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physical therapy

The Knee and Hip Connection

The Knee and Hip Connection

When a new client comes in with a knee pain, eight out of ten times I’ll start my exam at the hip. Seven out of those eight times, my client looks at me like I’m crazy. I think it’s time I reveal the method to my madness.

Activating the Glutes

Activating the Glutes

You’ve just finished mile 26, the finish line is in sight, and you decide it’s time to start that finishing kick. Suddenly, you feel a sharp pain, immediately grab the back of your thigh, and stop running. Chances are, you’ve most likely pulled a hamstring. How? And what and can you do to avoid injuries like this in the future? It comes down to how your hamstrings and glutes work together.

Heat vs. Ice

Heat vs. Ice

As PTs, we are often asked when to use ice versus heat for injuries. The answer definitely depends on the injury. Ice and heat can both be used to reduce pain, but they are best applied in different situations. A recent literature review conducted by Malanga, Yan, and Stark examined the differences between heat and ice applications and their effectiveness.

IT Bands. They’re lame. But totally fixable.  {Guest Post!}

IT Bands. They’re lame. But totally fixable. {Guest Post!}

A little over two years ago I was running through the mountains of Virginia. Things were going well... until they weren’t. I would find out later from the esteemed, all-around amazing PT, Cat Fitzgerald, that years of running, cycling, and all manner of exercise (without the proper stretching or strength training) had finally caught up with me.

Does Racing Age Matter?

Does Racing Age Matter?

Endurance races, such as ultra-marathons and Ironman triathlons are becoming increasingly popular around the world. Whether it’s the idea of a new mental or physical challenge or just plain love of the sport, participation in these events continues to increase. In the Ironman triathlon, the overall number of finishers - both male and female - has increased dramatically over the past 30 years. In addition to increased participation, improvements in performance in this event have also been reported. But is there an ideal age for best performance?

Brain vs. Food

Brain vs. Food

Fueling for exercise, especially during long runs, is a commonly discussed topic in the running world. Pre-race carb-loading, mid-race fuel sources, and post-race meals are all part of a typical routine. So why do we sometimes not feel hungry when finishing a run? And why are we starving other times? It turns out that following aerobic exercise our brain’s response to food can sometimes be reduced.

Feel the (Foot) Burn

Feel the (Foot) Burn

Strength exercises are important to a long distance runner, especially if you are trying to get faster. This is not a secret. When you name your target areas, you often think of the back, core, shoulders, chest, legs... but don’t forget your feet! It may seem silly at first but for runners, actual intrinsic foot strength is VERY important.

Plyos for Performance

Plyos for Performance

To be at peak performance and minimal injury risk, strength training should be an integral part of all running programs. For your strength training to be effective, you should should be specific and deliberate when choosing your exercises.

IS MOBILITY BAD OR GOOD?

IS MOBILITY BAD OR GOOD?

Hypermobility vs Flexibility? Is Mobility a Bad Thing?

What is hypermobility?

When talking about fitness, many people use flexibility and mobility interchangeably, but the two concepts are actually very different! Mobility refers to the range of motion in a joint. Mobility is influenced by both the joint structures (where one bone meets another) and the soft tissue that surrounds that joint. Flexibility refers only to the soft tissue itself.

Too Much Bounce in your Run?

Too Much Bounce in your Run?

The relationship between running injuries and the amount of vertical force (up and down movement and impact) during running has been well-documented through many recent studies. “Vertical ground reaction force” (VGRF) is the force that the ground exerts up through a runner’s leg when landing. The rate at which these forces are applied to the body is called “vertical impact loading rate” (VILR). So if the vertical ground reaction forces are applied too quickly and not absorbed well, injury risk can be increased significantly.

Do I Really Need New Shoes?

Do I Really Need New Shoes?

We all have heard the recommendation to change shoes around 300-500 miles of use, but why? Where does this recommendation come from? When running, forces more than 2.5 times your body weight are applied up the leg and through the musculoskeletal system. Footwear has been designed to assist in absorbing these highmagnitude forces in order to improve performance and reduce injury risk. The cushioning in shoes can absorb shock and reduce how fast the force of landing acts on the body.