August 2021 COVID Update – COR continues to follow COVID safety protocols

Category: Exercise basics

What are the Most Prevalent Running-Related Musculoskeletal Injuries?

Running is a form of exercise that carries many benefits. Unfortunately, many athletes experience running-related musculoskeletal injuries. The vast majority of such injuries are caused by overuse and have a high recurrence rate. A recent systematic review determined that the knee and ankle are the most commonly injured sites. The running-related injuries that occur most frequently include Achilles tendinopathy, medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints), patellofemoral pain syndrome, plantar fasciitis, and ankle sprains.

Achilles Tendinopathy

Managing Achilles tendinopathy can be challenging. Most patients see improvements after 3 to 12 months. In some cases, however, long-term symptoms can persist for years. Physical therapy can be effective for Achilles tendinopathy, especially if it includes a program with a heavy emphasis on exercise. The authors of a recent meta-analysis study recommend starting with an exercise program, such as physical therapy, since it is low-cost, accessible, and non-invasive.

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome

Medial tibial stress syndrome, or shin splints, comes from inflammation of the tissue surrounding the tibia. This overuse injury often occurs from downhill running, running on hard surfaces, or including frequent starts and stops. Other factors include flat feet and obesity. In addition, female runners are more likely to develop shin splints than males. Treatment includes rest, ice, stretching, and orthotics. 

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, or runner’s knee, causes stiffness and pain around the kneecap. It can cause difficulty with daily activities such as kneeling, squatting, and climbing stairs. Runner’s knee is often associated with repetitive stress on the patellofemoral joint (in the front of your knee). Likewise, misalignment of the femur and patella can aggravate the joint. PTs can instruct patients on specific exercises to improve range of motion and strength and help reduce pain.

Plantar fasciitis 

The plantar fascia is a tissue in the bottom of your foot. Collagen breakdown and micro tears of the plantar fascia can cause pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. Typically, cases resolve with physical therapy including manual therapy, stretching, taping, and orthotics.

FAQ: How can physical therapy treat running-related musculoskeletal injuries?

Physical therapists start with an injury assessment and create an individualized treatment plan. Physical therapy usually includes stretches, exercises, and manual therapy. PTs can also apply ice, heat, and other modalities as needed. Of course, prevention is the best medicine. PTs can help runners build strength and improve running form to avoid re-injury.

COR Running Program

Many running-related musculoskeletal injuries come from small loads over repetitive cycles. A personalized running analysis can guide runners on proper form to recover and avoid injuries in the future. The COR Running Program provides one-on-one assessment and support for runners. Call our office to make an appointment at 201-833-1333.

The Dangers of Overtraining are Real

Dedicated athletes train hard and push their limits. But there’s a fine line between a strenuous training load and an overreaching one. So, it’s important to understand the symptoms and dangers of overtraining syndrome. Amature and elite athletes alike run the risk of health complications and injury from overtraining. In addition, if you don’t get enough rest and recovery, you can see a decline in performance.

What is Overtraining Syndrome?

Essentially, overtraining syndrome is your body’s response to excessive physical activity without proper rest and recovery. As a result, a combination of neurological, hormonal, and biological factors leads to fatigue and lower sports performance. The loss of performance could last for several weeks or months.  

Symptoms of Overtraining 

The main symptom of overtraining syndrome is performance loss. Athletes may notice a decrease in strength and conditioning despite increasing their training regimen. Other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Disrupted sleep 
  • Mood swings
  • Behavior changes
  • Decreased urination
  • Increased infection risk

Overtraining Factors 

Numerous factors can trigger overtraining, and no single element is the sole cause. For example, we know that athletes who neglect their nutrition, sleep, and recovery are at risk for overtraining syndrome. In addition, there is a long list of behavioral, external, and internal factors, but experts lack a clear understanding of the root cause.

Behavioral Factors

  • Poor nutrition
  • Bad sleeping habits
  • Inadequate rest and recovery
  • Prolonged or monotonous exercise
  • Increased training load

External Factors

  • Life stressors
  • High Altitude
  • Distrusted sleep
  • Too many competitions
  • Heat-related injury

Internal Factors

  • Previous illness
  • Overworked muscles
  • Low muscle glycogen
  • Reduced glutamine 
  • Increased oxidative stress 
  • Hormonal changes
  • Decreased serotonin levels
  • Low sympathetic nervous activation

FAQ: When should I rest from sports training? 

Sometimes athletes can push themselves too hard. Depending on your level of training, take a rest day every three to five days. Or more frequently if you’re starting. Likewise, it’s vital to rest at least 6 hours between workouts and limit each bout to under 2 hours. You should also rest from exercise following illness or injury, after heat stroke, and during stressful life events. 

Avoiding the Dangers of Overtraining  

They say prevention is the best medicine. Athletes who maintain balanced nutrition, rest, and exercise will likely prevent complications from overtraining. For example, an experienced runner knows to taper before a marathon. Essential prevention tips are:

  • Adjust volume and intensity 
  • Eat enough calories 
  • Drink enough water
  • Get enough sleep
  • Rest and recover

These tips represent a holistic approach to their overall health, including balanced nutrition, sleep, and recovery. With proper guidance and direction, you can avoid the dangers of overtraining. 

At Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation, we work with athletes to develop goal-driven plans that achieve optimal results. Schedule a free consultation today.

Empowering Recovery and Prevention Using the McKenzie Method for Pain Relief

The McKenzie Method For Pain Relief

Everyone deserves to be able to do daily activities without pain and stiffness in their back and neck. Using the McKenzie Method for pain relief enables people to take back control of their lives.  The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® empowers patients with the skills they need to control pain without injections or surgery. This evidence-based method has been used for decades to relieve back, neck, and extremity pain.

What physical problems does the McKenzie Method address?

The method helps with nearly all musculoskeletal issues in the back, neck, and joints, such as:
Arthritis
Sciatica
Muscle spasms
Numbness of hands and feet
Degenerative disc disease
Sacroiliac joint pain

What is The McKenzie Method for Pain Relief?

This holistic program is an exercise-based approach to assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie developed the process in the 1950s, and since then, decades of clinical practice and research have shown their effectiveness. The treatment principles focus on the body’s ability to repair itself without medication, ultrasound, and surgery. The goal is to empower clients to manage their own symptoms and reduce reliance on medical intervention. 

The process is an efficient way for providers to understand symptoms accurately, determine the best treatment approach, restore functionality, and educate clients in self-treatment and prevention. A qualified provider will also know when to refer for medical testing if needed.

The 4 Steps of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy

1. Assessment

The clinician looks at the client’s history, symptoms, and behavior to determine the problem’s cause. The patient performs specific movements and positions to assess range of motion that help the provider diagnose the issues. 

2. Classification

MDT addresses each issue using an overarching classification system. Specific musculoskeletal symptoms require particular mechanical procedures. For example, pain caused by movement requires different techniques than pain caused by scarred tissue.

3. Treatment

The assessment and classification help determine the treatment. The therapist develops an individualized treatment plan with exercises and advice for posture and adaptive movement. The clinician may also apply hands-on manipulation until the patient can manage their pain. 

4. Prevention

Symptoms may reoccur after therapy ends. By teaching clients to treat their conditions, the therapist empowers them to minimize the risk of further complications. People can learn to manage chronic problems through self-maintenance. 

Pain Relief Experts

Our clinicians have over 100 years of combined experience in manual therapy, including using the McKenzie Method for pain relief. With an emphasis on education and lifestyle modification, we empower patients to control their pain for the long-term. Contact us to learn if this treatment is right for you.

At-home Strength Training to Stay at the Top of Your Game

At-home Strength Training

Sports training doesn’t stop in the winter, not even during a pandemic. With gyms closed and practices canceled, athletes are finding creative ways to workout during lockdown. Good at-home strength training programs will make all the difference when you get back on the court or field. Fortunately, there are many ways to workout with minimal space and equipment. 

How do I continue sports training from home?

Bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, burpees, and squats take little space and no equipment. A few additional items, such as resistance bands, boost your at-home workout. A personal trainer can design a home exercise program that works for you. 

Bodyweight Exercises for At-home Strength Training

Your sports performance doesn’t need to suffer just because you don’t have a home gym. Your body and the floor is all you need for building strength. The basic principle is simple—working against resistance builds muscle, whether from barbells or your own weight. In fact, bodyweight training is possibly the oldest form of exercise. People have used their bodies and gravity as a form of resistance since the dawn of time. Since all you need is yourself, you can exercise anytime, anywhere.

To start, warm up with stretches and some light cardio such as jumping jacks or running in place. Perform sets to target the specific muscle groups that need strengthening. For example, push-ups  for the arms, planks for abs, squats and lunges for legs. The program that works best for you depends on the specifics of your body and sport.

Resistance Bands

Add an extra boost to your at-home strength training with resistance bands. These simple simople training tools are impressively flexible—pun intended. A single band gives you a wide range of exercises without the cost and bulk of home gyms. You can work all the same muscle groups as you would with free weights or machines at the gym. 

Secure the band to the top of a door frame to do tricep pushdowns. Stand on one end and pull upward for bicep curls. Bands have the added benefit of resistance in the upward, or positive motion, and the controlling tension in the downward motions. These are also termed concentric and eccentric contractions.  Barbells provide similar work, but are not quite as versatile as bands. In this covid era, it may be more difficult to purchase barbells if you do not have any. Bands are readily available online at various sources. A physical therapist can design individualized workouts that suit your needs. Contact us.

Elite Athlete Performance Plan

At Churchill Orthopedic Rehabilitation, we offer in person and telehealth sessions with personalized programs. Come back from lockdown game ready with an Elite Athlete Performance Plan designed just for you. Request a video session today.

Healthy at Home: Staying Active to Reduce Stress

With COVID cases on the rise, more people are hunkering down. Part of staying healthy at home includes maintaining the wellbeing of the body and mind to reduce stress. Bad habits while working from home can increase stress and lead to all sorts of problems—anxiety, body aches, weight gain. Keeping active and sticking to a schedule promotes physical and mental health during self-isolation. Here are a few ways to reduce stress with healthy activities.

Make Daily Schedule

When you’re home all day, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. Sure, streaming Netflix or playing Candy Crush can help you wind down. But, during lockdown and/or restrictions on out of home activties, screen time can quickly overwhelm your life. One solution is to schedule a daily routine of meals, activities, exercise, and sleep/wake times. Sticking to your plan will help you stay active and healthy at home. 

Exercise

One thing to include in your daily routine is exercise. Any form of exercise is enough to boost endorphins and reduce stress. There are plenty of ways to stay active at home with little or no additional equipment. Choose one you enjoy, or try something new each day, such as:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Jumping rope
  • Climbing stairs
  • Dancing
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Weightlifting
  • Gardening

Home-cooked Meals

Include meal preparation as part of your daily routine. We know it’s tempting to order DoorDash every day of quarantine. However, cooking at home is healthier and cheaper. Not to mention, creative activities like cooking and baking positively impact mental wellness. Online cooking classes are a great way to stay active and creative at home. So, grab some curbside groceries and get cooking. 

Meditation

In addition to staying active, include time in your schedule to wind down. There are plenty of meditation apps and guided relaxation videos out there. But, some of you are thinking, “meditation isn’t for me.” Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting in lotus position saying, “ohm.” You could listen to peaceful music, spend time in prayer, walk around the block. The point is carving out quiet time to calm your mind.

A balance of exercise, healthy meals and relaxation go a long way toward maintaining physical and mental wellness. Sometimes keeping your body healthy requires physical therapy. Enjoy individualized treatment in the comfort of your home. Schedule a telehealth appointment online today.

Keep Your Human Connections

During these times we are all facing, pick up the phone and talk to people you care about. It can make a big difference in their day, as well as yours.

Churchill’s New Standard of Care

Hello Churchill Family!

We want to be sure you feel safe for your physical therapy visits as our community starts moving again. Some of the steps we are taking include”

  • frequent washing of tables/equipment/handles
  • utilization of masks by everyone in the building
  • adhering to social distancing guidelines
  • having our room sanitized daily
  • Tempature Checks For Patients and Staff 

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us.  We have returned to the office and seeing limited in-office visits at this time. We are here to help with all your orthopedic concerns!

Here is a round-up of recent content, enjoy!

Office Virtual Tour…We have implemented new changes in our clinic to keep our team and patients safe…https://www.instagram.com/p/CAbCj1unilr/?igshid=tr5fui50sjsb

Office Setup and Safety Protocol…Check out our new office design and use of personal protective equipment (PPE)…https://www.instagram.com/p/CAgBxYNssUa/?igshid=pw4hmkxlwcod

Quarantine Upper Body Edition…Here is a short demonstration of several exercises that you can do at home to stay active and strong!…https://www.instagram.com/p/CALAe-FnL-l/?igshid=n17giv1kkako

Kind Regards,

The Churchill Orthopedic Rehab Team

3 Health and Fitness Tips for Winter

1. Frequent Mobility in the Day…Prolonged sitting results in negative effects on our body such as muscle stiffness, back pain, neck tightness, and decreased motion.  One way to counteract the effects of sitting is by incorporating more movement throughout the day. (more…)