To many people, bikes are the ticket to unlimited fun, freedom, and exceptional fitness. However, spending time on the bike can also give you tight shoulders, numb hands, sore knees, and terrible back pain. That is, until you get a pro bike fit from Alpine Physical Therapy’s sports and bike fit specialist
During your comprehensive, hour-long bike fit, Jamie will address the position, distance and angles of the three points of contact a rider has with the bike (on the pedals, saddle, and handle bars). Proper length between handle bars and saddle can help to alleviate back pain. Saddle height and foot position are important to unload the knees. And the angle of the handle bars will help combat hand numbness and shoulder pain.
But, that’s not all. Jamie will also address the need for shoe orthotics, cleat adjustments, different saddle widths, and stem angles. A full bike fit will not only make your bike more comfortable, but it will significantly increase your efficiency and power output, meaning more miles and speed for the same amount of effort!
So whether you ride mountain or road, recreationally or competitively, a professional bike fit can dramatically improve your riding experience. Call Alpine Physical Therapy to schedule with Jamie today by calling 251-2323.
5/27/2012 0 Comments
Tai Chi is a form of exercise developed in ancient China that uses gentle, flowing movements to improve strength, flexibility, and balance, and to reduce stress. To do Tai Chi, you will perform a series of postures, moving from one to the next in a slow, graceful manner ensuring constant motion. Like other forms of Eastern exercise, such as yoga, the breath is tied rhythmically to the movement in Tai Chi promoting inner calm and reducing stress. Tai Chi is low impact exercise making it suitable for most anyone especially older adults who may not be able to exercise otherwise.
You can try Tai Chi with the help of accredited instructor, Lynne Roberts, during a beginner’s course at the Peak Health and Wellness Center. The six week class starts June 12th on Tuesdays from 10:30 am – 11:30 am. Call 251-3344 for more information
May marks the beginning of good weather in Montana and with good weather comes the need to clean and spruce up the house for the coming summer activities. Spring cleaning can be a challenge for many people living with arthritis. Here are some tips for minimizing your pain when cleaning:
Avoid Overexerting Yourself: Aim to clean just one room a day. This will prevent you from over using your joints and causing more inflammation.
Focus on High Traffic Areas: Sprucing up your house may not require a complete overhaul of the place. Start by cleaning areas of high traffic such as entryways and living areas. This might be enough to make the place look brand new without the need of days of vigorous cleaning.
Get the proper supplies: Cleaning is tough on the body’s joints and can be even tougher if you are not using the proper tools. Look for arthritis- friendly cleaning tools like long handled mops and duster can help avoid over reaching and climbing. Tips such as using magic erasers to clean tough stains of walls can up minimize the amount of muscle needed to remove the grime and all you need is the erasers and water! Also buying concentrated cleaners can help you avoid having to lug around heavy bottle while still giving you the cleaning power of the non-concentrated counterparts.
Letting Cleaners Sink In: Let your cleaners sit on tougher grime for a minute or two before scrubbing it. It will come off easier and save you the elbow grease and the extra stress on your joints.
Store Supplies Where They Are Needed: Storing your cleaning supplies where they are used most often will save you the strain of having to move them from room to room. For those living in multi-level homes having a set of supplies for each floor is a great way to avoid having to carry heavier objects such as vacuums up and down the stairs.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection and injury. While initial inflammation is necessary for healthy healing, prolonged inflammation can actually decrease the body’s immunity and prevent tissues from repairing. Here are some tips to reduce chronic inflammation without the need for over the counter medication.
With summer quickly approaching the American Red Cross suggests a couple steps to take to reduce your chance of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Know What These Heat-Related Terms Mean
What to do in Heat Emergencies
Heat cramps or heat exhaustion: Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. If the person is fully awake and alert, give half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not let him or her drink too quickly. Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets. Call 9-1-1 if the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness.
Heat stroke: Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation! Help is needed fast. Call 9-1-1. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body. Immerse victim in a cool bath, or wrap wet sheets around the body and fan it. Watch for signals of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body any way you can. If the victim refuses water or is vomiting or there are changes in the level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.
Learn more at safemt.com.
If you live in Missoula you’ve likely caught a glimpse of a barefoot runner. Among the throngs of runners there are some unmistakably naked feet and many others scantily clad in some kind of five-fingered foot glove.
You may have processed this in a similar manner as I did, at first thinking these people were following a ridiculous fad and accumulating an impressive list of injuries. But then I heard some logical arguments on the benefits of barefoot running. I decided it deserved a second look.
Thus, I read an article by Dr. Irene Davis of the Spaulding National Running Center at Harvard. Doing so helped me to discover the potential benefits and strategies behind a barefoot running program.
Here is what I took away from the article:
For more information on barefoot running check out Dr. Davis’s website by clicking here.
We also invite you to schedule a Runner’s Clinic at Alpine. This 1.5 hour physical therapy examination includes 2-D video analysis and a thorough clinical examination. Doing so enables your physical therapist to design an individualized exercise specific to your needs. We can provide you with additional information on barefoot running, as well as to improve your running performance. For additional information, click here. Or call or clinic at 406-251-2323.
Most folks are familiar with the benefits that come from daily exercise. Aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes.
Yet new studies out of the University of Illinois are showing that regular aerobic exercise can help improve cognitive brain function. That’s right. Walking and other exercises can make you smarter!
During exercise, the body produces brain-derived neurotropic factor or BDNF. This substance strengthens neurons and axons, fortifying connections among neurons while sparking neurogenesis.
What does this mean? Simply put, BDNF can help regenerate brain cells, something that up until recently was thought to be impossible. Studies are also showing that BDNF can also help slow the normal deterioration of the hippocampus (the area of the brain aiding in consolidation of information from short-term to long term-memory).
Bottom line? You’re encouraged to get out there and walk, run, swim, bike or play, all of which will improve your overall health . . . both body and mind.
For more information, visit our clinic website by clicking here . . . or call our clinic at 406-251-2323.
This week marks the 21st annual Bike Walk Bus Week in Missoula. Through Saturday, May 5th, there will be community events and incentives provided by local businesses for those not commuting by car. Over 100 businesses are contributing, all for the sake of celebrating and encouraging healthy transportation in Missoula.
Here are some reasons to consider these modes of travel. First, rising gas prices have made commuting by car expensive. Second, the pollution and congestion that driving a car causes could be curbed by choosing these alternative options. Finally, there are the health benefits gained by adding the extra aerobic exercise to our day. I have found that commuting by bike takes me 20 minutes each way whereas driving takes just over 15 minutes. In my mind, I consider this to be 40 minutes of “free” aerobic exercise each day, which exceeds the American Heart Associations guidelines for health (www.heart.org).
If you need some extra motivation to start commuting differently, then this year’s Bike, Walk, Bus Week may be a great time to start. Reward yourself with a free cinnamon roll from Great Harvest, a coffee from Butterfly Herbs, or choose from any number of other treats available to bikers, walkers, and bus goers.
Also, make sure to take advantage of dozens of group rides, walks, and informative sessions held throughout this week. For a complete detailed schedule of Bike Walk Bus Week events, sponsors, and transportation tips, visit www.bikewalkbusmissoula.org.
Brent Dodge is the founding owner of Alpine Physical Therapy and is a board certified orthopedic specialist. He holds additional certifications in Functional Dry Needling, Manual Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning.
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