Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reduce your Chance of Running Injuries

Every runner, beginner or advanced, should incorporate these injury-prevention tips into their routines:

Start Right: Utilize a dynamic warm-up before your run to activate your muscles and prepare them for your workout. 

Identify Weakness: All runners have inefficiencies in their form. Uncovering these opens up the opportunities to make the body stronger and more tolerant of rigorous training.  Gait analysis can identify weak points and determine where you need to adjust form, strengthen muscles or improve shoe wear to become a more efficient runner. 

Beginners: Starting a new regimen? Great, but be careful, as you will have to adjust to the impact on joints. Don't start with 5 to 7 runs each week. Instead incorporate biking, swimming or time on the elliptical into your week. These workouts will build cardiovascular endurance and strength without stressing the joints too much too soon.

Strength Training: Strength, flexibility, and coordination in your core, hips, and ankles all factor into your performance. Strength training can improve over-all strength and ultimately improve your running.

Don't Ignore Pain: Muscle soreness that eases as you run can be normal. Pain to be concerned about may have one or more of the following characteristics:
 1. Pain that doesn't subside within several hours after running
 2. The onset of sharp pain.
 3. Pain that wakes you up at night.
 4. Persistent pain that worsens when you run.
 5. Pain that persists in the same area every time you run.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Are You at Risk for a Fall?

Are You at Risk for a Fall?

Here's an easy test to find out.

Try to stand on one leg next to a kitchen counter or stable piece of furniture. If you can't hold your balance for at least 15 seconds, then you may be at risk for falling.

Here are a few exercises to improve balance:

Easiest: stand still with both feet together
Easy: stand with one foot in front of the other (like on a tight-rope)
Harder: stand on one leg
Hardest: stand on one leg on a pillow

Try to stand for 15 seconds 3 times each leg, correcting balance as needed by a countertop for safety.  Seek medical advice if you or a loved one is at high risk for falling. Physical Therapy can increase balance and decrease falling risk. It's always best to seek the advice of your physician.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Why Gait Analysis is The Runner's Salvation

The Wall Street Journal calls Gait Analysis 
"The Serious Runner's Salvation"

A recent article on the Wall Street Journal discusses the relationship between "common runners injuries" and how those runners move. "Increasingly, the runner's road to healthy joints starts with gait analysis", writes WSJ reporter Matthew Futterman."Medical boots, cortisone shots or even surgeries never solved runners' problems the way 20 minutes of being filmed on a treadmill can, experts say." 

Some people claim that running is bad for you and your joints. This is not true; running  incorrectly can be bad for you and your joints. Runners often have inefficient running form due to weakness or range of motion restrictions that can lead to low back pain, Achilles tendinitis, IT band syndrome, and plantar fascitis, just to name a few. Almost always the cause of these conditions is related to  how the person is running. Taking time off, using pain medications, or changing shoes may help short term but unless the way you run is changed, some form of injury is very likely to recur. A thorough gait analysis and form correction from a physical therapist can help you eliminate and prevent running injuries as well as make you perform better.

Camelback Sports Therapy's running expert, Dr. Evan Hansen offers runners of all levels the "Run Better" program. Dr. Hansen is a passionate runner and competitor and has helped many other runners achieve their goals to run further, faster and pain-free.  The Run Better program combines a video gait/running analysis with an assessment of mechanics and a personalized performance plan to increase strength and efficiency. 
*Sources for this article include and September 2014
Click Here for more on Camelback Sports Therapy

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Injury Treatment...Ice or Heat?

Injury Treatment:
When you are in pain from an injury, you just want relief. Ice packs and heat pads can be effective treatments for injuries.  Which one is right for your injury and how long should you ice or heat?

When to use Ice Packs:
Cold therapy or ice packs are most commonly used for acute injuries. If you have a recent injury (within the last 48 hours) where swelling is evident, you should use ice treatment.   

Cold produces drops in tissue swelling by restricting the walls of blood vessels. Applying an ice pack early and often for the first 48 hours will help minimize swelling. Decreasing swelling around an injury helps to control pain. Apply ice for no more than 20 minutes at a time and let skin return to normal temperature before re-applying.

Ice treatments are also used for chronic conditions, such as overuse injuries in athletes. Ice is used after the activity, never before, to help control inflammation.

When to use Heat:
Heat is best used to relax and loosen muscles. Heat can improve flexibility of tendons and ligaments, reduce muscle spasms and elevate blood flow. Increased blood flow occurs in the heated parts of the body because heat expands the walls of the blood vessels.  Heat is often used for chronic conditions such as overuse injuries before participating in a sport or activity.

Don't use heat on injures such as sprained ankles, where swelling is a factor.  Heating pads or hot wet towels are easy ways to apply heat. Never leave heating pads or towels on for extended periods of time, or while sleeping. Apply heat for no more than 20 minutes at a time.