Whether you are coming off an injury, or have taken time off from working out and the gym due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it is important to be cautious when returning to physical activity. when we return to the physical activity we might be rushing into our old routines too quickly and trying to start where we left off, which is not always the best idea. Research has found that a rapid loss of muscle mass occurs within the first one to two weeks of disuse. Then the rate of loss slows and each muscle group atrophies at a different rate.
The bottom line is that our muscles are not as strong as they were the last time we left the gym. Therefore, our workouts need to be modified to reduce injury risk.
Return to Cardiovascular Training
Whether you are a runner, swimmer or cyclist, returning to cardiovascular exercise can be a challenge after time off. The key is the begin at a lower level than when training ceased. Exercise physiologists offer the guidelines in this chart for returning to running; they can be applied to all cardiovascular exercises.
The below chart gives a rough idea of the appropriate method of returning back to cardiovasular activity:
From this beginning, you may progress either your pace or your mileage by 10 percent each week but not both to reduce injury risk.
When choosing a running course, look for one that is mostly flat to avoid the additional challenges of hills. Hills can be added as your cardiovascular endurance improves. It is important to ensure proper warm-ups and cool downs before and after cardiovascular endurance. OC Sports and Rehab’s team of experts in Run Mechanics can greatly help you get back to normal cardiovascular activity without injurty.
Return to Weightlifting
Similar to returning to cardio, this requires a decrease in initial weights and a slow progression to return. Initially with returning to strength training, you will see improvements with less weight. To determine your initial weight for return, focus on a challenging weight when you reach repetition seven or eight of a 10-repetition exercise. This indicates an appropriate challenge while being able to maintain good form throughout the exercise.
As you progress, you will require more weight to continue to achieve strength gains. Most studies recommend 80-85 percent of your one-rep maximum for the most effective strength training.
As you return to working out, whether after the lifting of a stay-at-home order or other extended period on the sidelines, the most important thing is to you listen to your body. If you are having aches or pains as you return, please reach out to one of our physical therapists for an evaluation to ensure a safe, individual return.Read More
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes heel pain that radiates into the bottom of your foot. It can happen to anyone, at any age, but it’s an overuse injury that is more common in runners and people who are on their feet more often.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects your heel to the ball of your foot and supports the arch. Poor foot positioning can cause the structures in your foot to load incorrectly, which puts pressure on the band. An injury to the tendons in your foot and ankle can also damage the fascia.
When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, irritated or weak, it can tear and cause a stabbing sensation in your heel and other pain symptoms:
- Increased pain in the morning or when taking the first few steps after resting.
- Increased heel pain with prolonged standing, walking and stair climbing.
- Increased pain when standing and walking on hard surfaces or without proper shoe support.
Sometimes, as your body warms up, plantar fasciitis pain decreases — only to worsen once your activity progresses.
How Physical Therapy Can Help Treat Plantar Fasciitis
Physical therapy will help you return to your desired activities by improving the way your foot is loaded, restoring mobility to your tissue and addressing areas of weakness or imbalances in your foot. There are several effective physical therapy treatments, including
- Manual therapy – Physical therapists use their hands and/or ASTYM®/Graston tools® to manipulate the soft tissue in your foot. It’s like a massage for the plantar fascia. Manual therapy loosens the tight tissue and reduces inflammation.
- Dry needling – A common treatment for a variety of overuse injuries, dry needling targets trigger points that cause pain. Placing tiny needles into the fascia causes it to release and the pain fades away.
- Night splints – Wearing a splint while you sleep keeps your foot in a better position throughout the night. So when you wake up, you won’t feel the stabbing pain in your first few steps out of bed.
- Taping – Kinesiology tape, or KT tape, works similar to a night splint. A physical therapist tapes your foot in a position that better supports your foot’s natural arch and takes pressure off the fascia.
- Iontophoresis – Physical therapists can also use iontophoresis, which uses electrical stimulation to send topical pain relievers deeper into the soft tissue.
This week on our blog we’d like to discuss another specific tool used by our therapists, known as instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, or IASTM for short. IASTM tools are utilized by many professionals, including physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and athletic trainers. They look similar to a small scraping tool, and come in various shapes and sizes. It should be mentioned that IASTM tools are made by many brands, and while all are not made with the same quality, shape, or size, their intentions are all the same.
IASTM tools are used on the top layer of musculoskeletal tissue, known as fascia. Fascia covers our entire body, almost like a large thin web holding all of your muscles, organs, and bones in place. When fascia gets tight, it can create pain and discomfort. IASTM tools can be used to release the fascia and muscle tension and alleviate this pain and discomfort. There are specific IASTM tools for each region of the body, including the back, shoulders, hips, knees, wrists, ankles, and feet. They can also be used over scar tissue to break up the adhesions built up underneath the skin that can limit an area’s range of motion or flexibility.
IASTM tools are utilized by our clinicians at our including Foothill Ranch Physical Therapy, Lake Forest Physical Therapy, and Placentia Physical Therapy locations. When used in conjunction with other manual therapy techniques and other types of modalities, they can create a world of difference for patients’ injuries. IASTM tools can be used to treat plantar fasciitis, low back pain, achilles tendonitis, golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, hamstring pain, and a myriad of other injuries and conditions. The vast majority of professional sports teams utilize IASTM tools, so why not you?! If you are interested in implementing IASTM tools into your physical therapy treatment, please inform your treating therapist so they can determine if IASTM is appropriate for your condition.
If you are interested in attending a physical therapy clinic that utilizes Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization tools, then you’ve found the right place! Give us a call today to schedule your first (or next) appointment. For more information about the other cutting-edge techniques and equipment we utilize at OC Sports & Rehab, we invite you to check out the services tab on our website. For our new and existing patients alike, we look forward to seeing you soon!
Look around these days, and you’ll find people, young and old, mesmerized by smartphones and computer screens. It seems that everyone is spending time looking down and tapping away at handheld devices.
Text neck is the newest term for neck pain that is caused by using a handheld device like a smartphone or small tablet. It occurs when our necks are in a forward flexed position for long hours while texting, checking social media or playing on your phone.
What is Text-Neck?
Text neck (or tech neck) is a modern age term used to describe repeated stress injury and pain in the neck resulting from excessive watching or texting on hand-held devices over a sustained period of time.
Symptoms of Text Neck
Flexing the head forward to use a smartphone directly affects the spine. Tilting the head forward to 15 degrees places about 27 pounds of force on the neck. This increases to 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees, and 60 pounds at 60 degrees. Damage caused by untreated text neck can be similar to occupational overuse syndrome or repetitive stress/strain injury.
Text neck most commonly causes neck pain and soreness. Also, looking down at your cell phone too much each day can lead to:
- Upper back pain ranging from chronic, nagging pain to sharp, severe upper back muscle spasms.
- Shoulder pain and tightness, possibly resulting in painful shoulder muscle spasm.
- If a nerve becomes pinched, pain, and possibly neurological symptoms can radiate down your arm and into your hand.
- May cause issues in your arms and hands
- Other health issues
If you are experiencing “text neck” or “tech neck” OC Sports and Therapy can help!Read More