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April 10, 2017

The Runners Key to Preventing Injury

Spring has sprung in Northern Michigan! As I sit here I’m looking out on to our back parking lot that backs up to a beautiful wooded area, which is now starting to show signs of life again! Around here we are in the heat of training for the upcoming Bayshore Half Marathon, and one of the things on our minds, and the minds of many runners is “How can I prevent an injury?”. One of the worst feelings, and believe me—I’ve been there, is training for weeks and months for an upcoming race only to be side lined by an injury. Many times runners who are training will experience “over use” injuries, caused from improper body mechanics, which is essentially, the body working against itself.

We see an influx of plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and knee pain (amongst others) in the spring and summer seasons as more and more athletes are getting out and starting to train for upcoming races.

So how can you be proactive and try to prevent those “over use” injuries? You’d be surprised that just a few simple stretches and movements before you embark on that run can lower your risk of running induced injuries.

#1:  Posterior Chain Mobility with Rotation

Running 1

How to do it:

  1. Get into a small stagger stance
  2. Reach your rear end backwards, sitting over the back foot.
    1. Make sure the rear knee stays behind the toes of the rear foot.
  3. Once you’re in this position, you should feel it in the hamstrings and back of the hip.
  4. Drive your arms in a pumping motion like you are pumping your arms with running. Repeat this on both sides for 30 seconds.

#2: Posterior Chain Stability

Running 2

How to do it:

  1. Keeping front leg relatively stiff, reach back with other leg and tap the ground behind you. While doing this, reach forward with your arms.
  2. Your front leg will want to bend, keep it nice and stiff.
  3. Repeat both sides for 30 seconds.

#3: Anterior Chain Mobility with Rotation

Running 3

How to do it:

  1. Stand in stride stance.
  2. Slightly bend the knee of front leg. Keep back leg stiff.
  3. You should feel the tension in the front thigh of the back leg, and possibly calf of the back leg.
  4. Drive the arms in a pumping motion both directions like you’re pumping your arms with running.
  5. Repeat both sides about 30 seconds.

Pretty easy right?? Keep these other tips in mind when you’re getting ready to train for a race:

  1. Stay hydrated! The body will always perform better when it is properly hydrated.
  2. Warm Up!: With activities like running, think of the body acting as one big spring. Every time the foot lands on the ground, the muscles throughout the entire body act as a shock absorber.  Like a spring, they absorb all the stress and pounding from the ground and transfer this stress as energy needed for push off, propelling you to the next step.  In order for muscles to be efficient in this process they need to be warm!  Refer to the pictures for the top 3 exercises to ensure are muscles are functioning as effective shock absorbers.
  3. Stay active—even throughout the winter: Stay moving throughout those grueling winter months, going to the gym, taking an exercise class, skiing, snowshoeing…anything that is going to keep those muscles and lungs strong. Nothing wreaks havoc on the body more than going zero to one hundred as soon as the weather is nice.
  4. Follow a training plan: If you’re a beginner runner, find a training plan that suits your skill level. Couch to 5K or couch to 10K are great programs for someone just starting to run. Hal Higdon also makes training plans for runners with a bit more experience.
  5. Know your body, know your patterns, know your risk: If you have never gotten a movement screenGET ONE! This quick 20 minute experience can give you a wealth of knowledge to asses how your body moves, how your gait looks, and any injuries your body may be setting you up for. We can set you up for a movement screen! Call 231-944-6541, mention this blog post and grab a free 20 minute movement screen.

Happy running!!

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Superior Physical Therapy does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

April 3, 2017

Attention Golfers: Eliminate Pain From Your Golf Game!

90% of golfers on average miss 3 weeks per year of golfing due to pain. I’m here to give you 3 strategies to practice that will help you either prevent pain from happening during golf or relieve pain that you currently might be having during golf.  I hope you enjoy.

The three most important areas in the body that must move optimally for walking and running are:

  1. Ankle
  2. Hips
  3. Upper Back

Optimal means that they are mobile and stabile in all three planes of motion.  The mobility and stability must be adequate enough to control the forces that are given to it.  The Three exercises to improve these areas are also designed to address the common problems that develop.

#1 The Ankle

During the golf swing the ankle must be very mobile.  If the mobility decreases the body will have no choice but to compensate and have other parts of the body move more.  When other body parts are asked to move to much they begin to get stressed and inflamed and painful.  Here is a quick strategy to get your ankle moving better.

Golf 1

How to do it:

  1. The right foot is flat on the ground and pointing straight forward
  2. The left foot steps across the body and is rotated to the right
  3. The arms holding a golf club also rotate with the left foot to the right
  4. Repeat 10-15 reps and then switch legs

#2 The Hips

By far the most common area that effects the golf swing is limited hip rotation.  Here is a very easy movement that will begin to increase hip rotation.

Golf 2

How to do it:

  1. Holding the golf club in both hands, the right hand is turned up toward the ceiling
  2. The right foot steps or lunges to the right 135 degrees
  3. Drive the club into left rotation using the left hand
  4. Repeat 15-20 times then switch sides

#3 The Upper Back

If the upper back doesn’t rotate during the golf swing other parts of the body will be forced to rotate to much.  Try this very effective movement to increase rotation of the upper back.

Golf 3

How To Do It:

  • Stand like you would during a tee off position
  • Hold golf club in both hands with the side you are rotate to turn that hand palm up
  • Push the club into right rotation using the left hand
  • Repeat 20-25 times then switch sides

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Superior Physical Therapy does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

March 23, 2017

 

The True Culprit Behind Your Back Pain

Not that it could ever happen, but if given the opportunity to defend a body part in a court of law, without question I would choose to defend the lumbar spine. With mind boggling statistics like 80% of all human beings will experience low back pain at some time during their life and that the cost of low back injury is estimated at being $100 Billion each year, there is no wonder why the lumbar spine has been the subject of much maligning and is often referred to as “a bad back”. Despite those daunting statistics, I would argue that not only is the lumbar spine ‘not guilty’ but is in fact most often a victim. The true culprit in low back dysfunction is most often a problem with a link or two in the biomechanical chain somewhere other than the low back.

The Lumbar Spine is located at ‘the crossroads of the body’. It lives where everything happens. It is a five segment stack at the base of the spine designed with the vertebral body and intervertebral disc in the anterior segment and bony protrusions in the posterior including the facet joints to either side. In a typical and healthy back the Lumbar spine has between 40-45 degrees of motion into flexion, 30-40 degrees of flexion into extension, 20 degrees of frontal plane side-bending in each direction and only 5 degrees of transverse plane rotation to each side. Initial examination may lead one to conclude that with such limited frontal and transverse plane motion, there is no wonder that the lumbar spine is often breaking down. Some might say ‘This is a terrible design flaw’. However, knowledge of chain reaction biomechanics and Applied Functional Science allow for deeper understanding.

When fed proper proprioceptive input and when surrounded by ‘friends’ who are functioning properly, the lumbar spine is perfectly equipped to carry out its roles as a shock absorber and force transmitter. The lumbar spine enjoys enough motion to allow the rest of the system to be turned on, facilitating functional strength and motion requirements elsewhere. However, when the lumbar spine is let down by its friends it tries to help the situation by picking up the “slack”. Unfortunately to do so it must work beyond its capabilities to try and get the functional job done. That is when the problems start.

It is a plausible contention that when the low back starts to hurt, look everywhere else and you’ll find the reason why. For example, say the lumbar spine has just distal to it, two undernourished hips. These hips are typically allotted a generous amount of transverse plane mostability (right amount of motion, right amount of stability). However, when they are not ‘properly fed’ the tendency is to seek stability rather than mobility and transverse plane motion at the hips is lost in function. Who then steps in to help? The under-equipped lumbar spine. With the possibility of only 5 degrees of available motion, wear and tear will start quickly, especially if the person is active despite their hip restrictions.

It would be easy if the hips were the only friends capable of letting down the lumbar spine. Typically, however, uncovering the underlying cause behind low back dysfunction is more challenging. Because it is located at the crossroads, limitation in virtually any other biomechanical segment in any plane of motion has the potential to feed abnormal and damaging forces through the lumbar spine. Hopefully your lumbar spine is surrounded by good friends who feed it appropriate forces. If not, and it has been referred to as ‘a bad back’… beware! We may team up in a defamation suit!

TRY THESE TOP THREE EXERCISES FOR LOWER BACK PAIN

Hip Flexor Stretch

How to do it:

  1. Half Kneeling on soft surface
  2. Gently move hips forward and back, side to side, and rotate right and left 30 seconds each
  3. Repeat on other side
  4. 2-3 times per day

Hip Flexor

Thoracic Doorway Stretch

How to do it:

  1. Stand in doorway with leg that that has sciatica behind the other leg (stride position)
  2. Hands grab doorframe on the side opposite of forward leg
  3. Then move the forward leg knee forward and oscillate for 60 seconds

 

Thoacic Doorway Stretch

 

Groin Stretch

How to do it:

  1. Place one foot on chair pointing forward
  2. Other foot is perpendicular on the ground
  3. Hold onto structure
  4. Move hips gently toward chair until groin stretch felt, 60 second hold

Groin Stretch

 

P.S. These top 3 exercises are on our website for your enjoyment along with many others.  http://thesuperiortherapy.com/video-learning/

P.S.S We have a FREE lower back pain and sciatica workshop coming up, if you’re ready to take the next step into pain free motion, click here for more information!

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Superior Physical Therapy does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

February 3, 2017

9 Causes of Plantar Fasciitis You Never Thought Of

Dr. Andrew Gorecki

 

blog 1

Plantar fasciitis is an injury to connective tissue on the bottom of the foot.  To appreciate the Chain Reaction Biomechanics of the CAUSES of plantar fasciitis, the function of this tissue must be understood, particularly as it pertains to walking.  The plantar fascia (PF) runs from the inside side of the bottom of the heel, and extends down the length of the foot connecting to the toes.  The PF supports the arch of the foot, especially from just before your foot comes off the ground during walking.

As the foot lands on the ground, foot goes through pronation.  Pronation of the foot creates mobility in the foot.  This mobility allows the foot to adapt to the surface.  The arch lowers under the weight of the body and the tissues are loaded.  This loading function must very quickly transform into an exploding function (propulsion).  The foot is transformed from a mobile to a stable structure by supination of the foot.  When the foot is in a supinated position, the foot is stable for propulsion.  The PF contributes to this stability.  If, in certain circumstances, the foot does not supinate, then the foot stability will be lacking.  Without the bony, capsular and muscular support to foot, the PF will be required to handle more stress.  The excessive strain that results can produce the clinical symptoms known as plantar fasciitis.   The most common consequence is a partial tearing of the PF from the heel.

blog 2

Many, but not all, of people experiencing plantar fasciitis have the “unlocked” foot because of failure of the foot to adequately supinate prior to the push off phase of walking.  The CAUSE may be anywhere in the body.

SAME SIDE LEG – In the same side leg, the suspects are those dysfunctions that allow excessive pronation of the foot, or prevent the supination of the foot.

  1. Lack of ankle joint bend
  2. Tight calf group – As the body moves forward over the foot, ankle bend occurs at the ankle and foot. Normally supination reduces foot bend, but if the ankle does not have enough bend, then the foot may stay pronated in order to keep the foot bend available to the body.
  3. Weak butt muscles– When the foot goes through pronation, the entire butt works to absorb the forces. These motions must be decelerated by the butt mucles. If the butt muscles do not absorb the forces the foot may go through excessive pronation, making sufficient supination for push off difficult to attain.

OPPOSITE SIDE LEG – In the opposite side leg, the causes are conditions that prevent proper push off of that leg.  Effective push off rotates the pelvis towards the front leg.  The pelvis rotation causes the front leg to rotate outward, assisting supination of the foot.

  1. Lack of ankle bend or tight calf muscle group – poor ankle bend limits hip extension. When the load prior to push off is decreased, then push off will be decreased.
  2. Limited hip extension – The greatest power of push off comes from the hip flexor muscles. These muscles will be loaded by the motion of hip extension.  Without a good hip extension, the push off will be less than optimal and the rotation of the pelvis towards the landing leg will be reduced.
  3. Painful or limited big toe extension – As the heel rises in response to the joint motions and muscle contractions of push off, the great toe goes through extension.  If this toe extension is limited, the power of the propulsion will be “muffled” and pelvis rotation reduced.

Trunk/Core – In walking, and especially running, the abilities of the butt muscles of the landing leg depend on having a mobile, but stable pelvis at the same time.  If the Core muscles are not lengthened and activated, the pelvis will not have mobile-stability, resulting in “functional” weakness of the same side hip muscles.

  1. Loss of upper back motion – Insufficient upper back motion can result in ineffective loading of the core muscles. Without the core load, pelvic mobile-stability is almost impossible.
  2. Weak abdominal muscles – If the upper back motion is available, that motion must be decelerated by the abdominals. Then the energy of deceleration must be transformed into concentric, motion-producing force. Failure of the abdominals to decelerate and/ or accelerate both the trunk and pelvis will negatively affect hip power.
  3. Neck Muscle fatigue/ tightness – As the trunk goes through motion in all three planes creating the load and explode of the core muscles, the neck is actually experiencing motion. With the head looking forward, the movement of the trunk creates bottom-up motion in the neck. If the neck muscles “tighten” with fatigue, either the head will have to rotate from side to side, or the head will remain steady by inhibiting the motion of the upper back.

Effective examination of all the causes, while integrated with the rest of the body, is the power Superior Physical Therapy treatment style.  Without an analysis that is looking to determine the cause of plantar fasciitis the permanent solution will not be found and the person will continue to treat the symptoms  only.  If you would like to learn more about successful treatment strategies for plantar fasciitis please consider coming to our FREE Achilles Tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis Workshop by either calling 231.944.6541 or click the image below to register online!

Register foot workshop

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Superior Physical Therapy does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

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