FROM OUR EXPERTS
One of the things that I seemed to have inherited from my mom was a tendency to have bad foot and leg cramps in the middle of the night. For several years, I found myself regularly waking up with my foot and leg muscles clenched, making it impossible to find any comfort. If I was lucky, I would wake up soon enough to feel the beginning of the cramp start in my toes, thus enabling me to work on it before it became a full-fledged rock-solid, muscle-burning cramp that took over the whole extremity. However, in the past few years, my night leg cramps have seemed to come around less often and they’re less severe. So what are these muscle cramps? How can you limit them? And what do you do if you have a leg cramp? “A muscle cramp is a sudden, uncontrolled contraction of a muscle,” wrote Dr. Jonathan Cluett on About.com. “Leg cramps occur when the muscle suddenly and forcefully contra...
Definition Joint swelling is the buildup of fluid in the soft tissue surrounding the joint. Alternative Names Swelling of a joint Considerations Joint swelling may occur along with joint pain . The swelling may cause the joint to appear larger or abnormally shaped. Joint swelling can cause pain or stiffness. After an injury, swelling of the joint may mean you have a broken bone or a tear in the muscle tendon or ligament. Many different types of arthritis may cause swelling, redness, or warmth around the joint. An infection in the joint can cause swelling, pain, and fever. Common Causes Joint swelling may be caused many different things, including: Ankylosing spondylitis Gout Osteoarthritis Pseudogout Psoriatic arthritis Reactive arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis Septic arthritis Systemic lupus erythematosus
The list of tips for sore feet is not complete without mentioning the butt muscles. This group of muscles may be the laziest in the entire body. When the butt muscles become weak, the entire leg is affected, including the feet. Everything starts to turn inward. The thigh bone rotates inward causing "knock-knees." The ankles turn inward to the point that the arch of the foot can become plastered to the ground. This misalignment of the leg leads to a chain reaction of chronic pain.
Anyone with back, hip, knee, ankle, or foot pain should remember to strengthen the butt muscles. The easiest and most practical way to improve strength in the buttocks is to stand on one leg. Go ahead and try it (if needed, hold onto a chair for safety). Your beltline should remain parallel to the ground and your body should remain upright. If that was difficult, try it again only this time focus on tightening the butt cheek on the same side you are standing on. Once the butt muscles engage, the leg be...
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