Archive for the ‘Orthopedic Physical Therapy’ Category

Chicago Marathon 2010

Congrats to all of the Shamrock Shuffle finishers! This race was a little cold but much better conditions than last year’s storm.

Next stop – Chicago Marathon 2010!

Stop by for a free injury screen to check out those aches and pains before or during your training. We even have one of our own physical therapists running the marathon with you. We always welcome runners of all levels to come in to get screened. Call for your appointment: 773-525-5200.

Muscle Cramps – What are They?

A friend of mine was running the other day and caught a cramp in her leg. We were talking about her leg cramps, which turn out to happen quite often, and she asked me what exactly is a cramp and how she can avoid it in the future. I thought I’d share it with my readers!

When you exercise your muscles contract and then relax in quick succession. A cramp happens when your muscle contracts but does not relax, and becomes hardened. It may be difficult, once you have a cramp, to relax the muscle and pain may result.

Some causes of cramps include:

  • Injury to the muscle: Muscles may spasm, and then cramp, around the site of an injury to stabilize the injury site.
  • Nocturnal cramps:  Small movements during the night of muscles causes shortening of the muscles which lead to cramps – which is why you may wake up in the middle of the night with a Charley Horse!
  • Dehydration: Fluid loss during exercise causes the muscles to shorten up and tense up. Cramps in seniors may result from poor fluid intake.

Other causes for cramps can be found on the website provided below, but my friend’s reason was most likely from dehydration. For cramps caused during exercise, it is essential that you do a proper warm up and cool down and make sure you get plenty of fluids before, during and after your workout (also can be found on the website provided below). And make sure you stretch before and after your workout!

Marathon Training Programs

Our office takes part in many aspects of our community, one of them being our close knit friendships with the athletic community in Chicago. We are the lead Physical Therapist for the Imerman Angels, the Chicago Tri Club and the National Runaway Marathon team. We hold free injury clinics and stretching clinics for all of our runners/triathletes throughout the year and offer them free injury screenings at any time during the year.

I found great training programs through the NYTimes that will help you get through a marathon (or any long distance race). Hope it helps!

Post-Thanksgiving Football Injuries

We hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The day after Thanksgiving usually includes a lot of lounging but also can include a fun game of touch football for many. Although the name suggests a nice, gentle game played by friends, it can often become fiersome, competitive tackle football.

You may increase your risk of injury by any of the following:

  • Certain manoeuvres – such as diving for the ball, changing direction and touching.
  • Lack of fitness – a certain level of fitness is required to play touch.
  • Inexperience – beginners may be more likely to be injured because they do not have the skills or technique to meet the demands of the sport.
  • Poor technique – holding or moving the body incorrectly can put unnecessary strain on joints, muscles and ligaments.
  • Failure to wear protective equipment – for example, using mouth guards can reduce the risk of injury.
  • Overtraining – training too much and too often can lead to a wide range of overuse injuries.
  • To decrease your risk of getting injured, consider the following:

  • Develop good skills and technique before playing in competitive games.  
  • Warm up thoroughly before playing. Include plenty of sustained stretches.
  • Cool down after activity. Stretching is also an important part of your cool down routine.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after the game.
  • Make sure you are fully aware of and practice the rules of the game.
  • Work at improving your form.
  • Wear appropriate protective equipment, such as a mouth guard.
  • Safe playing to all!

    Exercising Outdoors Through the Winter

    Brrr, it’s cold out there!

    Actually, today is pretty mild for Chicago but I imagine in the impending weeks the temperature will drop and no one will want to leave their houses until May. Well, besides a few of us year-round runners at LifeStyle, who brave the cold to get runs in outdoors rather than stare at the wall on a treadmill.

    It is extremely important to take care of yourself and your body when the temperatures drop. That does not mean just bundling up, but taking care to bundle up correctly. Here are a few tips to remember:

    • Wear a warm hat and thick, warm socks and gloves. If you warm up during your exercise you can always throw the hat and gloves in your pockets or in your waistband. Without these, in cold weather, you will end up losing a lot of unnecessary body heat and your exercise will seem even colder than it is.
    • Make sure your base layer is made of dri-fit or some other moisture wicking fabric. Wearing cotton t-shirts as a base layer is not recommended because it will retain the moisture. I find that cotton shirts often leave me feeling more cold during exercise because of this.
    • Because of daylight savings time, it is now dark by the time a lot of people leave work. Make sure to wear light, reflective clothing, especially if you’re running (safely) through traffic. Make sure you also obey traffic laws in the dark!
    • Make sure to replenish your body with water after your workout. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean that you aren’t sweating.

    And Now for Something Completely Different…

    Although vestibular rehabilitation is a very important aspect of our practice, I have completely ignored a huge part: orthopedic physical therapy. I’m going to include posts on orthopedic rehabilitation, sports injury tips, and post articles just as I do with vestibular rehabilitation.


    For my vestibular followers, please don’t despair – I will make sure I still post relevant articles, updates and important information about dizziness, vertigo, and other balance disorders. We want this to be a premiere resource for individuals with vestibular disorders as well as athletes, individuals with sports injuries and other PTs.