Shin splints refer to pain on the front, outer part of your shin that results from microtears in the muscles that surround the shin. They are more likely to occur in newer runners or those returning from extended time off, and are often related to a rapid increase in mileage, running on hard surfaces or inappropriate footwear. At the first sign of shin splints, it is best to back off on training mileage to a comfortable level and cross train with pool running, biking or elliptical until pain resolves and then increase mileage slowly according to the 10% rule. A physical therapist can help you to evaluate footwear, develop a training program with a safe increase in weekly mileage, teach you how to use elastic therapeutic taping to provide support to the shin muscles, and instruct you in exercises to strengthen muscles of the foot and lower leg. It is important to distinguish between shin splints and tibial stress fractures, as both can result in shin pain, however a stress fracture warrants immediate time off from running and weight bearing exercise for a minimum of 6-8 weeks to allow the bone to heal completely. Stress fractures are unlike a typical broken bone in that they don’t result from an acute injury but rather cumulative stress on the bone, usually from over-training.Read More
Pain experienced in the arch of the foot or underneath the heel is likely due to a strip of connective tissue known as the plantar fascia. This tissue attaches at the base of the heel and runs along the arch all the way up to the big toe, providing support to the arch and acting as a shock absorber during walking and running. With repeated tension and stress, it can undergo microtearing and become irritated and inflamed, resulting in plantar fasciitis. A hallmark sign of plantar fasciitis is stabbing pain in the arch with the first steps out of bed in the morning. It is more likely to occur in runners with very low or very high arch height, poor footwear, heavier weight, those that stand a lot for work or those that have ramped up training mileage too quickly. Self treatment can include rolling the foot over a frozen water bottle for 5 minutes several times a day, wearing a Strassburg sock at night to keep a stretch on the plantar fascia, and gently stretching the plantar fascia and calf muscles. A physical therapist can provide hands-on therapy, help to instruct you in the appropriate stretches if foot or calf tightness are present, evaluate if back issues, tight hip muscles or a weak core are changing your stride, identify appropriate footwear for your arch type, teach you how to use elastic therapeutic tape for arch support and recommend orthotics like Superfeet if you need something more supportive and permanent.Read More
The Achilles tendon is the thick band of tissue at the back of the heel that connects the calf muscle to the heel. Achilles tendonitis occurs if that tendon becomes irritated and tightened due to chronic stress, usually from a dramatic increase in training mileage, and makes up 11% of running injuries according to a Runner’s World article. It’s best to address this type of injury right away because if the tendon becomes chronically irritated and
Pain experienced at the outer part of the knee is likely to be related to the IT band, the strip of connective tissue that runs along the outer part of your thigh from the hip to the knee. According to a Runner’s World article,Read More
According to a recent article published in U.S. News, 5 Common Running Injuries and How to Heal Them, 50% of running injuries are estimated to occur at the knee. If you are a runner that experiences pain in the kneecap during activities like running, squatting, prolonged sitting, or going down the stairs, you likely have patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), or “runner’s knee”.Read More
BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, is a common cause of vertigo, or a false sense of spinning. It is fairly common among adults, with increased incidence as you age. It usually comes on without an apparent reason, however can occur after a head trauma or after spending time in a head tipped back position (such as in a dentist chair). Usually you will first notice symptoms when turning over in bed or when sitting up from bed in the morning.
The spinning sensation occurs due to a mechanical problem in the peripheral vestibular system of the inner ear. This system has calcium crystals called otoconia that sit on a gel-like substance and are sensitive to gravity, as well as three semicircular canals filled with fluid that are oriented in three different planes. In a normal vestibular system, the fluid in the canals moves when your head moves. This displaces hair cells and sends a message to the brain to tell it that your head is moving. Sometimes the otoconia crystals become dislodged into the fluid and give your brain a false signal that your head is moving when it’s not. This results in a spinning sensation, or vertigo.
Have you heard of the Santa Clause Workout Challenge? Julie Dmochowski, PT demonstrates in this week's video blog.Read More
The holidays revolve around spending time with friends and family creating new memories and partaking in timeless traditions. Much of the holiday season involves time spent sharing a meal together. With all of the parties, get-togethers, and time socializing around the table, it is easy to get carried away while indulging in appetizers, home-cooked meals, and treats native to the season. Below is a list of creative ways to get up and start moving to burn off those extra holiday calories! (Calories burned based on a 150-pound, 65 year old female):Read More
Runners are a hard-working, highly committed breed of athlete. Despite putting in hours of training out on the roads, I find that many runners come into the clinic with surprisingly weak hip musculature, a poor ability to control rotational forces under demand, and tightness that impacts postural alignment. The exercises and stretches below are specifically designed to enhance your running routine in order to counter repetitive training in a sagittal plane.Read More