The Right Run- Your Action Plan


200498101-001Still hell-bent on racking up the miles? Remember there’s a fine line between pushing through and pushing your luck — and only you (and your doctor) will know what’s best when the running gets rough.

By taking a few precautions and planning, you can prevent many common running injuries. Here are some tips for preventing injuries.

To minimize the aches and pains, consider these general tips to help stay on the safe side:

  • Listen to your body: Don’t ignore pain. A little soreness is OK. But if you notice consistent pain in a muscle or joint that doesn’t get better with rest, see your health care provider.
  • Create a running plan: Before beginning a running routine, talk to a trainer. A trainer can help you create a running plan that is in line with your current fitness/abilities and long-term goals.
  • Stick to the 10 percent rule: Don’t increase mileage by more than 10 percent each week. Upping those miles unexpectedly is a major reason overuse injuries happen!
  • Warm up & cool down: Heading for an intense run? Remember to warm up and cool down to ease the body in and out of a workout. This will help keep injuries at bay.
  • Stretch: Many injuries occur as a result of inadequate stretching. Before and after you run, stretch your muscles thoroughly — especially your calf, hamstrings, groin, and quadriceps. Also, warm up for five minutes — by walking, for example — before you start stretching. Stretching cold muscles may cause injuries.
  • Fix your form: Smooth and efficient is the key. Not only will poor form hinder performance, it could lead to unnecessary pain. So make sure to use correct running technique to prevent injuries, especially shin splints and back aches. Imbalances in the body can also lead to problems down the road, and it never hurts to visit a skilled physical therapist who can help identify and address any biomechanical issues.
  • Strength train: Add weight training and ab exercises to your routine. This strengthens muscles and develops core strength. Lifting can increase structural fitness — which helps bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles endure all that pounding. Pay special attention to strengthening hips, since weak hips are linked to higher rates of injury.
  • Cross train: Mix up your fitness routine. Don’t only run. Try swimming, biking, tennis, or some other activity. This helps prevent overuse injuries that more commonly occur when you do the same type of exercise over and over again.
  • Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, breathable clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin. Dress in layers. Also wear a hat to protect against the sun and cold.
  • Be sneaker smart: Wear proper-fitting socks and shoes with good support. If the soles of your running shoes have worn thin or are angled, it’s time to get a new pair. If you have foot problems, such as flat feet or high arches, consider using orthotic shoe inserts. Keep track of how many miles those shoes have logged, and replace them every 600 miles — if not sooner! It’s also worth swinging by a specialty running shoe store, where they can help you figure out which shoe is the perfect fit.
  • Run wisely: Run on a flat, smooth surface and avoid steep hills until your body gets used to the activity. Avoid running on uneven surfaces that put unnecessary stress on ligaments. And while off-roading is a fun change of pace, rough terrain may make it easier to twist an ankle — so be extra careful on the trails.
  • Know your limit: Make sure to take at least one day off per week, and mix up those hill-repeats with some easier recovery runs. Don’t forget to pencil in regular rest days, too. You (and your body) deserve it!
  • Be safe: Run during the day, in well-lit areas, or use a light so that you can be seen. Keep a cell phone and identification on you. If running with headphones, set the volume low enough so that you can hear cars and other noises. Run with a partner when you can.
  • Weather matters: Monitor the weather conditions before you go for a run. Don’t run outside if it is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, below freezing, or the humidity is high.
  • Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink an extra 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups of water on the days you run. If you are running for more than an hour, drink a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat.

Treatment of Common Running Injuries

imagesMost running injuries can be relieved by following these treatment strategies. If pain and discomfort continues, see your health care provider. You may need more advanced treatment to resolve your running injury.

Rest: Take it easy. If you keep running, your injury may get worse. Choose alternative ways to exercise while you heal, such as swimming or cycling.

Ice and cold therapy: Apply ice packs to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.

Compression: Wrap the affected area with tape and use splints and supports to control swelling and stabilize the affected area.

Elevate: If you sprain your ankle or hurt your foot, elevate it to reduce swelling.

Stretch: To reduce pain and tension of the affected area, gently stretch and massage the injured area.

Pain relievers: Take pain relievers.

Activity levels: Decrease the amount of activity & return slowly to previous activity levels. Don’t try to push through pain. If you notice discomfort, take a break from running. If the pain continues, seek care from your health care provider.

Disclaimer: Remember that none of this information should substitute professional medical advice. Definitely check with a doctor or physical therapist first once those aches and pains arise!

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Handbag Syndrome


KateKylieES1312_468x477A camera, mobile phone, make-up, wallet, laptop, umbrella, water bottle, laptop, a change of clothes, a bottle of wine, books, groceries … we’ve pulled all of these items out of our purse on different occasions. Big handbags are in fashion for a couple of years now, so inevitably the amount of content these bags carry grows That is the rise of heavier handbags and typically such a bag can weigh 3kg or more. And that’s not good, because overstuffed handbags not only lead to broken straps and misshapen purses, but also to back problems for those carrying them.

There is an increase in the cases of heavy handbags induced headaches & neck, shoulder and back pains. Though such syndrome affects mainly women, men do get such pains as there are rising trends of men who carry heavy bags (eg laptop bag).

Worse news! This spinal distress is exacerbated by high heels!

A heavy handbag, shoulder bag, or purse can injure the neck, back and shoulders. The neck has a natural curve that evenly distributes forces on the spine. Hence, when a person carries a heavy bag on one side over a long period of time, this natural curve starts to get distorted which can lead to chronic neck and shoulder pains, back pain, and even headaches. Left untreated, it can lead to more serious injuries such as herniated discs and accelerated degeneration of the cervical spine.

Are you suffering from Heavy Handbag Syndrome?

The reason why heavy purses cause stiffness in neck, back and shoulder is because they induce an uneven distribution of weight.Spine

While carrying a heavy purse on one shoulder the blood flow due to the weight of the purse gets unevenly distributed. The half that carries the purse is under constant duress and the muscles in that area get sensitized and may ultimately start aching. This overload on one half of the back causes strain on the spine and back too and cause pain and extreme discomfort. The pain may be in the form of stiffness, aching, numbness or just tingling sensations.

Another common problem is that one shoulder becomes slightly higher than the other. Some scenarios such as talking on mobile while carrying the heavy handbag, will worsens the problem, because in addition to balancing too much weight on one side, she is lifting the shoulder at the same time, straining the neck and shoulder ligaments and muscles.

Typically, handbag syndrome brings about neck, shoulder muscles and ligaments strain/ injuries, causing poor neck and shoulder postures. Left untreated, these can lead to more serious injuries such as herniated discs, accelerated degeneration of the spine and less commonly, traction injury of the brachial plexus, which symptoms are weakness and sensation changes (i.e. numbness over the shoulder and arm).

What do WE do?

So what are the alternatives to avoid getting caught in a similar situation?

  • Weight of the handbags/ shoulder bags/ laptop bags should not weigh more than 10-15 percent of your body weight.
  • Check by feeling the bag on our shoulder. When you sling the bag on your shoulder, and it feels uncomfortable, especially when the weight pulling shoulder down, it is time to downsize or reduce the contents in your bag.
  •  Lighter bags (contents included) are recommended, not more than 2-3 kg as we tend to carry such bags frequently and over a extended period of time (travelling to work and back home, shopping) which can change the biomechanics of the neck , back and shoulders and lead to pain and dysfunction.
  • Get into the habit of switching sides when we are carrying our bag.

Still have Pain?

3444735038_shoulder_pain_xlargePhysiotherapy can help resolve these pains by:

  1. Analyzing the structure of the your body, such as how does your head sits on your shoulders or how your posture could have brought about the biomechanical changes in your neck and shoulders causing pains.
  2. Apply various strategies in the restoration of spinal and shoulder girdle mobility and stability that results in a reduction in the patient’s pain and spasm. Strategies include manual techniques, such as joint mobilization and manipulation, deep tissue massage, muscle energy technique and neck and shoulder girdle stabilization exercises.

However, treatment is always more effective if the problem is detected and treated early as chronic problems (more than 3 months) have poorer treatment results. Therefore, if the pain does not resolve within 3 days and seems to get worse, it is time to make an appointment with your physiotherapist.

We think our vow to take better care of our back and the return of the chain strap is serendipitous. If you’re guilty of using your handbag as luggage, what items do you think you’ll take out?

Next Week! Visit Us to know more about Ergonomic Handbags!!

 

Scoliosis- Contraindications in Exercise


In continuation of our discussion on Scoliosis..

Your doctor can give you a more specific recommendation based on your specific condition, but there are a few things that people with scoliosis should avoid, or at least be wary of.

  • Poor Form: It is important to learn proper form as it allows you to keep an upright posture. Poor form can lead to unbalanced muscles, nerve damage, & can increase your back pain. When you work out work in front of a mirror & strive to maintain level shoulders & hips. Keep your head in line with your neck, & always look straight ahead.
  • High Impact: High impact exercise isn’t good for anyone’s joints. Opt for low- or no-impact exercises like swimming or cycling instead of running or plyometrics.
  • Collision Sports: Collision sports like football, boxing & wrestling can cause damage to your spine. Scoliosis means your spine is already curved — severe impact from any angle can cause tremendous pressure on your vertebrae. It won’t make the curve worse, but it can cause tiny fractures that can weaken the spine over time.
  • Torque Sports: Torque sports involve spinal twisting. It’s a tricky situation, because a gentle spinal rotation that stops within your pain threshold, like a yoga seated spinal stretch, can actually be a good way to relieve back pain. But sports like gymnastics & martial arts that require fast, high-powered spinal rotation can easily force you beyond your comfort zone & end up causing you more pain in the long run. It won’t make your scoliosis worse, but there’s very seldom an opportunity to stop when it hurts or favor a particular side — the rotation is usually part of the mechanics of the stunt, and failing to rotate properly can cause an unsafe landing that definitely could damage your spine.