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Hip and knee pains can occur due to injury or for any number of reasons and therefore it is important to always visit your practitioner for diagnosis and advice so that you can obtain the correct treatment for your condition.  However, here is a little self help advice that may just help you relieve some tight tissues that can result in hip and knee dysfunction and pain.

This video demonstrates two stretches that are common culprits for these complaints. (It may appear that the video has been cut short and in a way it has; I shortened it as I was speaking too much with information that may have confused you.) The first stretch is for the Psoas muscle and the second stretch is for the TFL/ITB. The only thing you may like to add to the second stretch, to make it more effective, is to raise the arm toward the ceiling, on the same side that you have the knee in contact with the floor.

1/ ILIO-PSOAS STRETCH

The ilio-psoas muscles are one of the major postural muscles; it is the main hip flexor whose origin is the anterior (front) surface of the 12th thoracic to the 5th lumbar vertebrae of the spine and attaching to the lesser trochanter of the femur (thigh bone).
Anterior_Hip_Flexes_ilio-psoas-muscles

When these muscles are tight/dysfunctional they prohibit you from taking a full stride, altering the movement of lumbar vertebra, this can lead to lower back pain, increased lumbar lordosis or an antalgic stance as well as possible hip/groin pain or, in guys (obviously), testes pain (read this if this is of interest to you).

2/TENSOR FASCIA LATAE

The tensor fascia latae (TFL) muscle originate from the iliac crest and insert into the iliotibial band (ITB); aiding in hip stabilisation, flexion and abduction. The ITB runs along the lateral or outside aspect of the thigh, to the lateral condyle of the tibia, or bony bit on the outside of the knee; crossing both the hip and knee joints. The TFL is an important stabiliser structure of the lateral part of the knee as the joint flexes and extends and therefore, they can cause a lot of hip and knee problems.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

SELF-TREATMENT 

Soft tissue work – with your prickly ball or jack-knobber or foam roller (READ MORE HERE)- (we carry all of these at the clinic).

Increase flexibility – by doing daily stretches demonstrated in the video at the beginning of this blog.

Strengthening exercises – stretching is not going to do it all. The mentioned muscles may be having to work too hard because they are compensating for other muscles that are not firing properly. A plan of exercises to strengthen these involved muscles is needed. Your practitioner will be able to tell you which muscles are involved. The most commonly involved muscles are weak gluts as well as foot pronation causing incorrect alignment and function. However, please visit your practitioner as she/he will be able to advise you.

Hope you find this helpful.

Written by Anne French, BSc(Hons), MSc Chiropractic, D. C.

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 If like me you enjoyed watching the Olympics and marvelled over what the human body is capable of, you’ll be interested to know that the amazing Usain Bolt uses homeopathy for sports injuries. Bolt has used homeopathic remedies since he was 16 years old. When he injured his hamstring in July this year, he withdrew from the Olympic trials. Using homeopathic remedies, Usain was able to heal his hamstring and go on to win numerous Olympic Medals, including his third consecutive gold medal in the 100 metres, just one month after his injury.

Homeopathy re-balances the body so it can repair and heal itself – I love it!

This is an interesting article published in the Daily Mail about a recent homeopathic trial http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4040/Homeopathy-works.html

Sulphur

Along with Calc Carb, (last month’s remedy) and Lycopodium (which we will look at next month) Sulphur is one of the most frequently prescribed remedies in homeopathy.  The scope of this remedy is almost impossible to detail in this one article as it covers so many areas on the mental, emotional and physical levels. It is likely that we will all benefit from a dose of Sulphur at one time or another in our lives.

A brief outline of the main characteristics of this remedy are: Unhealthy looking skin, tendency to skin diseases, itching skin- scratching pleasurable but results in burning, acne, burning and and itching piles, tendency to sweat easily, body odour, orifices of body red (e.g. lips) burning pains, feet must be placed outside bedclothes to cool, insomnia, tinnitus, mid-morning hunger, large appetite for highly seasoned spicy and fatty foods, liking for sweets, aggravation from milk, diarrhoea – driven from bed in the morning, constipation with large, painful stools, lack of energy (regained quickly at the prospect of pleasurable activity), tendency to become exhausted quickly, tendency to catch cold easily which often goes into the chest.

Sulphur is suited to deep thinking people who can have a nervous yet independent nature. Those around them can see them as lazy or procrastinators, there will be talk ‘about’ doing something, rather than just getting up and doing it.

One of the leading features of someone needing this remedy can be seen in what they wear (or don’t wear!). You know those people who are always warm and will wear shorts and T shirts even in winter while most of us have a million layers on to stay warm! They are likely to be indifferent to their appearance, a button missing or a dinner spill and matching socks is not a priority.

Worse: from cold, from dampness, at the coast, hunger (and have to eat) at 11am.

Better: from warmth, in fresh air.

Written by  Sarah Allenby-Byrne, Homeopath

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