Another Half Hour Workout Routine For Beginners

So this is day two of my first monthly routine. I set it up so that day two was a little easier than day one considering I knew I was going to be sore from the day one routine. I won’t lie; the first week of doing this routine kicked my butt. I was sore for a few days and felt pretty pathetic. But I stuck with it and it all came together pretty quickly. I expect the same will happen for you. Now for the routine. Continue reading →

35 Years Old: Time to Get Fit!

I know I’ve been absent from this site for awhile. I was busy finishing up my doctorate and doing some other things. But I’m back now with some new ideas so let’s get going!

So, I’m most of the way through my 35th year and I’m not afraid to admit I’ve been lazy about exercise. I’ve stopped and started several times through the years. The longest I have ever committed to exercise was a few years ago when I trained for a half marathon. That was only six months, but I was signed up and had a goal so I had to keep at it. And to be fair, I had to slow down after the race due to an injury.

Considering I’m a physical therapist and strength and conditioning specialist, I have tons of knowledge and ideas on how to set up an exercise program. Up until now, I’ve mostly been using this knowledge in my professional life and I figure it’s about time I get my act together and get started on my own exercise programs. Continue reading →

Do You Have Chronic Pain After An Ankle Sprain?

One of my secretaries at work came to me a couple weeks ago and asked me about her ankle.  She had sprained it years ago and was continuing to have pain and wanted to know what she could do to stop it.  The problem here was that she decided she wanted to be a runner and when she tried to increase her mileage, her prior ankle sprain became a problem causing her to have severe pain and muscle spasms around her ankle.

Strangely enough, at the same time, I was seeing a 13 year old girl who had sprained her ankle a year ago and continued to have pain with every day activities like walking and climbing stairs.  This young lady could not participate in any sports.

I thought both of these stories would be relevant here and that you guys could learn something from them. Continue reading →

Which Muscle Is That? Part 1

As a physical therapist, I see many female athletes for post injury rehab.  I have noticed that a lot of them don’t know where certain muscles are located on their bodies.  When I say, “Now we’re going to stretch your hamstrings,” they ask me, “Is that the one on the front or the back?”  I can’t say that this is limited to adolescent athletes, either.  I have had just as many middle aged athletes, or those that may be called “weekend warriors,” ask me the same questions.

I don’t know why there is a knowledge gap between men and women when it comes to knowing which muscles are where and what they do.  The only thing I can think of is that men are usually introduced to weight training earlier and more often than women.

So, because of these experiences I have decided to write a short series on the basic muscle groups in the body and what they do.  I will try to keep it as basic as possible.  This first one will address the muscles of the legs, or what are called the lower extremities.  Let’s start from the top down. Continue reading →

How Flexible Are You?

Hypermobility is a huge problem among the female athletes I see in my clinic.  Frequently, this is partly responsible for the injuries that these athletes have been dealing with.  When I say hypermobile, I mean that their joints are naturally loose.  These people also tend to have very flexible muscles that easily move around their already flexible joints.  I like to refer to these people as floppy or Gumby (for those of you old enough to know who Gumby is).

Now, being hypermobile is generally not a problem for everyone.  In fact, hypermobility is one of the things that can make you excel at sports like gymnastics and dance.  In these sports, this hypermobility is needed to get into the incredible positions that these girls get into.  However, sometimes having that hypermobility without the proper amount of stability to balance it out, can lead to injuries.  These injuries might include patellofemoral pain syndrome, snapping hip, ankle sprains, and shoulder dislocations to name a few.  Let’s take a look at how you can tell if you’re one of these hypermobile athletes. Continue reading →

Are Females More Likely To Suffer From Concussions?

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about concussions as of late.  It has become a very hot topic in sports from young children right up to the professional level.  I, for one, am glad that concussion information is being passed around because a concussion can be a very serious thing.  A concussion has been called many things throughout the years, but the bottom line is that it is a brain injury.  That’s why they have been treated so seriously lately.

The more people learn about concussions, the more they understand how big of a deal they really are.  Concussions can result in all kinds of symptoms including dizziness, headaches, visual changes, sleep disturbance, inability to focus and a whole host of others.  The last thing anyone wants is for a concussion to ruin a young person’s future.

Concussions also take an unknown amount of time to resolve.  Most of the athletes I’ve seen return to play within a couple weeks of the first concussion.  However, with subsequent concussions, recovery is less predictable.  It will often take longer and you may not be able to come back at all.  I’ve had young athletes quit certain sports like football and hockey because they’ve had too many concussions.

Obviously, concussions can affect anyone in any walk of life, but athletes tend to get them more regularly.  I’ve actually worked with a field hockey player who sustained a concussion because she got hit in the head by a water bottle the other players were throwing around for fun.  The question that this article will attempt to answer is if women are more likely to suffer a concussion than men and how does their recovery differ? Continue reading →

Why I Hate Knee Immobilizers

You’ve probably seen them.  If you haven’t been sentenced to wearing one, you may know someone who has.  Or you’ve seen someone walking around in one at school or at the store.  I’m talking about the knee immobilizer.  This is the ugly blue or green foam thing that they strap around your knee in the emergency room after a knee injury.  It has metal uprights that run along the sides of your knee that are supposed to give you support and prevent your knee from moving in any direction.  The whole thing runs from your mid thigh to your mid calf.  You usually get this with a complimentary pair of crutches.

When I talk about this, it’s important to understand that I’m only referring to acute knee injuries you might present to the emergency room for.  This does not include post operative care.  If your surgeon has you in a brace that immobilizes your knee, there’s a damn good reason for it and you should follow doctor’s orders.  But, rest assured, it won’t be the ugly thing I’m discussing here.  It will be a different brace meant to immobilize your knee for a period of time, but can be unlocked to allow movement when appropriate.

The emergency room staff sends you home with this thing with no other instructions but to follow up with your doctor.  Sometimes you’ll just go see your primary care provider (PCP) and sometimes they’ll be good enough to hook you up with an appointment with an orthopedist or sports medicine physician.  Either way, you’ll inevitably wait a few days to see them, all the while being stuck in the really awesome looking and fashionable knee immobilizer.

As you may have noticed by the title of this article, I hate these things, and it’s not just because they’re ugly and uncomfortable.  I have a few additional reasons that I’ll outline below and I’m sure I’m not the only one who hates them. Continue reading →