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Tag: health and wellness

Barefoot: what’s all the fuss?


In my work as a physical therapist, runners come to me all the time with questions about which running techniques are best. Usually they are struggling with injuries and they’ve heard about the latest, greatest technique on the web or from their running buddy. They’re hoping that if they change their shoes or the way their foot strikes the ground they’ll get rid of that aching hip or knee or ankle… and they’ll run faster, too. They want answers to help them sort through all the strong (and often conflicting) opinions they’ve heard: Should a runner land on the heel, midfoot, or forefoot? And what is all the fuss about barefoot running?

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What Can I Do 5 Minutes A Day To Get Faster?

No matter what I do, the Bolder Boulder kicks my butt. I did fine until I decided to really get serious (topic for another day) – that was when all my troubles began. One year, I ended up in the medical tent after staggering for the last 2 miles – low blood sugar. Then, I thought joining a training group was the answer. Apparently I made it into the stadium, but I don’t remember … and was taken directly to the medical tent. In fact, I don’t remember anything after running by McGuckins.

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Sprain vs. Fracture

FOOSH – or “fall on an outstretched hand,” something I experienced first hand in October while mountain biking. I have fallen before while biking (many times), onto my hand, but this was different. The impact was greater and the landing was on rock, not dirt. I have sprained my wrist before in similar falls, but no fractures. This time my wrist motion was quickly limited, however, my sense of denial was stronger. I ignored the pain and limited motion and continued to ride. I went to work the next day and treated patients. Finally after poking around on my wrist I gave in (and after lectures form colleagues) and called a physician. Diagnosis: Fracture of the left triquetral bone (2nd most common fracture of the carpal bones) and immobilization for 6 weeks. So much for that first cross race that I registered for.

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Hips & Skiing

My children have reached an age where we can ski as a family for a few runs. The runs tend to be cruisers – easy-going groomed green and blue trails. So I found this was a great opportunity to work on technique. I unweighted one leg and skied on the other to check for symmetry. My left leg felt strong and stable and I was able to change directions and hold an edge. Immediately after switching my weight to the right, I almost collapsed.

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23 1/2 Hours

The length of your list of New Year’s Resolutions is inversely proportional to your success in making them stick. REALLY?? Hard to imagine, but the longer the list, the less likely you are to have success. So say Baumeister and Tierney in the book Willpower. We are almost half way through January. How’re you doing so far? Is your resolve starting to wane? If so, keep reading to find out how to keep your determination strong.

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Heel Pain Be Gone!

Plantar fasciitis is actually an inflammation and micro-tearing of the ligament that supports the arch in your foot– the plantar fascia. When your foot hits the ground, the plantar fascia stretches to accommodate your body weight and the ground reaction forces generated by walking and running. During walking, up to 3 times your body weight is taken through your arch; when running, up to 9 times. If the condition develops, the person usually reports a sharp pain under their heel that may spread into the arch of the foot. The onset is typically not from an injury, but develops gradually and, if left untreated, gets worse over time. Many causes can contribute to plantar fasciitis:

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