Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Spring 2010 Vestibular Support Group

Join us on Saturday, April 17th for our Vestibular Support Group, located at our office at 3130 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, IL (60657). Refreshments will be served at 11:30am and the meeting will begin at 12pm and will last for approximately one hour.

We would love all of those affected by vestibular disorders to join us! Friends and family, as well as other support systems, are  welcome.

To RSVP, please call: 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!

http://www.medicinenet.com/muscle_cramps/article.htm

Waking up Dizzy?

Our new patients in their evaluation often tell us that the initial way that they realized that they had a vestibular disorder was that they turned over in bed and felt a wave of dizziness come over them. This is a key indicator that our patient may have BPPV. BPPV is treatable through physical therapy and through maneuvers like the Epley Maneuver.

Check out the other signs of BPPV:

  • Dizziness
  • A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Unsteadiness
  • A loss of balance
  • Blurred vision associated with the sensation of vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vertigo/DS00534/DSECTION=symptoms

    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!

    http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Touch_football_preventing_injury?OpenDocument

    Vestibular Support Group: Success!

    This past Saturday we held our 4th Vestibular Support Group and what a success it was! Dr. Julia Rahn came and spoke about the psychological challenges of living with a vestibular disorder/chronic illness. Although we had a smaller group than usual, the group was fantastic. While the support group does provide a group speaker, it is a very laid back atmosphere and everyone was free to share their story, their concerns and daily challenges. Although initially we had some timid members, after hearing others share their vestibular story, everyone opened up and even stayed after to swap phone numbers and email addresses.

    We hope that you will consider joining us for the next vestibular support group. For more info: info@balancechicago.com

    Holiday Shopping and Dizziness

    Most people with dizziness and balance disorders have a difficult time going into large stores like WalMart, Target, Ikea because of the overload on your senses. Marketers in these stores place items by color and in specific areas to catch people’s eyes.

    If you have trouble getting through a supermarket or a busy store, take resting breaks. Go to the bathroom and rest for a few minutes until your symptoms subside – it will make your trip a whole lot longer but will be beneficial for you in the end.

    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.