When it’s not plantar fasciitis; other sneaky causes of heel pain

When it’s not plantar fasciitis; other sneaky causes of heel pain

Ankle-Foot, Articles, Running, Tactical
When it's not plantar fasciitis; other sneaky causes of heel pain This article was originally published in The Raider Patch: Magazine of the U.S. Marine Raider Association If you feel pain on the bottom of your heel, the instinctive reaction might be to attribute it to the ubiquitous culprit—plantar fasciitis. While this condition is undoubtedly common, it's not the sole source of heel discomfort. Two often-overlooked causes deserve awareness: heel fat pad syndrome and Baxter's nerve entrapment.   The trouble with this trio is that they are commonly considered solo acts. However, they tend to run together in people who run, ruck, or spend countless hours on their feet. In this article, we'll go over each problem, identify key similarities and differences of each, and introduce self-treatment options that you can…
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How to manage a pulled hamstring caused by sprinting and limit downtime from running: A first aid guide

How to manage a pulled hamstring caused by sprinting and limit downtime from running: A first aid guide

Articles, Lower Body, Running, Tactical
How to manage a pulled hamstring caused by sprinting and limit downtime from running: A first aid guide This article was originally published in The Raider Patch: Magazine of the U.S. Marine Raider Association "Pop" You hear the sound followed by intense pain shooting along the back of your thigh that stops you dead in your tracks. You may have pulled or "strained" a hamstring muscle (there are 3). This injury occurs when the muscle fibers overstretch so quickly that they cannot contract to protect themselves in time. Hamstring strains often happen during a quick sprint effort, such as picking up the pace during a running workout or stopping short to avoid crashing into a slow pedestrian. Even a quick burst effort to chase after your dog on a breakaway from…
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Web Workshop: How To Choose Running Shoes

Web Workshop: How To Choose Running Shoes

Articles, Running
Web Workshop: How To Choose Running Shoes Thanks so much for having me, guys. This talk today is a small part of something that came out of our frustration that there are so many different running shoes,  so many different brands, so many different sponsors for all of that. How do we make sense of it? And so we kind of talked about let's get back to the basics. My name is Rita Chorba, I'm a physical therapist and athletic trainer, and I've been in the field for about 15 years. I started out  working with runners at the University of Arizona, and they taught me a lot about really high-level, elite-level running. And then for the last several years, I've been working as a civilian for the military.  So…
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What the Cup! Cupping Therapy for Sports and Tactical Injuries

What the Cup! Cupping Therapy for Sports and Tactical Injuries

Articles, Lower Body, Neck Back, Recovery, Running, Spine, Tactical, Upper Body
What the Cup! Cupping Therapy for Sports and Tactical Injuries  This article was originally published in The Raider Patch: Magazine of the U.S. Marine Raider Association "The octopus got me again!" Cupping therapy, also known as vacuum therapy, is a negative pressure treatment applied over the skin to treat physical pain and injuries. Cupping increases blood flow, releases old blood and scar tissue deposits, and decompresses underlying structures (up to 4 inches under the surface!) A transient pattern of purple circle marks over the treated area is a signature side effect in stressed or injured tissues where old debris has been "drawn up." Recipients appear to have been attacked by a particularly vigorous sea creature. Skin response 15 minutes after a cupping treatment in a person with neck injuries, frequent dehydration…
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Do you need a wider shoe? Here’s a quick way to check.

Do you need a wider shoe? Here’s a quick way to check.

Articles, Running
Do you need a wider shoe? Here’s a quick way to check. This article was originally published in The Raider Patch: Magazine of the U.S. Marine Raider Association Are your shoes or boots too tight? Even if you've worn the same size for years, you may start to notice discomfort. This is because your foot size and shape can change throughout your lifetime - sometimes up to a full size bigger! If your footwear is too tight, blood flow to the muscles will be restricted, and your foot will be unable to spread naturally to absorb shock. In addition, a constricted foot can cause over-pronation, where the foot collapses inward too much over the edge of the shoe's platform.  Here's a quick way to check the width of your shoe compared…
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Hate Stretching? Stop “Shoulding” On Yourself and Start One of These Programs Today

Hate Stretching? Stop “Shoulding” On Yourself and Start One of These Programs Today

Articles, Lifting, Lower Body, Recovery, Running, Tactical, Upper Body
Hate Stretching? Stop "Shoulding" On Yourself and Start One of These Programs Today "I should stretch more," says at least one of my clients every week. While that statement may or may not be accurate, those choice words reveal a level of personal resistance that certainly doesn't help the cause.  Perhaps you "should" stretch. Stretching helps you move better in life and in your workouts. And a regular stretching routine can reduce that "old man" feeling when you get out of bed (by a lot). But suppose you're not naturally flexible, or you have nagging aches and pains. In that case, stiff muscles and joints are likely to protest your random stretching efforts.   In the same way that you might only eat veggies when trying to cut weight, stretching just…
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Can you rebuild knee cartilage?

Can you rebuild knee cartilage?

Articles, Lifting, Lower Body, Running, Tactical
Can you rebuild knee cartilage? I worked with a Marine coming off a long deployment with poor gym access. An avid lifter with all things barbell, he mentioned that he had started to develop dull, achy pain behind both kneecaps upon return to regular gym workouts. He also reported that his knee joints felt “swollen” the day after a heavy lifting session.  “I had X-rays, and they said I had some arthritis, that my knees had lost some cartilage. Can we do anything about that? I miss lifting like I used to,” he said.  What does cartilage do? Knee cartilage is a network of tightly packed cells and water molecules that form a thick, dense cushion over the ends of bones. Strong cartilage is firm, smooth, and slick, like the…
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Are my shoes (or boots) causing blisters?

Are my shoes (or boots) causing blisters?

Ankle-Foot, Articles, Running, Tactical
Question: Are my shoes (or boots) causing blisters? A common cause of blisters is shoes or boots that are too tight or too loose. One of our clients is a "seasonal" runner who routinely starts training for his annual running/physical fitness test about two months out. This year, he began noticing blisters on his pinky toes.  Though he ramped up his miles abruptly (going from 0 to 15 miles per week…in 2 weeks),  he denied experiencing foot blisters since way back in boot camp. He had, however, bought a new pair of shoes for his upcoming physical fitness test. Answer: Check the shoe’s liner 1. Remove the liner insert from the shoe and stand on it. The size and shape of the liner should match your foot all the way around.…
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Why do I keep getting shin splints when running? Three causes that you can fix.

Why do I keep getting shin splints when running? Three causes that you can fix.

Ankle-Foot, Articles, Lower Body, Running
Why do I keep getting shin splints when running? Three causes that you can fix. Shin splints on day 3…with 50 days to go. In her quest to race the Appalachian Trail, ultra-distance runner Liz "Mercury" Anjos took a hard-and-fast approach right from the start. "I know 69 miles [the first day] sounds crazy, but I promise it was part of the strategy. …why not put in some big miles while I'm fresh, right off the bat?" Anjos said. While she accomplished her goal, achieving the fastest time ever by a woman on the northbound route, a nasty bout of shin splints nearly derailed her race by day three. A quick pivot in strategy to lower daily mileage goals enabled her to continue racing and finish the 2,190-mile course without…
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Want to crush your New Year’s fitness resolutions? Try a past year review instead.

Want to crush your New Year’s fitness resolutions? Try a past year review instead.

Articles, Lifting, Recovery, Running, Tactical
Want to crush your New Year’s fitness resolutions? Try a past year review instead. Well, it's almost that time again for New Year's resolutions. What's yours? Get stronger? Run a marathon? Look great naked? Stats on New Year's resolutions - especially those that involve fitness - are quite abysmal. According to studies, while 60 percent of us will make New Year's resolutions, only 8 percent of us will achieve them. You've probably seen it first hand: gyms that are packed on January 2 are ghost towns by March.  So, if you've got a fitness resolution - or one on repeat from years past - how can you follow through and crush it this year? Inspired by a practice by entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, try a past year review first. By identifying what worked…
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