Looking for ways to improve your running edge? Read this brief intro and article from Runner’s World. If nothing else, it’ll give you some ideas on ways to lead the pack.
Run Twice a Day to Double Your Edge
Squeeze in two running workouts to boost cardiovascular fitness and gain a competitive edge at your first fall race
By Ed Eyestone
When I was in high school, my cross-country team began every school day with a three-to four-mile run and ended it with another run. We placed first or second at the state meet every year. The secret of our success is really no secret. Instead of running five times a week, we ran 10 times. Studies have shown that runners who run higher mileage have better economy and cardiovascular fitness than athletes who run less.
For the rest of this informative article from Runner’s World, click here.
All too often, I hear patients tell me that the pain in their knee must be from arthritis. Then they explain what makes their pain worse, which often defines that their pain is not from arthritis but more likely from other causes. For example, I got a letter from my cousin, who was told her knee pain was from arthritis. After she explained her symptoms, it was clear she was dealing with the pain from a knee cap issue . . . and not solely from knee arthritis.
Here’s what my cousin emailed to me:
I was wondering if you can recommend something for my knee. I have been diagnosed with early stages of arthritis. It has been bugging me for over two years, and now it hurts to go down stairs. I have been doing a lot of hiking and have lost thirty pounds hoping that would help! Are there any exercises, supplements, or a brace that will help heal or prevent more issues?
Here’s my reply:
From what you’re telling me about your symptoms, I get the feeling the issue isn’t arthritis but more likely a knee cap tracking issue (called Patellofemoral Tracking Dysfunction). This can be easily corrected with a special sleeve that you wear on your knee called a “patellofemoral brace.”
If I’m right, and you were able to get the right help (to include a knee brace like I mentioned), you’d likely be able to resume your activities without pain. From a clinical standpoint, the exercises are a bit complex to describe in an email. Let me point you in the direction of two documents. One is on knee cap problems. The other is on knee arthritis.
Read through them, and let me know which seems to fit your situation the best. The approaches are quite different for the two conditions.
1. Knee cap problems
2. Knee osteoarthritis
Once I know your answer as to which one fits the best, I will be better able to guide you.
Her reply after reading these two articles made it clear that her pain was coming from problems with her knee cap. Along with having her increase fish oil intake to 2,000 mg per day, I advised her to purchase a Kuhl Shields knee brace.
To order one online, Google Kuhl Knee Brace.” You’ll then need to measure the circumference of your knee by putting a dot on the middle of your knee cap. Wrap a soft tape measure all the way around your knee. If it’s 12 to 14 inches around, order a small. If it’s a 14 to 16 inches, you’ll need to order a medium. For 16 to 18 inches, you need a large. And for 18 to 20 inches, order an XL. You don’t need to specify left or right. They are interchangeable from left to right. Wear the brace during heavier activities, such as hiking, mowing the lawn, or doing any other form of climbing. It is also advisable that you work with physical therapist to gain instruction on specific exercises that can speed recovery from knee pain.
Of all our senses, pain may be one you’d prefer to live without. But pain may be your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. That can be a good problem . . . if you listen in and seek a solution sooner, rather than later.
Another problem with pain is that when it’s left to fester, it can oftentimes get out of hand. Chronic and lingering pain is often more difficult to treat successfully. In the 20 years I’ve been a physical therapist, that’s one of the biggest tragedies I’ve run in to. Yet when I’ve been able to help someone early on, they commonly need just a couple sessions with me to figure out the cause of the pain and to implement ways to head it off quickly and definitively.
Most of the time, we shrug pain off as insignificant. Then it gets worse and ends up impacting peoples’ ability to do their activities, including work and play.
One of my friends started having wrist and hand pain from working on her computer. She continued her attempt to meet deadlines, even when her pain talked ever louder to her. When the pain became unbearable, she finally sought help. But it was too little too late. Resultantly, she ended up with debilitating pain that to this day impairs her ability to use her hands in a normal way.
The moral of the story is to listen intently when your pain talks to you. When it does call out your name, seek help early on. Doing so heightens the likelihood you’ll be able to head off a potentially challenging problem right from the start.
So the next time pain starts blabbing at you, consider getting advice from your healthcare provider. In the early phases of discomfort, you may only need some helpful guidance to get you going in the right direction.
To help you in your quest, I’ve placed numerous documents on Alpine’s clinic website describing many of the orthopedic problems that seem to plague us the most. Take a few minutes to inform yourself on a potential problem. In this way, you’ll have the upper hand and be able to talk back to whatever ails you.
Click here to access our free orthopedic library.
My thanks to Leah Versteegen, DPT, of Alpine Physical Therapy for her thoughts and insights on this topic.
Research overwhelmingly shows that by maintaining a healthy body weight and getting regular moderate intensity exercise, you can significantly improve your cholesterol and blood pressure, while also decreasing the incidence of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
It is often intimidating to begin an exercise program, especially if you view your self as overweight or obese and don’t want to enter a public setting to workout. You might also be afraid of injuring yourself or aggravating an old injury. Or you may simply have no idea where to even begin.
Utilizing the services provided by a Physical Therapist (PT) can be a safe and reliable gateway to making a lifestyle change toward adding regular physical activity to your daily routine. The traditional view of PT is to treat a specific injury or help recover after surgery. The reality is that physical therapists are also available to help minimize knee or back pain, which are common when beginning a new exercise routine. PTs also teach safe body mechanics to minimize joint stress with exercise, and they provide guidance on proper exercise progression to fit your individual needs.
For more information or to get started call our clinics at 251-2323 or 541-2606.
11/2/2011 0 Comments
We’ve been creating and providing online resources for orthopedic patients since the early days of the Internet. Our websites at Alpine, including our blog, attract a number of people who discover some of the best graphics and topics on the web.
People seeking health information are online, and they want quality information. We took efforts early on to answer their orthopedic questions. By doing so, we’ve built inherent trust among many Missoulians who routinely utilize our patient information resources.
Having quality information that is unbiased and free of advertisements builds trust among users. It sets Alpine apart as a leader in outpatient physical therapy services in Missoula. Ultimately, our efforts in online information deployment has had a large role in helping us become the largest free standing outpatient physical therapy clinic in Missoula.
Our blog is updated three times per week with posts on hot topics in health, fitness, and rehab.
Our website, www.AlpinePTmissoula.com, boasts a robust database of easy to access and easy-read patient information. For example, in our “Patient Resources” section of the website, we have over 200 fully illustrated and easy-read modules covering all of the common orthopedic conditions including: carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, low back pain, tendonitis, along with numerous sports medicine topics.
There’s also a news feed with thousands of articles culled from 18 top peer reviewed orthopedic journals. These news articles are updated constantly over the course of each month. You can get the latest research boiled down on most any orthopedic topic, such as new approaches in various types of surgery, treatments for a host of conditions, and best practice in many aspects of orthopedic medicine.
There’s also a section called “Health Information,” which has a growing list of nearly 50 video topics covering all aspects of orthopedic physical therapy, along with a host of fitness topics.
Thanks for visiting our blog. Be sure to also access the many free online resources available on our website at www.AlpinePTmissoula.com.
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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