Saturday, August 24, 2013

Iliotibial Band Syndrome or ITBS #physicaltherapypost

Hey fellow athletes and runners! I'm here :)

As I've mentioned before in previous posts, my summer has been so busy! With two active boys we are non-stop when we aren't working. When I get my down-time I go to bed. But, I have some time this morning to put up this post finally!!

I had a lot of interest from my fellow SPAs on running injury posts and how to rehab them. So, I'm starting here with ITBS.

I'm stating with the purpose and causes and then showing you how to prevent and treat it. If you just want to know how to prevent and treat scroll past the first four pictures.  :)

The IT Band is a thick fascia that goes from the hip to the knee on the lateral aspect of each of our legs.

The purpose of the ITB is to contribute to lateral stabilization of the knee. It acts like another ligament on the outside of the joint, adding support during any weight-bearing activities.

ITBS is a common injury seen with runners, however cyclists and hikers can have this issue too.

A lot of times it will crop up when the person starts to increase the activity level without making it a gradual process.

However, there are other anatomical differences that can cause this to happen to, such as having a leg length discrepancy, over-pronating while you are running/walking (putting your weight through the instep of your foot for a longer period than you should), or if your knees are in an increased genu varum position (bow-legged) which would put a strain on the ITB.

This shows a leg length discrepancy, where the 
bones in the lower left leg are longer than the right.

This shows how the different angles of our femur, coming
from our hip can affect the angle of our knees.
Genu varum can cause ITBS, but so can't Genu Valgum.
Genu Valgum puts our feet in an over-pronated position.

This shows over-pronation.

That was a very basic over-view of the anatomical anomalies that can cause ITBS.

So you have ITBS? How you treat it is very similar to how you would prevent it. 

  •  Make sure your shoes aren't worn out.
  • Do you have any of the above anomalies? Check with your doctor to see if you need special inserts in your shoes.
  • Change your running surfaces up. Don't always run on the tar!
  • If the road you run on is graded, switch up the sides you are running on. Having that angle can really tweak your knee.
  • Make sure you warm up before you start and stretch at the end.
  • Strengthen!!

Now, if you have dealt with the above and you are currently dealing with ITBS, there are a few specific things you can do to promote the healing process.

  1. Reduce your mileage. I know, not what you want to do. But, if you want to run pain-free for many more years it is worth it to ease up a little.
  2. Cross-training is great. You work your muscles in a different way and you are still staying fit. Try swimming, pool running or rowing.
  3. Ice or heat the area. If you have been dealing with this issue for more than a couple weeks, heat will actually be better for the inflammation process. Use for 15 minutes at a time while resting your legs.
  4. Stretch the ITB and the side of your hip. You can do basic stretches and you can stretch through foam rolling.
A and B are the same stretch and C is getting more into a side/hip 
stretch. In each picture she is stretching the left side. 
Hold stretch A/B for 30 seconds and repeat three times. Do the same
with C. You can do this 2-3 x day.

The lateral part of your leg is resting with almost your full body
weight pressing down through. You use your arms and top leg as
leverage to roll yourself up and down the foam roller. Roll up and 
down 5 or 6 times and then take a break. Do 3 sets of this twice a day.
Finally, doing some massage to the ITB will help as well. Do self-massage or have someone do it for you. 

If you feel like you would benefit more from a professional helping you through this, then you should see your PCP so they can refer you on to a physical therapist. 

If all else fails and orthopedic doctor can do a release to the ITB, which is a surgical procedure. But....
let's hope it doesn't come to that!

Hope this helps!

Have you ever had ITBS or do you have it now?

What other athletic injuries would you like me to post about?


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Island Boost Giveaway Winner!

The Island Boost Giveaway Winner is......

Kayla Moothart!!

I used the True Random Number Generator below to pick out the winner :)

Please email me at with your address so I can mail you your winnings!

Thanks :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Strengthening Other Parts of our Bodies is Essential #physicaltherapypost

Lately I have been seeing a lot of patients with shoulder issues - especially impingement. If left untreated this often leads to a tear of the rotator cuff. Continued improper movement of the glenohumeral joint (the ball and socket) because the scapula isn't mobilized can cause this. This tends to be very prevalent in the mid 40s to mid 50s age group. However, anyone can have this happen.

Signs of impingment are weakness in the rotator cuff, pain around the shoulder, possibly shooting pain down your upper arm, and limited range of motion when lifting the arm at your side and trying to reach behind your back.

When we lift our arm in the air our shoulder blade should rotate slightly to allow for full range of motion.
When the shoulder blade becomes bound down and isn't rotating this can cause a lot of pain in the shoulder. Many people don't realize it has to do more with the strength and flexibility in the rotator cuff AS WELL AS the posterior shoulder muscles.

Included are these muscles:

1) Rhomboids

2) Deltoids

3) Trapezius

4) Levator Scapula

5) Serratus Anterior

6) Latissimus Dorsi

A lot of people work their biceps, tricpes, lats, pecs, rhomboids & delts. You are indirectly still working the other muscles I listed, however there are specific ways to work those and isolate them as well. I will show you exercises for each of the 6 muscles I listed above as well as some specific exercises to help mobilize the scapula.

Working the Rhomboids, Delts, Trapezius & Lev. Scapula:

This targets mainly the rhomboids, however you do work 
the posterior deltoid and mid-trapezius as well.

These are called Ys, Ts, Ws & Ls as the picture states.
These exercises can be done on an incline bench like she is using
or lying on a bed - which makes it harder or on a stability ball.
These get the trapezius, rhomboids, posterior delts and rotator cuff. 
Use weights for added benefit.

This gets the superior deltoid and levator scapula.

Working the Serratus Anterior:
 This is a push up with a plus. As you come up you push a 
little extra which makes your back round up. You have just
jutted your shoulders forward to create this.

Another way to work the serratus anterior muscle.
Keep your elbows straight and push your shoulder
up towards the ceiling. You can also do this with both
arms at the same time.)

Working the Lats:

Pull-ups and Lat Pull Downs are great ways to
work this muscle. Pull ups work may muscles,
where as the pull down targets the lats and shoulder

Now for some exercises to target scapular mobility and stability:

Wall Angels
Doing this with the elbows bent and trying to keep
them back against the wall is a better way to 
start this exercise.

Internal Rotation
Use a theraband or some type of resistance band.
Pull in towards your stomach keeping your upper
arm close to your body.

External Rotation
Pull out, away from your stomach, making sure to still keep your upper arm close to your body.

**For all my younger readers: Strengthen your rotator cuff now, and keep your shoulders strong so that you may prevent a tear later on in life.**

I plan on doing more physical therapy related posts in the future. One every other week on different injuries or just ways to strengthen different areas. Hope this was interesting for you all. 

Have you ever had a problem with your rotator cuff or shoulder in general?


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Old Port Shipyard Half Marathon Recap

This race was on Sunday, July 14th. I signed up for this half over the winter and then planned a camping trip in the area with my family and my parents. My mom ended up taking me to the race so the boys could stay at the campground and swim/bike/play.

The race had a start time of 7:30 a.m. and we were about an hours drive from there, so we left around 5:45 just to ensure plenty of time to park, use the potty (yup, potty) and get to the start. We made really good time and arrived in the Old Port (a part of Portland, Maine) around 6:35. However, there was so much traffic because of all the racers trying to find parking and being redirected by staff that we ended up sitting in the car until 7:00. I started to get worried that I wasn't going to have time to get my packet and get in line before the race so my mom and I jumped out of the car while we were sitting in the road and decided on a place to meet. I stuffed a twenty in my iPod arm-band just in case I needed some cash, grabbed my visor and then ran to the gateway where packet pick-up was. Luckily there was a lot of staff and I didn't have to wait to grab my bib. They also had a bag drop-off so I wrote my bib # on a Ziploc stuffed my shirt and sticker and phone in the bag and handed it to the lady and then ran down to the start.

I did not have time to get in the ridiculous line to go to the bathroom so I just got ready to start. There weren't corrals, but they did have pace markers set up so you could get into the start line around other people of your same pace. I wasn't sure what I would be doing for a pace that day because it was ridiculously hot and humid. Temps were mid 90s with humidity around 70%. I normally run anywhere from 9:30 to 10:20 min miles when I do long runs, but I had never done a long run in these temps. This whether came out of nowhere! I lined up with the 10:30 pace group assuming I would be a little on the slow side.

Little did I know I paced much slower than that.

Starting the race:

I actually felt really good the entire race. There were a couple long steep hills around miles 1.5 to 4, but after that the race course was mainly flat and slightly downhill.

All the hip flexor strengthening I did throughout the spring and early summer definitely paid off. I didn't have one ache or pain the entire race. 

My feet did great too. My first half marathon in 2009 I ended up with black toenails on my big toes (they didn't fall off though). This time the shoes I was wearing were a better fit and I didn't have any issues.

During my first half marathon I ended up with an awful back ache around mile 10 in my low back. My core was still fairly week from only having Elijah 14 months prior and not having done enough strengthening or prep for the race.

This time I was much stronger. However at mile 10 I still ended up walking because of the heat. I was so over heated despite drinking water AND Gatorade at every station. There were water stations every 1 to 1.5 miles.

2nd shot my mom got...

At one station - around mile 8 - I accidentally dumped a cup of Gatorade over my head. Ooops! lol

My finish time was 2 hours and 36 minutes. I was not happy with this time, but I was okay with it. It was still faster than my first half marathon time by a couple minutes. I figure because of the heat I went much slower. Maybe on a perfect condition day I would have been a little closer to 2:15 like I wanted.

Overall, the race was great. The course was beautiful - set along the ocean for most of the race. The staff was friendly and always cheering. The swag was great too.

After crossing the finishline you were handed your medal, a water bottle and lots of goodies.

Yasso Greek Frozen Yogurt was there with strawberry and vanilla pops.

Eli's Soda was there with drinks for everyone as well.
Shipyard also had a beer tent at the end, and everyone who registered and was 21 and over were givena bracelet and 2 free beers!

Here's my swag:

My Finisher's Medal:
Love this medal

The Old Port is a beautiful place. If you ever want to travel to Maine, do it in the summer, and maybe come do this race. It was WICKED Fun!

Don't forget about the giveaway of Island Boost that ends Friday night! 
Enter here: Island Boost Giveaway

What race is your favorite medal from?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Island Boost #PerformanceFuel Review & GIVEAWAY!!! (Closed)

I contacted the creator, Laura Mildon, of this performance fuel product quite a while ago so that I could do a review and giveaway with it. She quickly responded and sent a package to me of 6 samples in 3 different flavors. I was intrigued just by the name of this fuel.


Makes me think tropical (i.e. delicious) and a bump in my energy.

The three flavors sent to me were

1) Strawberry-Orange (which is the one I sampled)

2) Passion Fruit


3) Blueberry-Pomegranate

All sound delicious and the Strawberry-Orange definitely held up to my standards. The flavor was great and I loved that it was a liquid instead of a gel or chew.

Check out there website here: Island Boost

Seen on the back of the package: 
              Island Boost is the fastest fuel for your muscles, that delivers electrolytes to help prevent muscle cramping. Guaranteed to eliminate stomach issues associated with strenuous activity.

As stated, I did not experience any stomach issues and I could definitely feel the BOOST in energy. I don't normally get any stomach issues with chews, but I have had upset stomach from gels before. So if this happens to you, you should definitely give Island Boost a try!

Some other things you should know that make this product exceptional:

  • The package is tall so that the liquid will sit at the bottom and not spill on you when you tear off the tab at the top. Fold the top over and it's the same size as a packet of Gu - so don't let the size of the package make you think it's actually bigger. 
  • No maltodextrin - this is the carbohydrate used in most products. It's an artificial, man-made polymerized carbohydrate and for many can upset the stomach. We use glucose as our primary carb and fructose (natural fructose, NOT a jacked up polymerized version that is seen in HFCS)
  • Flavored with natural fruit juices
  • Great frozen - a refreshing way to refuel on hot training days or to restore electrolytes after a run. 
So, to one lucky reader, I will 
mail (within the U.S.) one of each flavor!

1) All you have to do is comment below on how you use performance fuel to enter.

For additional entries please do the following:

2) Follow Island boost on Twitter @IslandBoost & leave a separate comment that you did.

3) Follow Island boost on Instagram: IslandBoost & leave a separate comment that you did.
4) Like Island Boost on Facebook: & leave a separate comment that you did.
5) Like my Facebook page: & leave a separate comment that you did.
That is 5 possible entries total!

Giveaway will end next Friday, August 2nd & the winner will be announced Saturday, August 3rd.
Good luck!
(I was in no way compensated for this review.  What I have stated are 
my honest opinions of the product. All other facts 
listed were provided by the company.)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Firecracker 5K Recap

A little late I know. :-/

But as you have seen with most of my posts so far this summer, I have been checking in here rarely because we have been so busy!

The Firecracker 5k was a local race I participated in on Independence day this year. This was my third time doing the race. I did it in 2003 & 2012 as well. It was only an 8 minute drive to get to the start. There was also a kids Fun Run that was a mile long before the 5k started.

We got there fairly early and got registered. I received a race tee with my entry fee (only $10!!!). The kids fun run was free and it was first come first serve for the kids to get a tee. Unfortunately Noah missed out.

Pinning on the bibs

 My friends and I waiting to get started

 Noah waiting nervously

Poor guy was so nervous! I went over to him and
he said, "I don't want to do it anymore" in a really low voice.
I gave him some encouragement though and he was ready to go!

 Here he comes!

 Pretty proud of himself

I was so proud of him participating in this fun run. He has been doing shorter fun runs since he was 3. This was his first time competing in a mile long one. He did awesome and finished in just 9:11. I am pretty proud of him for that!

My little guy, Elijah, is not to that point yet so he stayed on the sidelines with my mom and some friends and watched his brother.
Entertaining my mom with funny faces

The temps were quite high - 90s - and the humidity was around 70%. Suffocating.

When the 5k started at 8:30 I started off next to a couple of my friends and then followed them for most of the race. I was trying to get under 29 minutes at this race.

Here we go!

It didn't happen.

It was so hot. However, I did do better that my time at the Mother's Day 5k this year. So I was happy about that. I finished in 29:43 which is a pace of 9:33. I was happy with that effort since it was that hot out.

End of the race; tired & hot

Now what would that have been equal to with perfect conditions? Maybe close to a 9 minute mile...

The support staff was great, the run was fun and well organized. At the end of the race there was a huge sprinkler set up and water was provided.

I love doing our small local races. There were only 237 participants - fairly big for our area - but so much fun, and you run into a bunch of people you know.

After the race we went and watched the parade. I was a hot sweaty mess, but spending that time with my boys was fun no matter what. Seeing the excitement they get from the fire trucks honking, the old rifles being fired, and antique trucks revving their engines was great.

Waiting for the parade to get started :)

 Looking at the civil war reenactors firing their guns

Sitting with my boys :) Got my race tee on!

Hope you enjoyed the recap!

Have you raced lately?


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hot Summer Days

I keep forgetting to take my mom's SD card from her so I can have photos to put up when I post my race recaps :-/

So today I'm going to show you all a little bit of what my family has been up to so far this summer.

I mentioned in my last post that we have been swimming, fishing, camping & tubing. It's been a blast! We have been pretty busy which accounts for my lack of appearance on here the past couple weeks.

I'm ready to slow down a little and have a weekend at home, but I don't see that happening until maybe the last weekend in July.

Summer is flying by right?!

Here is my photo dump!! :

Day at Megunticook Lake swimming and fishing :)

 (He wasn't aiming for his brother even 
though it looks like it!)

Brotherly Love <3

 Dad getting the poles ready for the boys

Why so serious son?

Love this photo!

His line was already in, but he thinks
he's casting. lol

We didn't catch any fish though. :-/

Day at Beaver Lodge on Alford Lake:

Tubing with family!

 Eli wanted to drive instead of tube after his first ride...
it was a little scary for him.

Brie and Noah :)

Eli looking cool in his new shades

Brie and Noah tubing

Camping this past weekend @ Flat Rock Bridge Campground in Lebanon, ME:

It was pirate weekend at the campground and
some random guy was walking around with his

Cosmo and Chris

I was a little nervous but I did it!

He kept walking up my arm and was really close to my face

Nini getting some lovin' from her grandbabies <3

Sitting around the campfire :)

Hopefully tomorrow I will have that SD card and post my race recaps WITH photos!

What have you all been up to this summer??