0 comments on “Self Maintenance Tools : Roll Recovery”

Self Maintenance Tools : Roll Recovery

I’m all about staying healthy, and if i have learned anything over my 20 year running career it’s that staying healthy does require some self- maintenance. When I was running professionally, I often got weekly massages because running 100+ miles a week takes it’s toll. Even when I would feel good, the therapist would find things I didn’t know were brewing. Any athlete or avid exerciser knows how important consistency is, and missing time off for an injury is just frustrating.

Getting weekly massages with my busy life just isn’t an option any more. I bought a Roll Recovery years ago and used it religiously during my build up to the 2015 USA Marathon Championships where I ended up winning.  I was putting in some serious work and just made myself come from a run and work on my calves quads, hamstrings and gluts every day. I credit it to getting to the starting line healthy and ready to go.

So whey Roll Recovery over a foam roller? Foam rolling for is helpful and fine, but for me it seems like too much work and to get myself in position. I also did not have enough body weight to really get the pressure I needed. I like the tension the Roll Recover offers and feel I get a more target massage with it. You can roll it back and forth or just hold certain spots for more of acupressure work. I know my legs aren’t hulking, so big dudes, if you are wondering if this will work for you- it will! The springs stretch a little and there is a key where you can adjust the tension as well. If your thighs are size of tree trunks..well try a friend’s first.

If you haven’t tried one, just hit your local running story, and they might have one you can try. I often lend mine out to patients and they are usually sold. It may be more expensive than a foam roller but frankly, it is portable and it works better. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Invest in yourself, and make sure you do the little things to keep your body strong and healthy and ready for what ever fun activity or sport you are into.  Check out more about this great product here at Roll Recovery.

0 comments on “Self Neck Mobilization”

Self Neck Mobilization

Ever wake up with neck pain or do a funny movement and feel your neck immediately kink up? Ever look down at a computer or a book for hours and feel the onset of neck pain? Have headaches? I have a feeling we have all been there and suffered for a few days until you were slowly able to regain some motion and have less pain and not walk around like a stiff robot. I had a surgeon the other day tell me he was hovered over a patient for 6 hours and his neck just hadn’t been the same even though he has been doing the same motion for years. I always tell patients you can do strenuous things and ask a lot of your body until one day it will tell you that it has had enough.

Often the over strain of muscles can lead to a protective mechanism where your neck muscles “clamp” or spasm down to protect the area. Since your neck and shoulder muscles originate from your neck or cervical spine and the base of your skull the joints and nerves can be effected. Other times the joints need  a little help to glide properly again which is why some self mobilization can help along with some soft tissue work and some postural re-education and strengthening. I can’t say I am a big fan of high velocity joint mobilizations particularly of the neck, which is why I like these gently self mobs Mulligan technique.

This exercise targets extension of the cervical spine, but there are additional techniques to target rotation. Give this a shot. If you are having some hand or arm pain your symptoms should get better or “centralize.” This should not be painful or increase any symptoms of pain.

Medical Disclaimer:

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.

0 comments on “Ankle sprains can have lasting effects”

Ankle sprains can have lasting effects

Ankle Sprains are one of the most common musculoskeletal problem effecting all ages and people of all different activity levels.  There are different locations and several different grades depending on severity, with the high and low lateral ankle sprains being the most common.

We have probably all felt the immediate pain of a “twisted” ankle. Sometimes it subsides, and there is not much bruising or swelling and walking is fine in a few days. Other times, your ankle might turn all kinds of interesting colors and swell up more than you ever thought possible. In more severe cases, weight bearing is not possible, and you are in for a long haul of surgery and rehab.

But even the mildest of sprains can leave you feeling “stiff” with a some loss of range of motion at the ankle joint that can have lasting effects not only for your ankle, but have a domino effect all the way up your leg to your pelvis. Once walking is compromised, you begin to lose calf musculature and become less efficient.  Eventually you can even start to have pelvic alignment issues and muscle inhibition. Severe grade 2 and 3 cases can cause chronic pain, stiffness and proprioceptive issues if left untreated, as often the effect of immobilization are almost as bad as the injury.

So the next time you “twist” your ankle, do yourself a favor and seek medical advice from your doctor and physical therapist to make sure you don’t have any last effects. To get on my soap box,  the RICE principle has been proven to prevent healing and icing is best only if you want to reduce pain.  The British Journal of Sports Medicine, for example, investigated 22 separate studies and concluded that “ice is commonly used after acute muscle strains, but there are no clinical studies of its effectiveness.” A report in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research was even more alarming. Not only does icing fail to help injuries heal, the authors found, it may well delay recovery from injury. Think “ARITA” …Active Recovery Is The Answer. More on that later!

So for acute injuries…avoid ice and NSAIDS and let the body go through the healing stages. Your body is much smarter than you are. Compression and warm baths are best, with some active movement around the compromised area to enhance the lymphatic drainage system.

Grades of ankle sprain severity

Severity Damage to ligaments Symptoms Recovery time
Grade 1 Minimal stretching, no tearing Mild pain, swelling, and tenderness. Usually no bruising. No joint instability. No difficulty bearing weight. 1–3 weeks
Grade 2 Partial tear Moderate pain, swelling, and tenderness. Possible bruising. Mild to moderate joint instability. Some loss of range of motion and function. Pain with weight bearing and walking. 3–6 weeks
Grade 3 Full tear or rupture Severe pain, swelling, tenderness, and bruising. Considerable instability and loss of function and range of motion. Unable to bear weight or walk. Several months
Source: Adapted from Maughan KL, “Ankle Sprain,” UpToDate, version 14.3, and Ivins D, “Acute Ankle Sprain: An Update,” American Family Physician (Nov. 15, 2006), Vol. 74, No. 10, pp. 1714–20.

 

My son wanting his ankle taped:)

Medical Disclaimer:

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.

 

 

 

 

0 comments on “Make your health a priority”

Make your health a priority

What can On Track Physical Therapy do for you?

Get you information: I often get calls from patients that have a new pain or issue and want to get some information and a thorough medical evaluation. Many of my patients do not have a primary care doctor, so starting with a physical therapist is a great way to get into the health care system. I am embarrassed to admit, I don’t even have a primary doctor. The good news is, physical therapist are highly trained in orthopedics, neuro and everything in between. Though On Track Physical Therapy specialized in general orthopedic issues, we see clients with all diagnoses including post -surgical and vestibular to name a few.

Help you navigate the health care world: On Track Physical Therapy is happy to work closely with your doctor and prefers to have your doctor informed throughout your therapy. If you do not have a doctor or specialist, we will make sure to refer you to the right specialist if your diagnosis deems it necessary. In almost all cases, your doctor will recommend a course of physical therapy before costly MRIs and surgical procedures.

Direct Access: California is a Direct Access state for Physical Therapy meaning you can refer yourself to Physical Therapy and be seen without a doctors referral. Often insurances require a referral for you to use them, but since On Track Physical Therapy is private- pay, we do not require a referral.

Consierge Treatment: Many of our patients enjoy the convenience of online booking and flexible scheduling. We are also available to talk vie phone or skype if any issues come up before your next appointment. In home visits are are also available.

Save you money in long run: We are private pay, but It is rare that we would need to see you 3x a week for 6 six weeks like many traditional clinics. Once a week or bi-weekly appointments are more usual. Our focused 55 minute ,1 on 1 treatment session is effective, and we use online and video technology for our home programs. We also do not take co-pays which is helpful with many insurance policies that have very high deductibles and co-oays that add up quickly. Lastly, if you are working towards your deductible, we can give you a superbill documenting all your visits.

Bottom line…YOU and your health are worth it!

Blake Russell, PT and Owner of On Track Physical Therapy and Performance

 

 

0 comments on “First Toe Extension and Running Mechanics”

First Toe Extension and Running Mechanics

It’s  tiny joint, but your big toe joint (MTP) can be an important one. Yep, you probably don’t often think of your big toe unless you are stubbing it on some concrete path or whacking it on some furniture, but it’s a key joint for balance and locomotion- not to mention running.  As you push off, your big toe must extend which causes your plantar fascia to tighten which helps to stabilize the foot. This rigidity it causes in your foot as it extends  is good because it makes a strong lever for propulsion.

0 comments on “Pain with Downhill Running”

Pain with Downhill Running

Oh my knees!

If you do a lot of running, you’ve probably experienced some sort of knee pain at one point or another. There can be lots of reasons why your knees hurt…Soft tissue restrictions, joint irritation, spinal alignment, or strength and stability to name a few. Often it may be a hip or ankle issue that is contributing to your pain. It’s a good idea to get your whole body checked out and even assess your running form to make sure you address the route of the problem rather than the site of the pain.

If I find a patient has a stability issue, a good exercise to begin with is a mini squat with your heel elevated. Having your feet in an elevated position will mimic the position your foot is in as you are running downhill. I like to start patients with both heels elevated and have them bend to about 20 degrees (or in a pain-free range). Start first with 2 sets of 15-20 daily, then progress to 1 leg at a time to make it more challenging. Running is an endurance sport, so higher reps with good form are key.

As always, consult your Primary Care Physician with any conditions you are concerned about and exercise in a pain-free range.

 

 

0 comments on “Marathon Mom: Relaxation tips from a 4 year old.”

Marathon Mom: Relaxation tips from a 4 year old.

Here’s the latest Monterey Herald Article with a simple breathing exercise at the end. Proper breathing dynamics is so important. It balances the body, helps with alignment and proper muscle activation, and decreases stress levels. I focus more on proper breathing in preparation for exercises, and find it fundamental for pelvic issues, musculoskeletal issues, and chronic pain. I also love the stress relief and mindfulness it can offer with just a few minutes a day. I am liking the Headspace app for guided meditation for anyone interested.

0 comments on “What is “W sitting” and why is it bad for your children?”

What is “W sitting” and why is it bad for your children?

Recently I have been treating a lot of high school patients with hip and knee pain during sports activities, and in more than one case the underlying cause is probably a long history of “W sitting” which is demonstrated in the above photo. I would always correct my children when they got in this position because I know that it can have some serious long-term risks for their developing bodies like the following:

0 comments on “Hip and Psoas Mobility”

Hip and Psoas Mobility

There are so many great hip openers out there, but I wanted to share one of my favorites. It is my go- to exercise when I feel like my alignment is a little off, or my back or hips are feeling achy or just not as mobile as I know they should. It’s as close to WD40 you can get for your hips. The purpose of this exercise to get a gentle hip capsule stretch while you are pushing towards your feet, then a gentle gluteal and pirformis stretch as you pull your knee to opposite shoulder. To do this, take up the tissue slack and then breath out as you press down towards your feet. The movement is small- like maybe 1/2 inch. The breathing is really important, so make sure you first do this in a quiet place so you can concentrate. Remember, you are always breathing out on the mobilization or stretch part.

Aside from working the hip capsule, this is a very gently and effective psoas Muscle stretch. The Psoas muscle is one of the body’s main hip flexor muscles, or trunk flexor if your feet are stable. Since it inserts on the T12-L5 vertebrae, if can cause back pain if tight or in spasm. A tight psoas muscle also effects posture and alignment, so it’s one to stay on top of if you do a lot of hip flexing (runners, I’m talking to you.) Manual work is great for this muscle, but if that’s not an option, this will help.

Psoas Muscle – My favorite muscle FYI:)

The knee drop (second part of the video) is great for stretching your smaller external hip rotators that can effect your hip and sacral alignment. Again, let your leg fall in GENTLY to the center with gravity stretching it. Breath in as you come back up, and then repeat on the other side. Go back and forth 6x each leg.

As always, there should be no pain with any of this, so stop if you feel any. Though they feel great, 1-2 x times a day is plenty.  Again, I will stress, be GENTLE. Don’t over do it or you will have a sore back and hips.

Happy running…or what ever form of exercise you choose!

Blake Russell, PT

 

0 comments on “Rainbow Passes”

Rainbow Passes

Single-leg dynamic stability is important, as is core stability. This exercise challenges both and is great for almost any sport. Add it to your routine as a warm-up or routine. I am using a 10 pound medicine ball, but it’s best to start light and stay light as the focus of this drill is quality of movement; not strength. Balance is something I work on quite a bit to keep my feet intrinsic muscles and hips strong for the pounding of running. Keep your routine fun and add these rainbow passes to your gym routine. Enjoy!