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While I Was Sick


Filed Under (Fitness, Plantar Fasciitis, Rotator Cuff Exercises, Shoulder Injury, Shoulder Pain) by Rick Kaselj on 16-02-2012

It has been a rough week.

I don’t remember the last time I was as sick as I was this week. It definitely throws you for a loop and gets you thinking. I will write more about it later.

Let me highlight a few of the things that have happened since getting sick on Sunday.

By the way, I am feeling a lot better. Thank you for everyone’s emails.

Still Helping People Overcome Injuries

“The Effective Plantar Fasciitis Exercise program looks AWESOME… exactly what I was looking for.

What exercises to do, how often, how to progress… I like having an action plan and this is going to help me for sure!!

Thanks so much Rick, you’ve given me hope that I might be running (at least part of it!) my Ironman in August instead of walking like I was starting to resign myself to!


Very cool!

It is awesome to help people overcome their injury and get them back to doing what they want even when you are in bed sick.

That is More Than Other Companies

Hi Rick,

Thanks for the reply. That is more than I usually get from most forums, companies. Thank you.

I train for “life” since I currently sit behind a desk all day at work. It beats getting crippled by not moving. haha.

I train my oldest 17 y.o. son and one or two of his team mates for their high school varsity soccer team in the off season. They put on some muscle and got a LOT stronger in the seven months we trained last year. They made it to state, and had a good season. We will be starting to train again in a couple of weeks as I felt it would be good for them to just relax and be kids and do anything besides soccer or training for a month.

Thank you for the gift. I believe I will select the rotator cuff exercises program since I recently injured mine falling through the attic hole and catching myself in a bent elbow iron cross. Beat hitting the concrete floor. My PT has been working on it and it is doing OK. I still can’t do hand stand push ups, but I will get my party trick back with time. Patience.

Which program is it that you think will help my knee pain?

Your programs are good simple basic advice that will help the majority of people with their injuries.

I look forward to your response.




I just sent you the rotator cuff program.

Great attitude on the “Training for Life”.

Very cool that you train your son. I hope I get that chance when my kids grow up.

When it comes to the knee program, I like what Bill Parravano talks about. I have an interview with him that I will put up soon.

Plus the article from Anthony Mychal on Cure Chronic Knee Pain has got a lot of good feedback.

Is this Good for Golfer’s Elbow?

Hi Rick,

The release of your new tennis elbow course is just in time for
me. However, my issue, which has come and gone and come again
over nearly four decades of lifting weights, is medial instead
of lateral epicondylitis. Will your new course help with that,
too? I’m hoping so! Otherwise, you need a golfer’s elbow course
now. 🙂

Best regards,

I would have to say the Tennis Elbow Pain Solution would not help you with your medial epicondylitis or golfer’s elbow.

In the next few months, I will work on putting together an exercise program for golfer’s elbow.

As you know, this month’s Injury of the Month is shin splints.  The program will be coming out next week.  Then the next injury that I will focus in on will be frozen shoulder.

To Push or to Pull for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome


Dear Rick Kaselj,

I am 32 years old from Israel (so sorry on my broken English). Anyway I’m
struggling/ suffering from patellofemoral pain syndrome more than 2 years..I tried almost everything although I had better times, so I am trying to get there again with a new rehabilitation program.

My question is about the squats on the study (*The effect of closed-kinetic chain exercises and open-kinetic chain exercise on the muscle activity of vastus medialis oblique and vastus lateralis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1256-62.)

On the study they perform a squat with a pillow between knees to work on the hip adduction too, but most of the programs include your Patellofemoral Syndrome Solution suggest to do the squats with band around the knees which mean the opposite ( hip lateral rotators group / obturator)

Can you tell me which one is better for patellofemoral pain syndrome?

Sincerely yours,

Best regards



Thanks for emailing me.

Very cool that you have dug in the research to see what is best for yourself.

My suggestion would be to do the the tubing around the knees.

If you want more details, have a look at my articles:


About Your Gluteus Medius Exercise Article


Hi Rick,

Wondering if you might like to look back at your superb research post on best glute medius exercises for hip replacements and look to do a video post on each of the selected, effective exercises.

As you know there are lots of ways to execute each of these individual exercises and we also sometimes call different exercises different names.

I think a lot of your readers would find this most useful and helpful in order to make sure that we are giving the correct exercise and that the exercise is done in the manor that the research shows was most effective.

I am still away on sabbatical touring North America and enjoying it immensely…will look forward to touching base with you in the spring when I am near Vancouver or in the summer when I return home, as I would like to purchase a few of your products. All the best to you…out for a dessert hike with the dogs…we are in southern Texas on the Mexico border…very desolate countryside, but beautiful. Thanks for considering my glute medius request.


CN, great to hear from you.

Thanks for taking the time to contact me and give me some feedback.

A few people have mentioned this to me.  I will work on getting this done.

I looked over the gluteus medius exercise post and a few videos would have helped a lot.

(CN, rough life girl.)

Do You Have any Pre-Surgery Stuff?



I have seen your website and saw your Spinal Fusion Exercise Program.
I am waiting to be called for spinal fusion surgery.
I have been on a specialist’s list for just over a year now, and I waited 14 months to get in to see him!

I see you have a lot of exercises for post surgery.
Do you have some specific exercises for pre-surgery?

I would appreciate hearing from you

thank you


Excellent point, M. At this time, I do not have any specific to pre-surgery.

A lot of what is covered the the post-surgery is what I would give someone for pre-surgery.

I would suggest you take a look at the Spinal Fusion Exercise Program.

The fitter you can have yourself enter the surgery, the faster your recovery will be.  That is one of the reasons why professional athletes have such fast recovery times compared the the regular population.

All the best M.

Rick Kaselj, MS


Top 5 Muscle Imbalances Mistakes


Filed Under (Fitness, muscle imbalances, muscle imbalances revealed, Plantar Fasciitis) by Rick Kaselj on 13-11-2011

With the upcoming release of the second version of Muscle Imbalances Revealed – Upper Body -, I thought it would be fitting if I highlighted a few muscle imblances mistakes that I have seen.

When people hear the words “muscle imbalance”, they think “tight muscle” so let me stretch it.

This is kind of right – you need to stretch – but why does the muscle imbalance come back after you stretch?

Because there is much more to eliminating muscle imbalances permanently than just stretching tight muscles.
That is mistake #1 when it comes to muscle imbalances.

Let me go through a few more that you or your clients might be making.

#2 – Not Looking at Fascia


We all know someone who has plantar fasciitis.

There is a good chance what they have been given to address their plantar fasciitis is stretches.

Many times this will provide temporary relief but the pain comes back.  The reason why: people try to address plantar fasciitis like it is a muscle issue even though it is fascia issue.

This is one example but there are numerous other examples in the hamstrings, biceps and IT band.

In order to address muscle imbalances, you need to address fascia in the body like it is fascia and not muscle.

#3 – Not Taking Breathing Seriously


Only focusing on breathing out during exertion and breathing in during relaxation phases of exercise are important to keep a steady blood pressure in clients but breathing is so much more than that.

It needs to be integrated into core exercises in order to relax the diaphragm and the accessory muscles of the chest wall.

It needs to be integrated into dynamic exercises in order to assist in movement efficiency and proper movement patterns.

It needs to be incorporated into stretching and self massage (SMR) in order to get the maximum benefit from the stretch or self massage plus relax surrounding muscles and fascia.

#4 – All Core Training is the Same


Over the last 13 years, core training has evolved tremendously.  With more research being done on the continuum of core training when it relates to clients who are rehabilitating an injury, improving fitness results or maximizing performance goals.

Core training has become a continuum that you move along or focus in on in order to get the results that you want.

There are a lot more examples of mistakes exercise enthusiasts and health & fitness professionals make when it comes to muscle imbalances but I think you get the point from just these four examples.

Next time you come across a tight muscle, remember, there is more than just stretching it out.

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – One thing that may help you is the Muscle Imbalances Revealed series.  Here are some kind words from a strength coach on the program:

“I Have a Deeper Understanding of Muscle Imbalance”

As a fitness professional who works with athletes as well as elderly clients, I feel MIRU has allowed me to have a deeper understanding of muscle imbalance.

MIRU has changed the way I progress through a client.  I now begin to look at all opposing muscles to see where the imbalance is before I start my progressions.

Joseph Yager
Independent Strength and Conditioning Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Baseball Instructor
Urbana IL



Foot Injury Exercises


Filed Under (Achilles Tendinitis, Achilles tendinosis, Achilles Tendonitis, Ankle Injury, Fitness, Plantar Fasciitis) by Rick Kaselj on 11-10-2011

Awesome post for you on foot injury exercises.


Foot Injury Exercises: How to effectively address issues in the foot, through SMR, mobility, and stability

The foot is a very complex structure for both fitness and health professionals to assess effectively. Bearing weight for the majority of the day it is responsible for absorbing and transmitting forces between a contact point (usually the ground) and the rest of the body.

By far the most commonly diagnosed condition in the foot is plantar fasciitis. While this may be common, many conditions may develop in the foot. Without a proper diagnosis, methods of rehabilitation become blind and often ineffective.

Below are some of the most common foot conditions to keep in mind during your assessment:

  • Plantar fasciitis: Pain is present in the heel or underside of the arch. Pain usually decreases with rest, and is worst during the first few steps after long rest periods (ie: the morning). Heels spurs, or bony growths, may also show up on x-ray to help confirm this diagnosis.  (For plantar fasciitis exercises, check out Rick’s Plantar Fasciitis Relief in 7 Days Program)
  • Severs Disease: Heel pain that presents in children between the ages of 8-14. Pain is similar to plantar fasciitis however, spur development is uncommon. This condition is caused by inflammation of the growth plate in the calcaneus (heel). Pain gets better with rest and is recreated by squeezing the heel.
  • Fractures: Fractures can present with minimal or no swelling. Stress fractures are quite common in toes 2-5. Pain does not decrease with rest, the bone may be tender to the touch and night pain may also be experienced.
  • Neuromas: A neuroma is a benign tumour originating from nerve cells due to regional irritation. Pain is quite localized and is most common between the 2nd and 3rd toe. There may be a palpable nodule that is very tender to the touch.
  • Tendinopathies: Any of the tendons that assist in stabilizing the arch can become irritated due to repetitive strain. Pain may be present at the start of activity, disappear during and resume post activity. Pain presents as a dull ache and may extend up into the calf.  (For Achilles Tendinitis exercises, check out Rick’s Achilles Tendinitis Exercise Solution)
  • Sprains: Impact sprains may happen especially in flat feet. Pain is sharp, tender to touch, and may be accompanied by localized swelling.
  • Peripheral Neuropathies: Nerve entrapments higher up in the leg and back can cause pain in the foot, especially on the medial side (mimicking plantar fasciitis). Night pain may be present and symptoms are paired with problems elsewhere in the body (ie: “calf or hamstring tightness causes my heel to flare up”).
  • Degenerative Changes: The most common arthritic development in the foot happens at the big toe. Pain is localized to the big toe, and may be present at night. There may also be the presence of a bony growth. Bunion formation can present similarly at this joint, however bone growth happens on the inside of the big toe.

#1 – Simple Assessment Foot Injury Assessment

Assess the foot in non-weight bearing first. If a person has an arch while non-weight bearing, you should recognize there is potential for that person to create an arch. Without forces of gravity and load the foot is structurally sound. With optimal function this arch presentation should remain stable upon the foot hitting the ground.

If the arch collapses in assumption of standing, the therapist/coach should start thinking of ways to improve arch stability.In individuals with arch collapse while non-weight bearing, chances of true structural issues are higher. Functional rehabilitation should still be carried out, but without expected progress an orthotic may be needed for full resolution of symptoms. In my experience orthotic prescription is required less if a correct rehabilitation protocol is followed under sound patient compliance.

#2 – Is Self Myofascial Release Good For The Foot?

Pes Planus: The majority of conditions happen because of the foot’s inability to be stable in a gait cycle. This loss of function leads to pronation of the foot or dropping of the arch (also known as pes planus). Pronation of the foot leads to lengthening of the tissues in the bottom of the foot. The result is pain, and irritation due to loss of mechanics.

Self myofascial release (SMR) in these instances creates less tissue stiffness, and greater instability. In cases of forefoot and rearfoot pronation a coach/therapist may be better coaching SMR of the hips and pelvic girdle. Addressing tight fibrotic musculature that maximizes function of the pelvis will certainly create better opportunity for function in the foot.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stretching Exercises For Plantar Fasciitis


Filed Under (Fitness, Foot Injuries, Plantar Fasciitis) by Rick Kaselj on 11-02-2011

Stretching Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis


An excellent exercise regimen for plantar fasciitis includes gentle, prolonged, and pain-free stretching exercises of the Achilles tendon complex (the tendon that is attached to the heel and calf), plantar fascia, and gastrocnemius-soleus complex (Two muscles in the calf area of the lower leg.). Among all conservative measures, it is believed that stretching exercises have the highest success rates for pain relief.


The plantar fascia stretches are, by far, the most valuable exercises in treating plantar fasciitis. It is recommended that you do these exercises first thing in the morning, before walking.  The following plantar fascia stretches can be done three times a day:


• Stand with your hands against the wall. The affected leg is positioned slightly behind the other leg. Securely keep your heels flat on the floor. Keeping the injured leg straight and your heels on the ground, gradually lean forward, and bend the uninjured leg until you feel a stretch in the lower part of the injured leg. Hold the position for 10 to 15 seconds, and release. Repeat the exercise 5 to 10 times.


• Sit on a well-supported chair, and place the affected foot on the opposite knee. Grab the affected heel using the opposite hand and let the other hand pull the toes back, especially the big toe. A stretch should be felt within the arch. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, and release. Repeat the exercise 5 to 10 times per session or as tolerated. You may perform this exercise three times a day.


• Another way to do the previous exercise is to sit on the floor with the legs straight. Loop a resistant band around the foot of the leg to be stretched. Gently pull the forefoot towards the knee, and hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Repeat 5 to 10 times or as tolerated. You may push your foot against the band to strengthen your calf.


Achilles tendon stretch, hamstring stretch, stair stretch, toe stretch, and soleus stretch are some stretching exercises that focus mainly on improving the flexibility of the plantar fascia.


If you want to find out how to get rid of your heel pain once and for all, then check out Plantar Fasciitis Relief in 7 days here:
Plantar Fasciitis Relief in 7 Days

Rick Kaselj, MS

How Painful of a Problem is Plantar Fasciitis?


Filed Under (Fitness, Foot Injuries, Plantar Fasciitis) by Rick Kaselj on 09-02-2011

How Common, and what are the Risk Factors, for Plantar Fasciitis?


Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Around 2 million Americans are treated for plantar fasciitis on an annual basis. This figure accounts for 11 to 15% of all foot symptoms that require professional or medical treatment each year (Singh, Silverberg & Milne, 2009).  Plantar fasciitis is among the top five causes of foot injuries in professional athletes. Athletes, who constantly perform activities in which the weight is taken on the ball of the foot, such as running, jumping, and landing, are at greater risk for plantar fasciitis. Cross-country and track runners, tennis players, basketball players, volleyball players, and sprinters are also at risk.


Plantar fasciitis is experienced by non-athletes as well. The unadjusted incidence rate of plantar fasciitis in U.S. military services was 10.5 per 1000 persons-years (Scher et al, 2009). It is estimated that 10% of the general population in the United States will experience plantar heel pain in their lifetime (Crawford, Atkins & Edwards, 2000).


Plantar fasciitis is most common among people ages 40 to 60. Runners below the age of 20 are also susceptible, however. Women are two times more susceptible than men to develop plantar fasciitis.


Obesity, habitual barefoot walking, prolonged wearing of house slippers, inactivity, and high-impact aerobic exercises can increase the risk of plantar fasciitis. Speed workouts, graded hill work outs, and plyometrics (athletic jumping workouts) are also implicated in plantar fascia degeneration. Rigorous exercises and error training errors have been identified as important causative factors for this painful condition. In addition, high-risk behaviors, such as running on unpadded or poorly padded surfaces and using shoes with minimal cushion are known predisposing factors. These practices can place a lot of stress on the heel during activity.


Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis


Repeated trauma or chronic pressure placed on the plantar fascia can constantly irritate the nerves that carry pain signals, resulting in severe, intense, or burning heel pain. The pain is commonly felt in the arch area or on the underside of the heel bone and may extend to the toes. The pain is most severe with the first steps after a long period of non-weight bearing rest. Painful walking after a night’s sleep is a chief complaint of patients with plantar fasciitis. The pain may be severe enough to cause intolerable barefoot walking.


In advanced cases, the pain may radiate with a tingling sensation. The pain lessens as the day goes on, but prolonged standing and walking and localized application of manual pressure appear to intensify the pain. Movements in which the forefoot moves towards the lower leg, such as heel-raises and toe-walking (walking on tip-toes) can increase the pain. The windlass test, in which the forefoot is passively moved towards the body, can elicit heel pain. This makes it one of the most important tests used to diagnose plantar fasciitis. Antalgic posture, which involves walking or standing on the foot’s lateral border, is also a common indicator of plantar fasciitis.


Plantar fasciitis usually affects unilaterally. Bilateral symptoms are more likely caused by systemic arthritis.

Rick Kaselj, MS

Here are some other plantar fasciitis blog posts that may interest you:

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis and Exercise
If you like to learn more about plantar fasciitis, then check out Plantar Fasciitis Relief in 7 days here:
Plantar Fasciitis Relief in 7 Days

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis


Filed Under (Fitness, Foot Injuries, Plantar Fasciitis) by Rick Kaselj on 14-05-2010

The Gait Cycle and Plantar Fascia

Understanding the mechanics of the foot can help explain the development of plantar fasciitis.  Connecting the hind foot and the fore foot, the plantar fascia undergoes tension during gait (walking). The action of the plantar fascia during weight bearing is compared to a windlass or a rubber band. When there is no weight on the foot and plantar fascia, the elastic band is relaxed.  As weight is put on the foot and the plantar fascia, the elastic band stretches out.  A band that is too short results in a high arch, whereas a band that is too long results in a low arch, which is commonly termed as flatfeet.

The gait cycle refers to the continuous repetitive pattern of walking. One complete gait cycle consists of 2 main phases: the stance and the swing. The stance phase is the part of the cycle where the foot is in contact with the ground. The swing phase is the period when the foot is off the ground. The stance phase is further discussed, as it has a more significant effect on a plantar fascia injury.
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What is Plantar Fasciitis?


Filed Under (Ankle Injury, Fitness, Foot Injuries, Plantar Fasciitis) by Rick Kaselj on 05-05-2010

What isPlantar fasciitis?


Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury involving the plantar fascia, a tough, fibrous band of tissue that supports the longitudinal arch of the foot.  Also known as jogger’s heel, tennis heel or Policeman’s heel, plantar fasciitis is one of the most common injuries affecting athletes and individuals who are constantly on their feet for a long period of time. Severe heel pain, usually is described as knife-like especially during the first few steps in the morning.

According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, heel pain is the most common presenting symptom of patients who seek treatment from podiatric practitioners. It is estimated that each year, 10% of foot injuries associated with running are attributable to plantar fasciitis (Buchbinder, 2004).

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