Physical Therapy clinic Lakewood, CO 80226
Expert Physical Therapy and Medical Massage Therapy Care in Lakewood / Denver
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Lakewood, CO 80226
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Belmar Physical Therapy

Shin Splints - Do You Have Pain In Your Shins After Walking of Running?

Shin Splint Pain Relief - Superfeet

What Are Shin Splints?Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, is an overuse injury that causes lower leg pain. This problem is the cause in 18% of running injuries and is 2-3 more prevalent in women than men. Shin splints are primarily caused by a mismatch between overload and recovery during weight bearing exercise. High-stress impact loading during running or walking places an increased stress on the lower leg bone (tibia). When this stress increases gradually the bone strengthens in order to handle the load. Shin splints occur when the body’s ability to strengthen the bone is not able to keep up with the stress being placed on the bone. This imbalance of bone strengthening and stress causes small cracks in the bone and inflammation of the surrounding tissue.  

The pain from shin splints can be classified into 4 stages in order of severity:Light pain or stiffness after working out.Pain at the beginning of a work-out which disappears during the warm-up.Pain during the work-out, but also after the workout and during the night. The pain subsides after long rest and inactivity.Constant pain. The pain does not disappear after rest.

What Mechanical Factors Contribute to Shin Splints?

Excessive flattening (pronation) of the feet when walking or running.Tight calf muscles.Weak ankle stabilizer muscles (soleus, flexor digitorum longus, posterior tibialis).Walking or running on hard surfaces.Walking or running in old shoes.

What is the Preferred Treatment for Shin Splints?

IceSuperfeet are an inexpensive orthotics option.Rest (The amount of rest depends on the stage above).Anti-inflammatory medication (prescribed by a medical doctor).Orthotics to support the arch of your foot and decrease the flattening of your feet.Make sure you shoes are not too old (running shoes should be replaced every 300-600 miles).Run or walk on softer surfaces such as dirt.Increase the endurance of your ankle muscles with these exercises.Stretch your calf muscles.Cross-train to give your body a break from high-stress impact loading (cycling and swimming are great choices for maintaining aerobic fitness while resting the injury).

When you are ready to resume training, gradually increase your duration and intensity so that the bones can keep up. Prevent recurrence by instituting rest weeks into your training (We recommend an active rest week of 1/2 your usual training duration and intensity every 4th week).

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Belmar Physical Therapy

Fall Prevention is a Great Way to Stay Out of The Hospital.

Injury from Falling - Physical Therapy can help

One-third of people over the age of 65 suffer from a fall each year.

Falls are the number one cause of hospital trauma admissions, injuries and accident-related deaths in this people over 65.

In 2002, fall-related injuries were the cause of death for approximately 13,000 Americans.

The National Safety Council expects the number of people over age 65 to double by the year 2030, which will potentially double the number of falls in this age group.

Why Do People Over 65 Fall More?The ability to avoid falling is dependent on a persons ability to maintain balance in a variety of situations.  Maintaining balance is a complex process that relies on multiple sensory systems working together.  These sensory systems include receptors in the foot and ankle as well as the eyes and the inner ear.  The brain receives signals from these sensory systems and in turn sends signals to the muscles of the trunk and lower extremities to react and maintain balance.  As we age the sensory systems may become slower and the muscles may become weak and unable to adjust quick enough or powerful enough to avoid falling.

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Belmar Physical Therapy

PEP Up Your Training to Reduce Injuries and Extend Your Athletic Career

What athlete wouldn’t like to reduce their injuries and extend their career? Does the name Dara Torres ring any bells?

It may be as simple as PEPping up your workouts if recent evidence is any indicator. Recent research indicates that specific exercise training can help reduce the risk of injuries in female athletes, specifically tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is a common knee injury in athletes that participate in sports such as soccer or basketball.  The ACL is crucial for stability of the knee joint during activities such as jumping and quick changes in direction.  Injuries to the ACL often require surgery and extensive physical therapy, so they are usually season-ending.  Studies show that females may be four times as likely to suffer an ACL injury compared to males competing in the same sports.  This is due in part to a difference in the way that men and women contract the muscles around the knee, along with structural variations in the knee between the two genders.

Specialized exercise programs such as the Prevent Injury, Enhance Performance (PEP) program , typically conducted by a physical therapist, involve a combination of stretching, strengthening, agility, and jumping.  This program emphasizes learning and using proper mechanics of the body to avoid compensation movements that could later cause injury.  Through practice, good movement patterns are reinforced so the brain later recognizes them as normal, automatic movements.  A study recently published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine showed that a group of  female athletes performing the PEP program demonstrated a 41 percent lower rate of ACL injury compared to those doing a regular warm-up.

Medical News Today has published an overview of the study along with an endorsement by the the American Physical Therapy Association which concurs with the study’s findings that a specialized program such as PEP could lower the overall ACL injury rate among female athletes.

We are experts working with Athletes!  If you are interested in participating in sports at the highest level possible, contact Belmar Physical Therapy to find out how we can help you add PEP to your training program to boost performance and prevent season ending injuries. Contact us here >>

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