Protect Your Back When Shoveling

It is that time of year again, when Mother Nature has shown us no mercy and the snow continues to pile up outside our doorways.

Many of us dread going outside to shovel because it is windy and cold, while others are concerned about the ramifications it will have on their bodies as it can lead to stiff and painful back aches. Here are some tips and tricks on how to stay safe while shoveling this winter season.

What Do You Know About Exercise?

Exercise seems to be such a common word. Especially, nowadays with people so health and fitness conscious. With all of the exercise that is occurring, how much of it is specific and purpose-orientated?

Exercise & Medication

“Exercises” to physical therapists are like medication to doctors. They are prescribed for a condition, with a particular purpose behind it, and with a specific dosage. As with medicine, use of one exercise may be helpful for one condition but, maybe, harmful for another. And the intensity of an exercise is like the dosage of a medication people take. Too much can cause more harm, and too little will be ineffective. It's true that some people experience good results after doing some exercises they learned from television. This is because some exercises, like ibuprofen, have more general effect for a wide range of condition. However, the effect is usually limited.

Ready for Summer: Running

Summer is here. After being dormant for the long winter, many people are dying to be outside and have some fun. It is important to prepare your body to be active again.

The most common sports activity people will resume is running. It is convenient and cheap. You can run at any time, anywhere, and it does not require a partner.  And it does not require any equipment. Well, it is not exactly true. It does require a good pair of shoes to reduce your chance of injury.

Running is a high impact activity. The reaction force from the ground can be traumatic to the feet. Therefore, in general, running on grass/dirt is better than concrete. Furthermore, shoes with a good shock absorption or cushioned heel will greatly reduce the reaction force. Your heel is the bone designed to bear weight first before it transfers it to the toes. It is bigger and stronger. For distant runners, it is important to land on your heels first and not your forefoot.

Foam Rolling Your TFL

As the Illinois Marathon races approach, we thought there may be a few out there who are experiencing some muscle tension toward the end of training.

Our own therapist, Matthew Gordon, PT, DPT, has some advice for streching your TFL (tensor fascia latae). If you have front of the hip, IT band, or lateral knee pain, then watch this video.

And if you're a runner and don't yet have a foam roller, what are you waiting for? Get one and your body will thank you for it! (Available for purchase at Member Services.)


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