Hi, I'm Dr. Molly with Your Goals Physical Therapy. Let's talk about how you properly stretch your Pecs. Most people are familiar with that stretch where you put both arms through the door and then pull through. But one of the things that I've noticed over the years is that there are a few things that are done wrong consistently. So I thought I would go over those things.
Hi, I'm Dr. Molly with Your Goals Physical Therapy. I speak to hundreds of people every month and a common theme is that people don't like to, or don't do squats because they feel that their knees are bad, meaning their knees hurt while they're doing squats. This is very alarming because squats are very important. So I thought I would go over and explain one, why your knees hurt while you're squatting. Then two, why it's important to work on getting through that pain, like figuring out what's causing the pain and then getting to where squats are not painful.
Hi, I'm Dr. Molly with Your Goals Physical Therapy. The other day, I was at the gym that I work out of, and I overheard a conversation between a personal trainer and their client. It went a little bit like this.
Client: “So you know that I have hip problems. And so I can't really train this area. I need to avoid working out anything directly related to this hip. Um, in fact, even being on this bike is making me a little uncomfortable.” The client was sitting on a recumbent bike which is a stationary bike where your feet are out in front of you.
That's why my little physical therapy ear perked up because a recumbent bike is low stress activity for somebody with a hip issue. This interaction made me think about how many people that I know personally and professionally that have left physical therapy, still believing that their joints or their body parts are just junk. They are left thinking that there's no goods coming out of that body part and that they have to avoid using it at all costs. They ended up limiting all the things that they want to do in their life.
Running has a bad reputation especially as we get older. But really running is an amazing workout! And when done correctly with the proper conditioning it is completely safe. I have helped train a 99 year old to complete a 1 mile down hill run. So Age is not the issue!
But all jokes aside, running is a very intense activity. You are basically doing a single squat over and over again. Lots of people start running as adults to lose weight or get back into shape. And this is why many people struggle with running injuries. They don’t realize that running is not the entry-level exercise. Running requires a lot of strength that we don’t think about. For instance, when was the last time you stood comfortable on one foot? How comfortable are you doing squats?
I remember Sally’s face when I asked her those questions. She looked at me like I was crazy. “Why would I stand on one foot? I don’t like squats because they hurt my knees.” Were her answers.
Sally called me because her back hurt when she ran and she was scared she herniated a disc.
I was sitting at a park one day and started chatting with this mom, whom I’d seen before but never really talked to before. When Donna found out I was a physical therapist she stood up quickly and asked me “Do I walk like a duck?” Then she did a runway walk so that I could see how she walked.
Donna went on to tell me that she’s been super paranoid about how she walks since her oldest son told her she walks like a duck. “I’m not really sure why it bothered me so much. He said it several weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it.”
I told her of course that hurt your feelings. But why did he say that to you? Was he pointing out that you walk with your feet pointed out? She said “yes, that and he told me I waddle side to side.” (Aren’t kids great 🤦♀️)
I told her many people walk with their feet turned out is this new for you? Have you been having pain in your feet or your knees? After the second question she gave me an odd look like how did you know that? So I told her many people with foot or knee pain will change how they walk to avoid the pain. At the end of the day my feet are achy. I’ve noticed that I don’t like to sit for longer than 30 minutes because my feet start to really hurt. My knees have kind of always been an issue but they don’t stop me from doing anything. So, I just ignore them.
Walking with your feet turned out isn’t necessarily a problem. However, when you have knee pain and foot pain that you notice every day and it's changing how you do things, that means that there’s something going on in your joints. That pain means that there is some uneven wearing in your joints which is what causes arthritis. So I think what your son is noticing is that you’re changing how you walk to avoid pain.
Several weeks after that conversation Donna ended up calling me and scheduling an evaluation just to see what might be possible to do. She was still more concerned about the waddling than anything else.
When she came for the evaluation I was able to show her how her hips, knees and ankles all worked together. She was able to feel how some muscles and ligaments were tight which caused her to change how she had to walk. After just a few weeks, Donna was shocked that she was able to sit for longer than 30 minutes without her feet hurting. Her knees didn’t hurt as much walking up and down the stairs. She was shocked because she had just been living with these mild aches and pains for years thinking it was just part of being her age.
Donna told me that she has more energy throughout the day to play with her kids; even her oldest son.
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Have you ever had pain in your forearm after a long day of typing? Maybe the pain started as a little soreness that you ignored, then slowly over time the pain started to become achy all the time. The ache started to affect your hand and arm strength. You had difficulty cooking and holding the laundry basket. Then your hand starts to go numb. That's when you decide maybe I can’t ignore this anymore. I mean anything that’s going numb and you can’t hold on to things that can’t be good, right? So now you’re on Google, which tells you that you have anything from tendinitis to carpal tunnel. And neither one of those words sound good. The google search leads you to the doctor for more answers. The doctor says to take this medication, try stretching if it doesn’t get better then they'll refer you to an orthopedic surgeon. Just the mention going to an orthopedic surgeon has your mind reeling. Anything that needs somebody with the title surgeon is not good. So now you go home and you really stop using your hand because moving hurts and this pain is so bad now that you might have to have surgery. Over the next several weeks pain just gets worse from not moving it and the exercise the doctor gave you on the paper, it doesn’t get better. What do you do now?
First you are 100 % right not to do an exercise that causes a joint to pop. It’s awesome that you’re paying enough attention to your body to realize something isn't’ right. I’m glad you’re looking for ways to resolve the pop in order to strengthen your abdominal muscles. (As I pointed out I know many people don’t Iike abdominal workouts.) There can be several reasons your hip will pop while doing abdominal exercises, specifically when lifting both legs at the same time.
My family like many Houstonians had an impromptu camping trip. We finally got good use out of winter clothes since we wore all of them at one time. Our kids were having a great time on our mini winter vacation. We were without power for 48 hours then we lost our water on day 3 of this storm which resulted in a pipe bursting over our master bathroom. We were able to quickly turn off the main water supply and then my husband, thankfully, was able to get the parts he needed to fix the leak and get us up and running again.
But that kind of got me thinking that there are probably lots of Houstonians right now that are looking at either one or multiple busted pipes. Which could mean days or weeks of renovation that need to be done on their home. And in order to save money they might try to do the demolition themselves to prevent further damage to their home from having wet drywall.
I have a few tips that can help you stay healthy during this time. You don’t want to get sick or injured on top of all of that drama.
There’s a brace for basically every body part and injury so they must work, right?
In fact, there’s a specific knee brace for patellofemoral syndrome, it helps by preventing your kneecap from leaving its track.
Before we talk about whether the brace helps patellofemoral syndrome let’s talk about the symptoms of patellofemoral syndrome.
An achy pain on the outside or underneath the kneecap, in addition to, popping or clicking in the knee while walking, running, standing up and sitting down or squatting. Feeling as if you have to bend and straighten your leg to warm up after sitting for longer than 30 minutes.
This is not an exhaustive list but those are the common complaints from people with patellofemoral syndrome.
I was talking to this woman, Mary, who is in her 40s. She recently started to have lower back pain. As I was talking to Mary about her history she told me about how she takes care of her mother. Her mother started to have severe back pain many years ago that requires her to get corticosteroids shots every few months depending on when the pain returns. Unfortunately, for Mary’s mother when the pain returns she is unable to get out of bed, up from a chair or walk across the room without assistance from Mary or another family member.
This cycle of doctors appointment and shots every few months starting in her 40s caused Mary to feel overwhelmed. That’s how she found me. After downloading my back pain ebook she felt comfortable coming in for an evaluation to see what if anything could be done for her back.
WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald