Friday, March 17, 2017

Take the guesswork out of running better

There are all sorts of runners: marathoners, sprinters, joggers, soccer players, kid chasers, just to name a few. What do they all have in common? They want to run without pain! Whether it be in the foot, knee, hip, or low back, pain can take the enjoyment out of running and oftentimes prevent one from running at all. Many times it's unclear why the pain began and it can be frustrating figuring out how to get rid of it. Here at Duffy and Bracken, we specialize in getting to the root of the problem and resolving your running woes.

How, you may ask? First of all, we don't simply "eye ball" the problem. We use the latest technology to objectively assess your running form. Using wearable sensors on the legs, important data is collected while you run, such as ground reaction force, ground contact time, cadence, and leg loading symmetry. This helps us to determine how much impact is going through each leg and whether it could be resulting in injury.

Our running assessment also incorporates video recording to closely monitor what is happening at your joints, from head-to-toe, during each phase of the running cycle. Measuring the alignment of each joint helps us determine where along the "chain" suboptimal running mechanics may be occurring.

Finally, we assess your strength, range of motion, and flexibility to tease out the limitations that are contributing to suboptimal running mechanics. Using the synthesized findings from the assessment, we will develop an individually tailored training program to help you run more efficiently.

So if you're a runner, were a runner, or strive to be a runner, come on by for an assessment! We have the tools and expertise to help you achieve your running goals.

Hillary Keating, PT, DPT

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What you should know about Prolapse

Prolapse is a common issue post partum that is not talked about enough. The definition of prolapse is “a protrustion of bladder, uterus and/or rectum into the vaginal wall”. This commonly occurs during pregnancy, labor or with chronic constipation. Common symptoms are a feeling of pressure or falling out in pelvic floor, sexual discomfort and/or incontinence. These symptoms typically get worse in the afternoon or evening time and feel better in the morning.

The first thing you should know about prolpase is that it happens at varying degrees and being aware of your degree of prolapse is /the first step! Yes, prolapse can get so bad that the protrusion into the vaginal wall extends outside of your vaginal opening, BUT just because this isn’t happening to you doesn’t mean you don’t have prolapse. There are things you can do NOW to prevent your prolapse from getting worse and to limit your symptoms.

I frequently have patients coming for incontinence, pain or weakness and during the initial assessment I find they have a prolapse and no one has told them. That’s great they are in my office to learn what to avoid and how to “treat” their prolapse, but what about all the others who aren’t getting to a pelvic PT? They are being told its okay to resume normal activity and even worse RUN, not knowing they could be making their prolapse worse!

Here is what I tell my patients:

-          Your pelvic floor is under the force of gravity when standing and sitting; you need to lie down (even better on an inversion wedge) to give your pelvic floor a break.
  •  In the first 3 months post partum I recommend doing this every couple hours or as soon as you feel “pressure” symptoms returning.
  •   Remember if you are baby wearing then this will increase the pressure on your pelvic floor which can worsen prolapse; this includes carrying an older sibling too!  So be even more mindful of “pressure” symptoms and lie down when needed. I found this much more difficult after my 2nd was born because all of my “down time” from the baby I spent with my 2 year old. Bottom line- make sure you are listening to your body and taking care of yourself!
  •  Kegels are great for strengthening your pelvic floor and vaginal wall which will give more support to your prolapse. Do 80-100 kegels a day and even better do them lying down or on an inversion wedge.  If you still have prolapse symptoms on a daily basis then do not run or do any impact sports; this will likely worsen your prolapse.  
  •  Keep focusing on kegels and inversion! If you get to 6 months post partum and are still having symptoms see a specialist to discuss a pessary. A pessary can help your symptoms and allow you to return to exercise such as running.
  • Do not strain on the toilet!
            Candice Amat, PT, DPT