I'm currently reading a novel where the main character needs to put on muscle. Well, at least he thinks he needs to put on muscle. The author is confused. The character really needs to get as strong as possible as quickly as possible, which isn't necessarily the same thing at all. I won't tell you what book this is since you don't need to know just how much of a geek I am. OK, you forced me, it's sort of a time travel book about a guy who needs to fight an incoming wave of inter-dimensional monsters. See, I told you…
A trainer named Tamara Grand has a blog called fitnitchick and today I commented on her nice overview of muscle fatigue versus muscle soreness (DOMs) versus muscle strain. A lot of people new to strength training or resistance training might have a hard time knowing what kind of discomfort is "good" and what means they have gone too far or even hurt themselves. In fact, I know many people have this question because I've been asked many times.
Continue Reading » From FitNitChick: Overview of Muscle Fatigue Versus DOMS Versus Strain
Some people, possibly beginning in early adolescents, but perhaps later, can develop a painful bump on the side of their foot near the arch. The pain may be worse after athletic activity or just normal walking, and walking itself may become painful. This pain may become constant, but it will tend to improve with continued rest. Depending on the size of the bump, it may rub against shoes, or cause pain if the bump is hit by something. Over time, the arch of the foot may be lost and a flat food will develop. What causes this painful bump on the foot? What can be done about it?
Continue Reading » Painful Bump on Inside of Foot: The Accessory Navicular Bone
Jogger's nipples or runner's nipples is a condition caused by the constant friction between a runner's nipples and shirt, which causes chafing of the nipples and areola. Jogger's nipples is probably the term most often used, since the condition is more prevalent in long distance runners. It is also called fissure of the nipple. It is similar to the nipple irritation sometimes experienced by breastfeeding mothers. Surfers who do not wear rash guards may also have this problem. It is more of a problem during hot, humid days and can also happen to bike riders.
Continue Reading » Jogger's or Runner's Nipples
The abbreviation AC or AC joint stands for the acromioclavicular joint. The acromioclavicular is one of the three articulations of the shoulder girdle. See the shoulder complex for a general overview of the shoulder girdle and its joints.
Continue Reading » Acromioclavicular Joint (AC Joint) Overview and Injuries
It is commonly believed that hernias are caused by a single bout of heavy lifting. Certainly, many people have felt the first symptoms of a hernia as they lift something heavy, such as on a construction job or just around the house. Therefore, it makes sense that the deadlift could be a prime cause of hernias. After all, a great amount of strain can be placed on the abdominal wall, and this strain might tear open the tissues. There are different kinds of hernias, but surely, if anything can give you one, it is the deadlift. Although there is no such thing as a 'deadlift hernia,' there is special danger, many people claim, during the negative phase of the lift, when you are returning the bar to the floor. Is this true?
Continue Reading » Can You Get a Hernia From Deadlifts?
This explanation takes the form of a video. The text of this article is the exact transcript from the video and is an explanation of acute and exertional compartment syndromes for athletes and exercisers. These are easily mistaken for shin splints but are much more severe conditions. Compartment syndromes can result in severe irreversible nerve damage, cell death, and even loss of the lower limb. If you have any of the symptoms outlined in this video, consult a doctor immediately. For those in need of more in-depth medical information on compartment syndromes and other musculoskeletal conditions, I would recommend Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation by Frontera and Silver
Continue Reading » Painful, Swollen, Tight Shins During Exercise
Black heel, also called talon noir or calcaneal petechiae is the appearance of painless bluish-black dots on the heels of the feet that are caused by mechanical trauma. This also may occur on the palms, and when this happens it is called black palm or tâche noir.1
Continue Reading » Black Heel and Black Palm (Talon Noir and Tâche Noir)
You would not believe how common an occurrence this is during strength training. Basically, what happens is a trainee notices that his biceps or some other muscle is sore to touch and with movement, maybe even a bit red or bruised looking. He or she figures they must have pulled a muscle during their last workout…but they never noticed a thing! No pain, nothing. How could this be? And why should it hurt so much now…say a day after the workout?
Continue Reading » How Did I Strain a Muscle Without Noticing It?
The proper names for the muscles we call the rhomboids are Rhomboideus Major and Minor or the Rhomboidei. Although two different muscles, they are very difficult to distinguish from one another and perform the same actions together. They run obliquely downward from the spine to the inner edge of the scapula, on each side of the middle back and connect the vertebra in that area to the medial border of the scapula. They are largely covered by the more superficial trapezius muscle.
Continue Reading » Rhomboid Major and Minor Muscles: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
Snapping Scapula syndrome is a snapping, grinding, or popping sensation or sound with scapulothoracic movement. Although pain with shoulder movement is usually present, some may have no pain. It is also sometimes referred to as scapulothoracic bursitis, scapulothoracic crepitus, superior scapula syndrome, scapulocostal syndrome, retroscapular creaking, washboard syndrome, rolling scapula, and grating scapula. It was described by Boinet as early as 1867, who presented the case of a 10 year old who had discomfort with scapula movement.
Many strength trainees, bodybuilders, and exercisers are told that there should be a certain ratio between the strength of their hamstring and quadriceps muscles. Called the H/Q ratio and reported to be anywhere from .50 to .75 with a normative value of .60, the strength ratio of this important agonist/antagonist pairing is considered essential to the stability of the knee joint and to prevent ACL and other injuries. It is also sometimes thought to be predictive of those at risk for hamstring strain.
Continue Reading » Is the Hamstring to Quadriceps Strength Ratio Really Important?
Quick forum thread discussion on whether the male athletic supporter serves any real purpose.
- What was the original purpose of the athletic support?
- Can an athletic supporter protect you from an inguinal hernia
- Do you need a firm undergarment to protect you from a hernia?
- The athletic supporter and the 'cup' to protect the genitalia
Continue Reading » Do Athletic Supporters Really Do Anything?
Turf toe, which is actually a sprain of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP), is one of the most common athletic foot injuries. You may not realize how important your big toe is until you sprain it. This seemingly little sprain is a big problem and it can take you out of the game for three or more weeks. If you expect it to heel quickly you have to be able to protect the toe from the constant aggravation of walking.
Continue Reading » Turf Toe Taping: How to Tape and Protect a Sprained Big Toe
By Eric Troy, Ground Up Strength
Shin Splints is not an Accurate Term
If you ask a doctor what shin splints are you probably will not get a straight answer. That is because there are no straight answers to give. Shin splints is the generic name we use for any leg pain that is below the knee and above the ankle. The term is nondescriptive and does not refer to any one type of pain or pathophysiology. It is often called a "wastebasket" diagnosis.
Shin splints, therefore, should not be considered an adequate diagnosis of chronic lower leg pain as this will offer no guidance to treatment and avoidance. Basically, if your doctor tells you that you have shin splints they are basically telling you that you have shin pain, which you probably already knew!
Is There a Technical Name for Shin Splints?
However, there is a typical pain syndrome, called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, that can be considered somewhat synonymous with shin splints. This syndrome causes pain that usually occurs in the lateral front of the lower leg or more to the inside of the lower leg, called the "posteromedial" region. It is most common following repetitive running and jumping activities such as running, volleyball, and soccer. There are many articles that will run through all the complexities of shin pain and try to tell you the truth about shin splints by dumping data about all the many causes..but most of them are rare compared to MTSS.
The three common terms used to refer to tendon injuries or overuse injuries are extremely confusing. Much of the time, the difference between these entities is not apparent at all and they seem to be used interchangeably. Since there also exists disagreement among practitioners as to what internal changes actually constitute what condition, the layperson is left even more befuddled. Both tendonitis and tendonosis are much more common terms than tendonopathy.
Continue Reading » What is the difference Between Tendonitis, Tendonosis, and Tendinopathy?
Plica syndrome is a post-traumatic or post-inflammatory thickening, chronic inflammation (synovitis), and/or fibrosis of the synovial plicae of the knee. This means that the plica (PLI-kah) have been irritated by overuse or injury to the knee. Most commonly affecting the medial plica, the symptoms mimic those of other other knee problems, such as a torn meniscus, causing patella pain, snapping, clicking, and tenderness of the joint. There may be a sense of instability in the knee and a knee-locking sensation. Bibliography item klippel not found.,Bibliography item wheeles not found.
Continue Reading » Plica Syndrome Of The Knee: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
What is a Sports Hernia?
A sports hernia also known as athletic pubalgia, Gilmore's groin, and slap shot gut, is an uncommon, but often missed cause of groin pain in high level athletes. It is poorly understood and poorly defined in the medical community. It is also very difficult to identify based on history and physical exam of an athlete with groin pain. The name sports hernia is a misnomer as well because there is no discernable hernia (or protrusion of abdominal cavity contents) present in this condition.
Continue Reading » Symptoms of Sports Hernia and Athletic Pubalgia
The knee joint is one of the major weight bearing joints, it has to cope with walking, running, bending, jumping and lifting objects. It also works in conjunction with the hip & ankle joints, assisting in static erect posture (standing). So not only does the knee joint need to offer stability & weight support, but it must also offer considerable mobility. It is no surprise then that it is one of the most commonly injured joints in the human body.
Continue Reading » Common Function and Disfunction Of The Knee
Bursitis involves inflammation or irritation of the bursa of a joint. The word bursitis comes from the word bursa and "itis" which means inflammation.
A bursa is a small, synovial fluid containing sac surrounded by a membrane. These sacs act as cushions for the joints. Located in areas that are subject to friction, as when a muscle or tendon is pulling around a corner or over a bone, their purpose is to cushion and lubricate the tissues.Bibliography item acr not found.,Bibliography item jhwhite not found.
Continue Reading » What is Bursitis? Its Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention
The human knee is a very complicated joint. Two major bones come together at the knee — the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia — (shin bone). There is a third bone located at the knee — the patella (knee cap), but it does not participate in the joint between the femur and the tibia. The lower end of the femur has two side-by-side convex curved surfaces, while the upper end of the tibia has two side-by-side concave curved surfaces. The convex surfaces on the femur are obviously designed to fit into the concave surfaces on the tibia. But there are several things located in between.
Continue Reading » Anatomy of Torn Cartilage and Other Knee Injuries
Although sometimes associated with the elderly, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS or ITBFS, for iliotibial band friction syndrome) commonly affects the thighs and knees of runners, cyclists, hikers, and weight lifters. Squats, in particular, may cause this often acutely painful injury, providing a good case for proper form and adequate warm-ups and cool-downs.
Continue Reading » Iliotibial Band Syndrome
There are three types of burns, categorized by the degree of injury to the body's tissues. First-degree burns are burns that result in injury to the outside layer of skin only. These types of burns are commonly caused by very brief contact with hot surfaces, such as cooking pans, hot water, steam, and mild sunburn. No blistering occurs. These burns are minor and should heal within a week
First-Degree Burn Symptoms
- Mild Swelling
- Skin is unbroken (no blisters)
Continue Reading » How to Treat Minor Burns: Basic First Aid
Many of the people that come to Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers are seeking someone to help them with muscular pain and chronic tension from Myofascial Trigger Points. They've heard that Trigger Point Therapy is a great way to naturally relieve their pain and restore function.
Continue Reading » Trigger Point Therapy
The retina is the transparent light sensitive membrane which lines the back of the eye. When light strikes this membrane messages are sent to the brain through the optic nerve. When the retina becomes separated from it's underlying supportive tissue this is termed "retinal detachment" or a detached retina. This condition, which causes visual disturbances, was known as early as the 1700's when a pathological examination of an eye was reported by de Saint-Yves. Almost a century later the the first clinical description appeared and after that, with the invention of the opthalmoscope in 1851 retinal detachments were increasingly observed.
Continue Reading » Retinal Detachment: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for consulting a physician. Despite little supporting scientific evidence, bed rest was considered the primary treatment from the late 19th century. What has changed now is how back pain is understood and managed.
Continue Reading » Bed Rest is No Longer the Best Option for Back Pain
The trapezius is a three part (tripartite) muscle of the upper back extending from the base of the skull all the way to the lower thoracic spine and laterally from the clavicle to the entire length of the spine of the scapula. Together the two trapezii form a diamond or kite-shaped trapezoid from which the muscle derives its name.
Continue Reading » Trapezius Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
The levator scapulae is a muscle located on each side of the neck, situated posteriorly1. It is named for its action in elevating or "lifting" the scapula and the word levator is the latin word for "to lift". This muscle is like the over-worked back-stage prop guy of the neck. Always in the shadow of the large sternocleidomastoid and hardly ever getting a moments rest.
Along with the trapezius, the levator scapulae works to shrug the shoulders by its raising of the medial margin of the scapula. If the scapula are fixed the muscles assist in cervical extension and if used alone flex the neck laterally to one side.
Continue Reading » Levator Scapulae Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
Posterior pelvic pain (PPP) is pain felt at or near the sacroiliac joints of your pelvis as a result of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. These are joints located at the 2 dimples of the lower back. The pain often feels deep within your lower back and can occur on one or both sides of your back. In some cases, pain radiates down to the buttock and the back of the thigh.
While pain may begin at any time during pregnancy, PPP on average begins in the 18th week of pregnancy and becomes more intense as the pregnancy progresses. The pain usually spontaneously resolves within 3 months post delivery. But in some cases it can become chronic and disabling.
Continue Reading » Posterior Pelvic Pain In Pregnant Women: Sacroiliac Joint Pain
General self-myofascial release has become very familiar to the strength training world in recent years but targeted trigger point release is much less well-known. Although myofascial trigger points can certainly be self-treated with simple massage techniques and some targeted stretching when needed, in many cases a trained professional may be a better option. This is especially true in the case of chronic recurring pain conditions as opposed to occasional acute pain problems. Trigger points can have an underlying cause, and reading a trigger point self-help book, although highly recommended, is a long way from preparing us to identify and treat these underlying causes. However, when choosing to perform trigger point self-therapy there are some simple and universal precautions.1
Continue Reading » Trigger Point Release Self Treatment Cautions and Tips
The masseter is a jaw muscle that gets its name from the Greek work "to chew". It is the major muscle of mastication (chewing) of the human jaw and serves primarily to elevate the mandible (lower jaw) while the deep tissues help to protrude (protract) it forward. Although we rarely think of it, the mandible is the only bone of the skull that is actually moveable. The upper jaw is fixed. There is a lot of moving for the mandible to do, therefore, and the masseter is the primary worker. Located on each side of the face in the parotid1 region at the back of the jaw, these muscles are easily visible or palpable when you clench your jaw, as they contract strongly just in front of the lower ears.2
Continue Reading » Masseter Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points
You may have heard trainers and coaches talk about movement amplitude. I often talk about amplitude as being one of those performance characteristics that determine the outcome of a training regimen and one of the factors indicating reductions or improvement in performance.
Amplitude is also part of the "law of repetitive motion" equation developed by Dr. Michael P. Leahy, who is the founder of Active Release Techniques (ART). This "law" is an equation describing the interaction between various parameters of human motion: I=NF/AR where:
Continue Reading » Amplitude Of Movement, Law of Repetitive Motion, and Plyometrics
Lots of trainees ask whether they can get a torn bicep from deadlifts. Actually there are three related questions which I will introduce one after the other:
Continue Reading » Biceps Tears from Deadlifts?
The last post about the concept of optimal strength training was more philosophical than practical. Even so, many practical ideas are derived from an underlying philosophy concerning training. Nevertheless, I promised to get more technical and “sciency” in the next post so this one is about science itself being applied to strength training.
Continue Reading » Training to Fail Part 6: Biomechanics, Injury Prevention, and Performance
This is an older post from the GUStrength's Blog.
I noticed a post about a study at Male Pattern Fitness1 that I would like to have reacted to but for some reason the comments are always closed kinda quickly at this blog so I wanted to comment on it here. I feel it may be a bit misleading.
Yes, I agree completely that most people train in a way that predisposes them to imbalances and injury. Such as the internal rotator dominance that was brought up in the post.
Continue Reading » Recreational Weight Training Makes You More Prone To Shoulder Injury?
Ligaments and tendons are soft connective tissues which serve essential roles for biomechanical function of the musculoskeletal system by stabilizing and guiding the motion of diarthrodial joints. Nevertheless, these tissues are frequently injured due to repetition and overuse as well as quick cutting motions that involve acceleration and deceleration. These injuries often upset this balance between mobility and stability of the joint which causes damage to other soft tissues manifested as pain and other morbidity, such as osteoarthritis.
Continue Reading » Understanding Normal, Injured and Healing Ligaments And Tendons
The last three decades have witnessed a tremendous increase in female sports participation at all levels. However, increased sports participation of female athletes has also increased the incidence of sport-related injuries, which can be either acute trauma or overuse injuries. Overuse injuries may be defined as an imbalance caused by overly intensive training and inadequate recovery, which subsequently leads to a breakdown in tissue reparative mechanisms. This article will review the most frequent overuse injuries in female athletes in the context of anatomical, physiological, and psychological differences between genders.
Continue Reading » Overuse Injuries in Female Athletes
Having a forward head posture puts a lot of strain on the muscles of your neck and jaw. Having a "forward head" means that your head (and often one or both shoulders, too) are in front of your body.
Where should your head be instead? Well, when you were a toddler, it was pretty much directly over your body and that's still where it should be. Due to habits, furniture, car seats, work and life, sometimes our head moves out in front of us. That causes a lot of symptoms and TMJ pain, or pain and difficulty moving your jaw, can be one of those symptoms.
Continue Reading » Pterygoid Muscle and Jaw Pain
Rolfing, otherwise known as Structural Integration, is named after Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Structural Integration is the outcome of her work from the 1920's all the way up to her death in 1979 although most sources say it was "created" in the 1960's.
This method of manipulation, instead of focusing on the muscles, is aimed at the fascia, which is the protective layer of connective tissue which surrounds the muscles, bones, and organs.
Continue Reading » What is Rolfing?
Tell any long-distance runner or cyclist about your stinging pain at the side of the knee or hip, and you will get a knowing sympathetic look. ITB (Iliotibial band) friction syndrome is one of the commonest complaints amongst runners, cyclists and intense court sports.
Continue Reading » Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome
Nerves and blood vessels travel from the neck to the upper limb through a series of three tunnels, known collectively as the thoracic outlet. (Picture 1)
The nerves and blood vessels pass through three triangular channels which make up the thoracic outlet: (A) the triangular space between the scalene muscles; (B) the costoclavicular space; and (C) a space beneath the pectoralis minor muscle.
Continue Reading » Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
The plantar fascia provides support when the foot rises up on the toes during walking, running, or climbing. It supports the long arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is caused by strain of the plantar fascia. The injured tissue causes pain at the bottom of the foot when starting to walk or when standing still for a long period of time. It is one of the most common causes of foot pain in adults [1,2].Jumping, running, or prolonged standing often causes strain on the plantar fascia. The outcome is generally good, with approximately 80 percent of people having no pain within one year. Flat feet can be a predisposing cause for plantar fasciitis as can a high arched foot (pes cavus) .
Continue Reading » Plantar Fasciitis
Sciatica is a buttock pain radiating down the back of the thigh and leg and possibly into the calf or foot. Other characteristics of sciatica include varying degrees of weakness in the leg muscles and numbness and/or tingling that radiates down the leg. These symptoms occur because of compression and/or irritation of the sciatic nerve or nerve roots which are forming the sciatic nerve. The areas in the buttock and leg affected by this compression are the areas that the sciatic nerve supplies with messages for normal function. There are many other names for sciatica including lumbosacral radicular syndrome, radiating low back pain, nerve root pain, and nerve root entrapment.
Continue Reading » Sciatica: Causes, Diagnosis, And Treatment
For centuries it has been afflicting man. It is intangible, mysterious and yet ubiquitous. Myofascial Trigger Points are the commonest cause of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed aches, pains and other puzzling symptoms. The daily clinical experience of thousands of physiotherapists, massage therapists and physicians verifies that most back and neck pain and headaches which are recurrent and stubborn are caused by trigger points or muscles knots.
Continue Reading » Myofascial Trigger Points and Trigger Point Therapy
Before I begin this little explanation I want to drop a bomb on you. The majority of injuries that occur in the weight-room are not "severe". They are relatively small and manageable strains. But they can LEAD to the severe injuries when managed improperly.
Continue Reading » Nondisruptive Muscle Strain Injury
In the first part of shoulder injury prevention, I wrote about certain stretches and mobilizations necessary for the shoulder girdle to function properly and get the appropriate scapulo-glenohumeral rhythm. This means that we need to get the humerus to function properly in the glenohumeral joint to help the scapulae glide efficiently and not tilt anteriorly (up and forward).
Continue Reading » Shoulder Injury Prevention 2
Pectoralis minor tightness can be associated with pain between the shoulder blades which causes the rhomboids to be in a constant overworked/stretched position.
Continue Reading » Shoulder Injury Prevention - Pec Minor Tightness and Stretching Video
The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. The head of the humerus (the bone where your biceps and triceps are) attaches into the “glenoid fossa”, which is simply a cavity for the bone to go into. This is just one aspect of this complex joint. It gets crazy.
Continue Reading » Shoulder Injury Prevention
The first part will focus on the soft tissue injuries that a bodybuilder or strength athlete may incur and the important first steps one should take to ensure a speedy recovery. It will not go into specific exercise and sports injuries and is not meant as a comprehensive guide or a replacement for professional medical advice.
Continue Reading » First Aid For Musculoskeletal Injuries
- Trigger Point Info