Have you ever paid attention to the amount of times you lift or handle your newborn child or toddler throughout the day? As a parent of two growing children under the age of two, I could not help but notice (and feel the effects of) the physical demands of my kids. The bulky-but-useful changing stations, running strollers, ergo-carriers, standing towers, and bassinets all require lifting and/or carrying the child while assisting them into some (not always desired but necessary) positions. You do what you must as parents, but how exactly are you getting the job done and at what orthopedic cost? Here is a list of some common overuse injuries as well as a few tips that may prevent them with just a few seconds of extra thought and planning!
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.
The majority of individuals have experienced some form of physical pain or injury over the course their lives. Some adopt the “no pain, no gain” mentality while others seek medical attention right away. Is it ok to “work through the pain”? What about taking a “wait and see” approach prior to seeking medical care? How long is too long to wait prior to receiving medical care for pain?
A common misconception is that strength training is only beneficial for young adults. This is simply not true! Strengthening can be beneficial at any age; in fact there is no age limitation to gain strength. We know that muscle strength can be increased by progressive loads at any age. There is also evidence that suggests muscle strength can help with mobility, such as gait speed, and improving function for tasks, such as standing up from a chair. Increasing strength in the older population is beneficial to decrease risk of injury and has other health benefits as well.
Physical therapists play an active role in the care and prevention of Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace. Musculoskeletal pain refers to pain in the muscles, tendons, bones, joints, ligaments and nerves of the body. These MSDs are detrimental to the employee’s health, expensive for the business, and lead to lost time and turnover. In fact, musculoskeletal disorders are the largest healthcare expense in the U.S. Taken on in the form of workers’ compensation claims, MSDs account for over $50 billion dollars a year – many of which, may be preventable.
We are all too familiar with pain; it is truly one of the unfavorable guarantees that we have in life. Whether it be emotional or physical pain, we learn at a young age that pain is a reality that we all must face. In fact, there is a direct link between our physical pain and emotional wellness. Often times, emotional stressors are manifested in our physical ailments. Just as often, we find ourselves with physical impairments that can trigger certain emotional responses affecting our moods and perspectives.
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.