Knee Pain and Running

If you have been suffering from pain in the front of your knee while running, you may be suffering from patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee. Multiple factors including muscle weakness, tightness, and imbalances can contribute to increased stress on the knee cap and the structures underneath it. Patellofemoral symptoms increase the more that you run. The best way to decrease symptoms is to get a thorough evaluation by a physical therapist to determine the most appropriate exercises for you.  Listed below are several strengthening exercises that target the muscles in your hip and knee that are commonly provided to patients with knee pain.

  1. Straight Leg Raise– Squeeze your quads in the front of your thigh to straighten your knee and lift your leg to the level of your opposite thigh.
  2. Clams– While on your side with your knees bent, lift your knee up. Do not let your hips roll forwards or  backwards.
  3. Side-lying Hip Abduction– While on your side, squeeze your quads to straighten your knee. Lift your leg up without letting your hips roll forwards or backwards.
  4. Bridges– While on your back, lift your hips up to the ceiling while squeezing your core and glutes.

If your symptoms still persist after performing these exercises, please call Harbor Physical Therapy to schedule an appointment.

 

By: Dr. David Reymann- Staff Physical Therapy at Harbor Physical Therapy

 

Staying Hydrated with Exercise

Drinking too much or being dehydrated can decrease your workout productivity. To determine if you are well hydrated, take a look at your urine volume and color. If your urine is light yellow in color and you are going on a regular basis (every 3 to 4 hours), you are well hydrated. If your urine is dark, you are dehydrated.

It is important to make sure you are well hydrated before working out. It is recommended to drink between 8 to 16 ounces of water 15 minutes before your workout. During your workout, it is recommended to drink 4 to 8 ounces every 15-20 minutes. If you are working out vigorously for over 90 minutes, it is recommended you drink 8 to 10 ounces of a sports drink every 15 to 30 minutes.

How to Achieve an Ergonomic Workstation

 

1. Adjust your chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor. Use a footrest to assist.
2. Keep your wrist posture neutral.
3. Keep your monitor between 20 and 40 inches from your face.
4. Adjust your monitor so that the center of the screen is at eye level.
5. Place your keyboard so that your upper arms are perpendicular to the floor.
6. Adjust your chair to keep your body supported in an upright position.
7. Adjust your back rest to target the lumbar region of your spine.
8. Keep your work within 16 inches of your body.

If you are unable to achieve an ergonomic workstation on your own, Harbor Physical Therapy can help!  Our Physical Therapists are able to assess your workstation sitting posture and transform it into an ideal sitting posture for your workstation to decrease strain on your joints.

Wellness Event- October 2, 2018 at HPT!

Join Charm City Run, CITYFIT, and Harbor Physical Therapy for a FREE Wellness event at Harbor Physical Therapy. The event will include a dry needling demonstration and dry needling sessions with Dr. David Reymann, injury screenings with Dr. Amanda Macht and Dr. Holly Hibbard, Running Gait Analysis with Charm City Run, Yoga and Circuit training.

You will be able to cycle through the different stations to enjoy all the complimentary services being offered by locally owned Baltimore businesses.

If you are driving to this event, we will be validating parking in the Harbor Court Garage on 10 East Lee Street for a discounted rate of $3.

Managing Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, particularly in individuals 40-60 years of age. It is typically worst when taking the first few steps in the morning, after sitting for long periods of time, or after prolonged walking.

Try decreasing these symptoms at home by following these steps:

Rest: try to modify or limit the activities that are causing your heel pain such as prolonged walking or athletic activities.

Ice: Rolling your foot over a cold or frozen water bottle for about 15 minutes at a time can help decrease pain. Perform this 3-4 times a day.

Self Massage
Exercise: Plantar fasciitis is commonly associated with tight calf muscles. There are two muscles in your calf, the gastrocnemius and the soleus, that can contribute to heel pain. Try performing these stretches and strengthening exercises at home to help decrease pain.

 

If symptoms do not improve at home, be sure to contact your physician or physical therapist. Always check with your physician prior to beginning a new exercise routine to ensure it is safe for you.

 

Written by:

Dr. Holly Hibbard
Staff Physical Therapist at HPT

 

 

4 Simple Exercises to Prevent and Treat Low Back Pain

1. Bridges
Lie on your back with you knees bent. While maintaining a neutral spine, lift your hips off of the ground and squeeze your glutes. This exercise well help you to build core and glute strength for increased lumbar stability.

2. Clams
Lie on your side with your knees bent and feet together. Slowly raise your knee up without letting your hips roll forward or backwards. This exercise will help to build strength in your gluteus medius, which is important for stabilizing the hip and allowing you to have better control of the trunk and low back. Progress the exercise by placing a resistance band around the knees.

3. Lower Trunk Rotation
Lie on your back with your knees bent so that your feet are flat. Rotate your legs to the side while keeping your shoulders flat against the ground until a stretch is felt in your lower back. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat to the opposite side. This is a good exercise to improve lower back flexibility.

4. Cat/Camel
While on your hands and knees, alternate between arching your back up and down. Hold for about 10 seconds each time. Just like the lower trunk rotation, this is another exercise that can help to improve low back mobility and decrease stiffness.

**These exercises may not be suitable for you if they worsen your symptoms or are too difficult for you to perform. It is recommended to seek out the expertise of a physical therapist if you are suffering from low back pain to provide you with exercises that are appropriate for your specific condition.  Please contact Harbor Physical Therapy for further assistance**

Written by: Dr. David Reymann

Foam Rolling to Improve Posture

Do you find yourself slouching all day at work? Do you experience upper back or neck pain at the end of the day?

Slouching at work causes chest muscles to tighten and places extra stress on your upper back and the muscles that you normally use to achieve good posture. Stretching and mobilizing in your upper back can help decrease these symptoms and improve postural awareness while sitting at work.  Check out these foam roll exercises.  These can be performed daily to help decrease muscle tightness and improve posture.  Always make sure to check with your physician or physical therapist to ensure these exercises are appropriate for you.

Written by: Holly Hibbard, D.P.T.

Vestibular Disorders and Physical Therapy

Vestibular disorders are characterized by various types of dizziness such as feeling lightheaded, spinning, floating, tilting, whirling, and feelings of unsteadiness. These episodes of dizziness can last for seconds to hours and may be associated with changing positions, laying down, or can even occur while you are sitting still.

Feelings of dizziness can be very worrisome and it is important to see your physician to investigate more serious causes of dizziness such as a brain or heart condition. However, many causes of dizziness are less serious and are associated with a mechanical problem with your inner ear.

In these cases, a physical therapist at Harbor Physical Therapy can help diagnose these conditions and design an individualized program to help alleviate symptoms of dizziness. Patients with diagnoses such as vertigo, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), migraines, imbalance, dizziness, and many others may benefit from physical therapy to assist in decreasing feelings of dizziness and improve balance so individuals are able to return to their daily activities.

5 Reasons to Ride Your Bike this Spring

In addition to saving money on the costs of other modes of transportation and being environmentally friendly, biking has many health benefits that make it a good option for getting around the neighborhood this spring. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Cardiovascular Health – Biking will help to elevate your heart rate and provide a great aerobic workout. This will promote heart and lung health and can lower your blood pressure and risk for heart disease.

2. Low Impact Exercise – Compared to other forms of exercise such as running, biking has a very low impact on your joints, which is good if you are susceptible to having joint pain.

3. Good for all Fitness Levels and Ages – Even though it is low impact, that doesn’t mean it has to be easy! By adjusting speed, distance, and resistance, the exercise you get while biking can be as challenging as you want it to be. This makes it a good option for everyone, whether you are a high level athlete or are trying it for the first time.

4. Muscle Strength – Biking works the muscles in the legs as you are pushing the pedals, core muscles as you stay upright, and the muscles in your arms as you hold onto and steer the handlebars. Having more strength in these muscles can improve your ability to perform all of your daily activities such as standing, walking, and going up and down stairs.

5. It’s Fun! – Biking is a fun way to get around and explore. For safety, make sure you wear a helmet to protect your head. If you have any health issues and are unsure if biking is appropriate for you, check with your physical therapist or doctor first.