As an Athletico physical therapist and competitive cyclist, I am eager to share my love for cycling with others. Right now, I’m super excited about the Tour de France. Over the past several years, it’s been gratifying to see cycling grow in the United States as a competitive sport, a fun way to exercise, and an environmentally-friendly way to commute. All outdoor cyclists, from the Tour de France riders to the city commuters in Chicago, are at risk of crash-related injuries. One of the most common is concussions. In this blog, I will discuss what you can do, as well as what physical therapists can do, to help you protect yourself.
Running is a common form of exercise that people of all ages can and do participate in. Mobility, strengthening, running mechanics, and stabilization are critical factors to consider when beginning a running program. Without proper mobility, strengthening, and stabilization, one can develop hip pain.
Hip pain is very common in runners, can vary from the front, side, or back of the hip, and has many different causes. Hip pain specifically could be caused by poor movement patterns and weakness in the hip, but also could be caused by poor core strength or an old injury to the low back, knee, or even ankle. Below you will find the four most common causes of hip pain and what you can do about it.
Running has become an increasingly popular activity for exercise among people of all ages. In fact, 60 million people within the United States participate in some form of running activity each year. People participate in running activities for numerous reasons including: improving fitness, weight concerns, running a race/competition, staying healthy, and having fun. Running for 5 – 10 minutes per day has shown to decrease the risk of death and cardiovascular disease. Running less than 50 minutes per week has also shown to reduce the risk of death from heart disease when compared to individuals who don’t participate in running at all. While running has many benefits, about 50% of people get injured each year from running. Running injuries can be caused by poor running technique, reduced strength and flexibility, improper footwear, as well as overuse.
Walking, running, jogging, dancing, are all functional activities we do daily without thinking about it. They simply come second nature to us and are essential to a healthy life. What if your big toe, also known as the hallux, was amputated? Would you still be able to do what you love at all or even with ease?
Achilles pain or injury can prevent itself in the form of tendinopathy (i.e. tendinitis or tendinosis), or the more critical Achilles tendon tear or rupture. The Achilles tendon is the tendon to the gastroc and soleus, which together are known as the calf muscles. The role of a tendon is to transfer the force from the contracting muscle to the intended joint of movement. Together these muscles plantarflex the ankle joint, or point the foot downwards. This action creates the force needed to push the ground away and help propel the body forwards (or upwards) when we are walking, running, or jumping. The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body, and the gastroc and soleus are the primary ankle plantar flexor muscles.
I don’t have to be the first to tell you that this has been a tough year for everyone emotionally, mentally and physically. Sticking to a healthy routine has never been more important. Throughout the last year, running has always been an outlet for me. Through tough, lonely, and cold days where it was an effort to even get out of the house, running has always put my mind and body at ease, providing stress relief and happiness, even if for a short period of time.
The IT band, or Illiotibial band, is connective tissue that runs along the lateral thigh from the hip to the outside of the tibia (shinbone), just below your knee. IT band pain occurs due to inflammation caused by friction between the IT band and thigh bone, often with repeated knee flexion and extension. This inflammation leads to pain on the outside of the knee, especially with repetitive use in running, walking, hiking and cycling.
Congratulations! You graduated from physical therapy! Although you may have gone there feeling injured, you are now slowly returning to your normal, active self. As you finish your sessions, it is important to get clearance on returning to running. Your physical therapist can help you determine a realistic running goal to make sure the two of you are on the same page.