Category Archives: Avoiding Injury

Running on concrete

  From West 4th Physiotherapy Associate and active runner Dee Malinsky I get numerous questions in the clinic, relating to running and injury. A common one is • Is it bad to run on concrete? When discussing overuse running injuries, there are 3 possible causes to consider: (1) intrinsic: faulty biomechanics, muscle dysfunction & tissue frailty (2) mechanical: training errors (eg. change in load, repetition & range) (3) extrinsic: running shoes & ground surface Running on concrete involves all 3 factors but especially the 3rd Research shows that, in comparison … Read the rest of this post »

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Stretching. Are there any real benefits?

Stretching. Are there any real benefits?

From West 4th Physiotherapy associate Dee Malinsky Stretching (The Truth) In a recent course my colleagues and I attended, entitled “New Trends in the Prevention of Running Injuries,” Jean Francois Esculier discussed an ongoing and pertinent topic in the field of running, and one which directly relates to a question I am asked frequently in the clinic: Is stretching a good thing? Are there any real benefits? Jean eased into the discussion by reviewing the current best evidence: 1. Stretching does NOT increase muscle temperature. 2. Stretching does NOT prevent … Read the rest of this post »

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Choosing running shoes…minimalist or traditional?

Choosing running shoes...minimalist or traditional?

From West 4th Physiotherapy associate Dee Malinsky… RUNNING into difficulty: choosing running shoes. With running shoe companies pushing for simple racing flats (with the dawn of the running boom) in the 70s, to increased cushioning (air, gel & torsion control) with associated variation and marketability in the 1980s-2000, followed by a push toward minimalism in the early 2010s…we often find ourselves in a whirlwind of information, in limbo between fashion/market trends and straight forward scientific evidence. Ask yourself the following series of questions to help you with choosing running shoes and … Read the rest of this post »

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New trends in the Prevention of Running Injuries

New trends in the Prevention of Running Injuries

From West 4th Physiotherapy associate Alison Heald I recently attended a course called New Trends in the Prevention of Running Injuries. The Running Clinic utilizes the most recent evidence-based information available in the prevention and treatment of running injuries. We discussed many different topics of interest, including biomechanical analyses, shoe analyses, diagnosis of injuries, the best of evidence based treatment, as well as training. This article will discuss the Biomechanical Analysis of Running with respect to what is considered to be an Efficient Technique ( where there is a minimal cost … Read the rest of this post »

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Managing pregnancy related pelvic pain

Managing pregnancy related pelvic pain

From West 4th Physiotherapy associate Jennifer MacPherson Jennifer MacPherson attended Cecile Rost’s  and Susannah Britnell’s course this past weekend. Cecile is a physiotherapist in the Netherlands and specialises in the area of pregnancy related pelvic pain This post graduate study course teaches new methods for relieving sacroiliac and pubic pain during and after pregnancy. A frequent problem in pregnancy is pain in and around the pelvic musculature and joints. Clinicians were able to learn and share practical advice for teaching pregnant women how to manage their activities of daily life from turning in … Read the rest of this post »

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Cycling insoles

Cycling insoles

Overlooked and under appreciated. That’s the lot of the cycling insole. Far from being an “out of sight, out of mind” item though, the insole is another important component of fine tuning a bikefit. The standard insole that comes with most cycle shoes (with some notable exceptions) looks like a bit of an after thought. Generally quite flimsy and offering inferior performance after just a month or two. Allowing the foot to wash around inside the shoe reduces the sense of connection to the pedal and diminishes power delivery. By … Read the rest of this post »

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Iliotibial band syndrome…the other “biker’s knee”

Iliotibial band syndrome...the other "biker's knee"

We tend to see iliotibial band problems with early season riders who don’t yet have their conditioning right and when hill climbing training is in full force. Cypress, Seymour and Baker here we come! It presents as pain on the outside of the knee and is the result of too much friction at the point the band crosses over at the outside bottom of the thigh bone(femur) with each of our 5400 pedal strokes per hour (at a cadence of 90). I never see this problem without their being associated … Read the rest of this post »

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Leg length difference on the bike

Leg length difference on the bike

Often our bike fitting work in the clinic gets a curve ball in the form of uneven leg length. This means the reach to the pedals appears different for each leg, throwing the pelvis into asymmetry. Given that my  first goal in fitting is a steady, controlled pelvis to provide a solid foundation for the legs, the issue needs to addressed in the appropriate way. There are two distinct types of leg length difference (LLD). Functional, where the difference is not truly in the bones but within muscle or joint … Read the rest of this post »

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Patellofemoral pain syndrome… the biker’s knee.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome... the biker's knee.

Properly known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), this condition produces pain in and around the front of the knee. It’s a result of the repeated knee range of motion used in cycling combined with the frictional pressure behind the kneecap. Too much of either creates initial pain followed eventually by swelling and inflammation. Remember , if your knees are getting sore the first rule is to gear down and spin, spin, spin. Minimizing the per revolution pressure behind the knee is the goal so absolutely avoid grinding your way uphill. … Read the rest of this post »

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Functional Sports Screen – a muscle balancing act

Functional Sports Screen - a muscle balancing act

At the beginning of the season it is worthwhile doing a Functional Sports Screen before starting to ramp up your training. It involves testing critical sports motion patterns, required joint flexibility and necessary muscle strengths and lengths. Any deficiencies found put you at risk of injury as you increase your training. Using the results of your assessment, which is done by a physiotherapist, you can learn the specific areas you need to target to have the best chance of avoiding injury. Athletes who are engaged in high repetition sports tend … Read the rest of this post »

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Cross training for the bike

Cross training for the bike

Want to be a better cyclist? The road to better cycling goes through the gym (true) but there are other ways for those who don’t like the gym.  One of my favourite cross trainers is trail running, a terrific way to improve your all round fitness in ways that will translate to performance improvements on your bike. Consider these three categories: Power transfer – When you are trail running you can’t afford to be lazy about your posture or balance. It is a constant core workout which we need as … Read the rest of this post »

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Joint pain and the weather

Joint pain and the weather

The changeable weather of fall is upon us here in the Pacific northwest and with it more joint discomfort. Over my 30+ years of practice I have often heard clients make reference to a weather change affecting their joints which begs the question, can weather conditions actually aggravate physical pain? Certainly our ancestors thought so with complaints of “the rheumatism” going back hundreds of years and changes of climate (as opposed to climate change) being recommended as a suitable management strategy. Something about barometric pressure change seems to  reliably register … Read the rest of this post »

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