner. This way you won’t have to stop running after a few minutes in because of excessive pain in your feet.
Keep on reading to discover what you need to do to run comfortably with a bunion.
Treating and Preventing Bunions While Running
Most bunions are permanent unless surgically removed or corrected.
But there are a few steps you can take to make running with bunions more comfortable, even to slow a bunion’s progression.
Pad the affected toe if your bunion is bothering you while running. Taping your foot can limit direct pressure placed on the bunion while running and may prevent the progression of the condition altogether.
Non-medical pads and tapes are available at most drugstores. These are made either of neoprene, moleskin, silicon, foam or a gel-filled plastic.
In some cases, these pads are also used in conjunction with toe separators, which help relieve pain and prevent worsening of the condition.
Just make sure your running shoes have ample space to accommodate them.
It’s also crucial to keep your foot muscles strong to counteract any muscular imbalance.
Don’t get me wrong. Strength training won’t remove your bunions (since this one is a biomechanical deformity), but it may soothe your symptoms and help you train more comfortably.
Adding strength to these muscles provides your feet with better support which will improve your big toe mobility and ease discomfort while running and walking.
Muscles to target include :
- Adductor halluces
- Flexor halluces brevis
- Abductor halluces
- Fibularis longus
- Tibialis posterior.
Here are the exercises you need :
Single-Leg Calf Raises
Shin release with a lacrosse ball
Calf release with a lacrosse ball or foam roller
Have The Right Shoes
The best measure you can take right now as a runner is to head to a specialty running store to get the best fitting shoes.
If you’re running in the wrong shoes, you’re further irritating the site of your bunion.
Here are the main tips to keep in mind.
Go wide. Wide fitting running shoes provide a lot of comfort for bunion sufferers by allocating more space for the big toe. This allows for your bunion to move more freely while pounding the pavement.
Go soft. Running shoes with a soft toe box can also help they help limit rubbing and chaffing on the bunion, especially if the bunion is tender and contains fluid.
Go Flexible. Your running shoes should have a wide, flexible sole to support your feet.
Go low. Look for shoes that do not have an elevated heel—or what’s known as ‘zero drop’ shoes.
Enough room. Your running shoes should have plenty of room in the toe box—the part surrounding your toes—without forcing, squeezing, or sliding with mesh and minimal stitching at the bunion area.
Use the Right Knot
Tying your shoes, the right way can also help relieve pressure in the shoe box.
Loosening up the laces closer to your toes minimizes the pressure applied to the toes, bunion, and ball of the foot.
Here’s a YouTube tutorial that can help you to better understand the so-called “Bunion Step-Over” lacing technique.
Taking the above practical self-care measures can help relieve bunion pain, especially when running.
Nonetheless, when these aren’t enough to keep you training pain-free, the next step is to see a doctor and review your options.
When a bunion becomes too painful and impacts everyday activities, many professionals will recommend surgery as the only way out.
What’s known as a bunionectomy, the main purpose of surgery is to realign the big toe joint to correct deformity, restore function, and soothe symptoms.
It often involves opening up the big toe joint, then realigning the bones. Messy affair but it has to be done in some cases.
Just make sure to find a sport podiatric who is familiar with treating runners. If he’s a runner himself, then you got yourself a winner.
Full Recovery Period
A bunionectomy can put you out of commission for a few days to a few weeks and wearing a surgical boot for roughly a month.
In general, full recovery from this can take up anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks. Even then, going back to your former running glory should take a while.
This might sound like a long time away from your running shoes. Nonetheless, it’s a much better option than suffering severe pain on every step you take while running.
Don’t you think so?
During your recovery period, do plenty of low impact exercises to keep fit and going strong.
Although the above measures seem simple, they can make a big difference. Dealing with bunions while running does not have to be complicated—as long as you know what you’re doing.
You can make some simple changes to the way you train that can protect you and prevent the progression of toe deformities.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.
Keep Running Strong.
The post How to Prevent & Treat Bunions For Runners appeared first on Runners Blueprint.
When you think about the type of knee injuries often seen in runners, what comes to mind?
Of course, there’s the infamous Runners Knee (patellofemoral syndrome), and the agonizing Iliotibial band syndrome.
But what about the lesser-known, bust as a notorious and painful condition known as patellar tendonitis?
Although it’s more common in athletes who engage in jumping sports, runners can also fall victim to it.
That’s why in today’s post, I’m sharing with you the complete guide to patellar tendonitis.
I’ll explain the process behind it, what’s causing it, and give you a few treatment and prevention guidelines to speed up recovery and protect your knees against any future problems.
Are you excited?
Then here we go.
What’s Patellar Tendonitis?
Although it sounds like a mouthful, patellar tendonitis is simply an inflammation, degeneration or rupture of the patellar tendon caused by unaccustomed or excessive tension forces.
To fully understand what is it all about let’s first define patellar tendon.
The patellar tendon, or the patellar ligament, is a crucial part of leg structure, connecting the kneecap to the top of the tibia (or shin bone). See image.
This tendon originates on the kneecap and extends down the front of the knee to insert on the top of the tibia.
When you contract your quad muscles, your patellar tendon is pulled, which in turn straightens your knee and extends your leg. This helps you run, kick, and jump.
But that’s not all.
Your patellar tendon also helps keep proper kneecap alignment as you bend your legs and straighten them during each step. It also helps transmit forces from the thigh to the lower leg.
For these reasons, the patellar ligament absorbs a lot of loading, and therefore, it’s prone to injury in runners—in fact, surveys show that patellar tendonitis accounts for roughly 5 percent of all running injuries.
Jumpers knee, as the name implies, is most common in athletes whose sports require a lot of jumping (volleyball and basketball), activities that involve quick changes in direction (football), or many stop-and-go movements (tennis, badminton).
For example, the rate of injury in volleyball players can reach up to 40 percent.
However, even trainees who don’t participate in such sports can get patellar tendinitis—runners are no exception.
Pounding the pavement places a great deal of stress on the patellar tendon, causing irritation and limiting training. And as I have already stated, about 5 percent of all running injuries can be blamed on jumpers knee.
The Causes Of Jumpers Knee
Patellar tendonitis is caused by repetitive load.
More specifically, tendinopathy arises when this tendon is continuously loaded while running with insufficient rest and recovery between workouts.
The main risk factors contributing to the onset of the condition include:
- Biomechanical problems, such as overpronation
- Excessive hill training.
- Greater body weight
- Having an increased angle of the knee
- Being knock-kneed or bow-legged
- Limb-length discrepancies
The Telling Signs Of Patellar Tendonits
Just like other injuries, patellar tendonitis comes with a host of red flags.
Runners suffering from jumpers’ knees usually describe pain in the front of the knee—on what’s known as the lower pole of the patella, during and after exercise.
On the onset, jumpers knee starts as an inflammation of the tendon, with the pain usually only felt after a hard run.
Symptoms may be tolerable, but training may become more and more uncomfortable as the injury worsens, affecting the normal activities of one’s day, such as when climbing stairs, or after sitting for long periods.
Once you have severe tendonitis, even bending and/or straightening the injured limb can be very painful.
Some of the main symptoms include:
- Swelling under the patella
- Knee stiffness in the morning
- Tenderness behind the lower part of the patella
- Pain when straightening or bending the leg.
- Pain gets worse with running or jumping
Patellar Tendinitis Vs. Runners Knee
When trying to figure out if you may have jumpers’ knee, it’s vital to know the symptoms of other common knee injuries.
For instance, if you’re experiencing pain at the top or on the sides of the kneecap, it’s unlikely patellar tendonitis, but rather another common knee injury known as patellofemoral pain syndrome. Jumpers’ knee doesn’t hurt along the top or side of the patellar and isn’t typically sensitive to the touch.
Also, having pain on the outside of the knee may indicate iliotibial band syndrome, which is a whole different story.
Regardless of the symptoms you’re having, if your knee pain refused to go away after a few days, it’s important that you take a step back from running and assess your current situation.
The best course of action is to visit your doctor so you can properly determine what you are dealing with and discuss the treatment methods for your own specific case.
It’s Not A Death Sentence
Patellar tendonitis is by no means the worst running injury you can sustain. Nonetheless, if the injury goes untreated or ignored, the tendon will become more damaged, putting you out of commission for weeks, even months.
This is why it’s key to take care of your jumpers’ knee from running immediately or else your patellar ligament will become weaker and more prone to tears in the future.
Treatment of Patellar Tendonitis
Jumpers’ knee is usually treated conservatively, i.e., without surgery. Going under the knife is only needed if the patellar tendon actually ruptures.
The following measures can help you relieve pain and stop the progression of patellar tendonitis while running.
If you suffer from a lot of pain, stop running and rest the affected limb from activities that aggravate the condition. Any further running or stress will only make the condition worse, thus prolong recovery.
Treating patellar tendonitis involves opting for the R.I.C.E method, which stands for resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the injured limb.
To ease inflammation, apply ice to the injured area for 15 minutes three to four times per day.
If you still feel pain following a few days despite resting and icing, the next step would be to use a band or brace on the knee. This may help reduce the stress on the tendon, stabilize the knee and reduce inflammation—all of which can speed up recovery.
When to Call A Doctor
In case the RICE method failed at soothing your pain, see your doctor.
They will assess your condition, if needed, prescribe anti-inflammatories and/or physical therapy to hasten recovery.
In severe cases of jumpers’ knee, the course of treatment usually involves a mix of physical therapy and possibly platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Surgical intervention should only be considered as a last resort.
Prevention Of Jumpers Knee
Maybe you’re a runner who is not yet experiencing any symptoms of jumper’s knee but looking for proactive measures to prevent injury.
First of all, I applaud you for being proactive and taking the initiative to manage your health and well-being.
Here’s the good news. Patellar tendonitis can be avoided with a few prevention strategies.
When the muscles that surround or cross the knee joint are tight, extra stress is placed on the patellar tendon, contributing to tendonitis.
Build the habit of stretching the muscles surrounding your knee kneecap. These include your quads, hamstrings, calves and hip flexors.
Here are the main stretches:
Standing hamstring stretch
Side-lying leg lift
Like most knee problems, the stronger the muscles surrounding your knees, the less risk for sustaining a serious ailment—and if you do catch one, you’ll likely bounce back faster.
The two important muscle group that support and protect your knee—especially the patellar tendon— are the quadriceps and the hamstrings.
Some of the best exercises include:
Single leg glute bridges
Improve Your Form
The load through the tendon can also be minimized by improving your running technique—the way you move.
According to my research, the best form tweak for protecting your lower body against overuse injury is to avoid overstriding, which refers to landing the foot too far in front.
To shorten your stride, focus on two things:
Land directly underneath your body rather than the front of your hips. Check this article.
Improve your cadence. Here’s the full guide.
I can go on and on about the many ways you can improve your running technique, but ain’t nobody got time for that.
The following posts will get you started on the right foot (literally and figurately).
- Post 1
- Post 2
- Post 3
If you can afford it, get a running coach, or consult a professional on how to improve your form as it relates to preventing knee pain.
Get Proper Running Shoes
Think about changing your running shoes, too.
Running shoes with a drastic heel-to-toe-drop may put extra stress on the patellar tendon.
Proper trainers help keep your knees stable, offer ample cushioning, and support your lower leg throughout the running motion.
Replace your running shoes the moment they start to lose support and cushioning—typically after 400 miles. Here’s the full guide.
As far as I can tell, as long as you’re listening to your body and treating patellar tendonitis early on, you’ll be okay.
And in case you’re dealing with jumpers’ knee, taking the above treatment and prevention measures will surely help you relieve your pain and keep training injury free. It’s up to you to take action.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.
Keep Running Strong.
The post How To Treat & Prevent Patellar Tendinitis appeared first on Runners Blueprint.