Doctors in the House - Heel & Hip Pain, Compression tights

1) I recently experiences pain in my heel. It could be an injury sustained during recent exercise but I do not recall an occasion whereby I hit the floor hard with my heel. The TCM doctor advised stretching. What is the likely cause and can I continue exercise?

  • The most likely cause would be plantar fascitis. 
  • The plantar fascia is a thick ligament that spans from the heel to the toes, that maintain the arch of the foot. 
  • Any activity that causes the arch of the foot to flatten will stretch this ligament.  
  • Activities like prolonged walking, running can put recurrent stretch to this ligament and cause inflammation. 
  • Usually there are risk factors that initiate the inflammation.  Sudden increase in frequency/activity level puts an unaccustomed load to the ligament and predispose to injury. 
  • Having poor shoe wear like poorly supportive arch support or poor absorptive cushioning in a pair of shoes can also cause this.  If you are born with a flexible flat foot, this can also worsen the condition. 
  • You can continue your exercise once the inflammation subsides.  You should also identify the cause of the problem and take steps to correct them.

2) I am a 40ish female and have pain in my hip. It gets worst from prolonged standing or walking. I do not recall having had a major accident at that area. Some friends told me it could be a nerve or muscle issue. What can I do?

  • Hip pain can be fairly ambiguous due to the deep location of the joint and the body has difficulty in isolating this pain. 
  • Hip pain located near the buttock region can be due to lower back condition or sacroiliac (near to the hip bone) condition. 
  • Hip pain at the side of the hip can be due to a tendon problem, involving either the ITB (iliotibial band) or the hip abductors tendon. 
  • Hip pain located in the front, near the groin area, can be arising from the hip joint itself and can indicate either a ligament tear within the hip joint or cartilage injury in the hip joint.
  • You should see an orthopaedic specialist to determine the nature of the problem.  You
  • Will probably need to undergo tests like x-ray or mri, to confirm the diagnosis.  The treatment will depend on the diagnosis.

3) I have seen a lot of people purchasing and using compression tights for and after sports. Are they really useful?

  • They are useful for preventing venous (relating to the vein/veins) pooling during activity and after activity. 
  • They can enhance performance in a high level athlete and also help in promoting post-exercise recovery. 
  • The utility of such a garment depends on the intensity of your workout.  For a person that runs 3-4 km twice a week, the usefulness can be questionable.

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