Did you know that your shoe wear can be a powerful indicator of your biomechanics and even your risk of injury? That’s right! The shoes you wear can provide valuable insights into how your body moves and functions during various activities. Let’s dive deeper!
Wear Patterns: Take a close look at the soles of your shoes. Are the wear patterns even or concentrated in specific areas? Irregular patterns could signify imbalances in your foot mechanics, such as overpronation or supination. Identifying these patterns can help us understand how your body compensates and guide us towards the right solutions.
Load Distribution: The distribution of wear on the sole can reveal where your body weight is concentrated during movement. Uneven wear may suggest that certain areas of your feet are under excessive stress or that you’re not distributing weight efficiently. By addressing these imbalances, we can help prevent injuries and improve your overall performance.
Injury Prevention: Your shoes are an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to injury prevention. Ill-fitting or worn-out footwear can contribute to various issues, including shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and even knee or hip problems. By analysing your shoe wear and considering your biomechanics, we can recommend proper footwear and orthotic solutions tailored to your needs, reducing the risk of injury.
Let’s put your shoe wear under the microscope and pave the way to optimal movement and injury-free activities!
Contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
Nutrition and vitamins are essential for maintaining good health and wellbeing. However, with so many conflicting opinions on what to eat and what to avoid, it can be challenging to know where to start. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for getting better nutrition and vitamins in your diet.
Eat a balanced diet
A balanced diet is one that includes a variety of foods from different food groups. These food groups include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. By eating a balanced diet, you ensure that your body gets all the essential nutrients it needs.
Choose whole foods
Whole foods are foods that are minimally processed and retain all their natural nutrients. Examples of whole foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and lean proteins. By choosing whole foods over processed foods, you can maximize the nutritional content of your diet.
Incorporate more fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Try to incorporate more of these into your diet by adding them to your meals or snacking on them throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Choose lean proteins
Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. However, not all proteins are created equal. Choose lean proteins such as chicken, fish, beans, and legumes, as they are lower in saturated fat and higher in nutrients.
Limit processed and sugary foods
Processed and sugary foods are often high in calories, unhealthy fats, and added sugars. They also lack essential nutrients. Limit your intake of these foods and opt for healthier alternatives such as whole foods and fruits and vegetables.
Supplements can help fill any nutritional gaps in your diet. However, they should not be relied upon as a substitute for a healthy diet. Speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian before taking any supplements to ensure they are safe and effective for you.
In conclusion, getting better nutrition and vitamins in your diet requires making healthy food choices and incorporating a variety of foods from different food groups. By following these tips, you can ensure that your body is getting all the essential nutrients it needs to maintain good health and wellbeing.
Contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
Shoulder pain is a common issue for gym-goers, especially those who engage in activities such as weightlifting, running, and other high-impact exercises. This pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including muscle strains, overuse injuries, and even poor posture. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available to help alleviate hip pain, including dry needling and rehabilitation exercises.
Dry needling is a technique that involves inserting thin needles into trigger points in the muscles, which can help relieve pain and improve mobility. We use this technique along with other therapies, such as chiropractic adjustments and Active Release Techniques, to provide comprehensive care for shoulder pain. During a dry needling session, we insert the needles into specific points in the shoulder muscles and rotator cuff, stimulating them to release tension and improve blood flow.
Alongside dry needling, rehabilitation exercises can help to strengthen and stretch the muscles around the shoulder joint and shoulder blade, which can help alleviate pain and prevent future injuries.
If you are experiencing shoulder pain as a result of your gym activities, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Ignoring the pain or continuing to push through it can lead to further injury and prolong your recovery time. In the clinic, we offer a range of treatment options, including dry needling and rehabilitation exercises, to help alleviate shoulder pain and get you back to the gym as quickly and safely as possible. Contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
After a long offseason, it’s important to take the necessary steps to avoid injury when returning to your sport. Whether you’re a professional athlete or simply someone who enjoys playing sports recreationally, here are five ways to help prevent injuries:
Start Slowly: Your body needs time to adjust to the increased physical demands of your sport. It’s important to start slowly, gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your workouts as your body gets stronger and more accustomed to the movements. This will help you avoid overuse injuries and reduce your risk of injury overall.
Warm-up Properly: Before any physical activity, it’s essential to warm up your muscles to get them ready for the demands of your sport. This can include activities such as stretching, light jogging or cycling, or dynamic movements that mimic the motions of your sport. A good warm-up should last at least 10-15 minutes and gradually increase in intensity.
Use Proper Technique: Proper technique is critical to prevent injury in any sport. This means taking the time to learn and practice the correct form for your movements. If you’re unsure about your technique, consider working with a coach or trainer to help you improve.
Cross-train: Cross-training can help prevent injury by strengthening muscles that may not be used as much in your primary sport. For example, basketball players may benefit from running or weight training to improve their strength and endurance. Cross-training can also help prevent burnout by adding variety to your workouts.
Listen to Your Body: Finally, it’s essential to listen to your body and take rest days as needed. If you experience pain or discomfort during or after a workout, take a break and give your body time to recover. Overtraining can lead to injury and may even force you to take more extended breaks in the future.
Returning to sports after an offseason can be challenging so if you need help with your pains or just want some advice feel free to contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
Hip pain is a common issue that can affect people of all ages and activity levels. Whether it’s caused by injury, overuse, or underlying conditions such as arthritis, hip pain can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Fortunately, there are several non-invasive treatment options that can help get rid of your hip pain, including chiropractic care, active release techniques, and dry needling.
Chiropractic care uses hands-on techniques to manipulate the spine and other joints in the body to improve mobility and reduce pain. In the case of hip pain, we may perform adjustments to the pelvis, lower back, or other areas to help relieve pressure on the hip joint.
Dry needling is a technique that involves the insertion of thin needles into trigger points or knots in the muscles. This technique can help to release tension and improve blood flow to the affected area, leading to pain relief and improved function. Dry needling can be particularly effective for hip pain caused by overuse or muscle imbalances.
Active Release Techniques (ART) is a manual therapy that is used to treat soft tissue injuries and conditions. This technique involves the application of pressure to specific areas of the body while the patient performs specific movements. ART can help to break up scar tissue, release tension, and improve mobility in the affected area. For hip pain, ART can be used to address issues such as tight hip flexors, gluteal muscles, or the iliotibial band, which can all contribute to hip pain.
Chiropractic care, ART, and dry needling are all non-invasive treatment options that can help to alleviate hip pain.
If you need help with your pains or just want some advice feel free to contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
There are many ways to help increase the amount you walk and to get more steps in. But normally people focus on small ways to do this for example parking further away from work so instead, we will help name some bigger-picture ways of improving your step score.
Walking the Walk
Taking a 10-minute walk after each meal is not only a good way to ensure the numbers on your pedometer rise, but it will also improve your digestion. A recent study published in Sports Medicine found that even 2 to 5 minutes of walking after a meal improved insulin and blood sugar levels which will help with your heart health. Although it is worth adding if you are going to walk 2 minutes, why not walk 10 or 15?
Post-workout walks. If you add on a 15 to 30-minute walk after your workout it can be a great way of increasing your step count. As you have already set aside time to work out you might as well take it a little bit further. Along with helping you raise your step count, walking after exercise helps you clear lactic acid so you feel less stiff the next day.
Overall if you are working out consistently and staying active you may not need to worry ahout your step count. Because whatever the activity is you’re doing for example hiking or running or Crossfit, your workout may contribute to your steps-per-day count. So overall being on your feet and moving many times a day is a good way to stay on top of your health.
Walking and talking is a great way of helping to gain an incentive to walk more. Taking the opportunity to socialise on a walk instead of for example a coffee date will help you achieve your goals quicker. Over the last couple of years people have begun to walk and talk more with gyms being shut so keeping these habits is much easier than building them. These habits resulted in great conversations, closer relationships, and more familiarity with the people in the community. And these hidden benefits are just as important for good health as the steps you’re taking.
Some athletic teams prescribe players 800 meters of walking as part of their workouts. It was shown to help players bond and enhance their playing as a result. So adding this as part of your routine or going for a post-sports training walk with some of the team can help performance and health.
If you need the incentive to walk, it is important to know it is one of the best ways to ensure that you’ll sleep well at night. Walking, even if you’re not doing it at a fast pace, is fatiguing and also being outside exposes you to light, which helps with the circadian rhythm so you sleep more routinely and better as a result.
When all else fails, get a dog. Or borrow from your friend or family members. If you’re committed to an animal, you’ll have no choice but to walk. All dogs as well as humans need to get their steps in.
If you need help with your pains or just want some advice feel free to contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
The foam roller is something most people have in their gym bag but is commonly used ineffectively.
Soft tissue work, including foam rolling, trigger point work, and even hands-on self myofascial release needs to be a focused process on an area. If you find that you are rolling the same muscles and areas every day or before workouts it most likely is not causing any long term benefits.
Also when using it if you are rolling on it without any feeling of mild discomfort then you won’t be performing it correctly.
If you put yourself into some serious pain for the hope of breaking down tissue to loosen your muscles out, it is not the way to create long lasting and effective results.
Do This Instead
There are a few key things you can do to manage your muscles and improve your health and performance. Prioritise your foam rolling on just a few targeted areas on the days you are training or recovery days until you feel some relief. Big muscles for example the quads and lats can be worked very well with the roller, so don’t get rid of your roller quite yet.
Overall the foam roller may not enhance your overall performance but research shows that working through your muscles yourself can temporarily reduce muscle shortness and increase your flexibility. Also if done correctly and specifically to your tight areas you can have long term reductions in tightness. So you improve your recovery.
Although if you are dealing with specific soft tissue restriction that are not being relieved long term then a hands on approach is much better as the fingertips provide a much smaller surface area that are similar to the size of the small muscles and tendons.
If you need help with your tightness, pains or just want some advice feel free to contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
Osteoarthritis is a common condition that people develop and can cause issues preventing people from doing the activities they want especially at a good intensity. Often people jump to surgery or have a surgery planned for a few years down the line. But there are things you can do to help manage the condition and if you do have surgery for example your knee then you will be in a better position to recover from it. So below is a list of easy things to try to help manage your pain.
Exercise is an easy option to improve symptoms and function in people with osteoarthritis. A great place to start is 5-10 minutes on a bike as this will strengthen your quadricep muscles which has been shown to greatly help with pre operation or post knee operation knee health. Also in a 20 minute cycle you will do around 1000 knee mobilisations! This means the knee will be loose and mobile to help you do the activities you want.
You can also do repeated knee extensions and repeated knee flexions called knee CARs which you can see in the video below.
As with the bike, sometimes warming up the knee and getting it moving can help a lot.
A common problem people have is squatting so practising squatting with a reduced range of motion and then to slowly increase it is a great way of getting more confident with the movement.
A box squat to an elevated surface for example a chair with a cushion on it and then once you are comfortable with this you remove the cushion and then again lower the chair as you get more and more comfortable squatting.
A key tip is when you do the exercise do the muscle lengthening phase of the exercise slowly (count to at least 3 seconds for example doing a squat, the descent into the squat should be around 3-5 seconds and then when you are standing back up take about a second. This will help with muscle development and increase day to day function.
If you suffer from arthritis or achy joints and want to get some treatment for them feel free to contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
It is common for cyclists to complain about having a sore or achy back. Commonly this can be easily avoided and is due to people rushing out on their bike or not getting the bike fitted to them correctly. Because bikes are not a one size fits all, you can get fitted for your bike cheaply and easily and it can make a big difference to back pain.
But apart from poor bike fit what are some other reasons for people getting back pain cycling?
The seat is too high so your knee has a less than 25% bend at the end of the stroke. This will force you to rock your pelvis from side to side to get enough power at bottom of your pedal stroke.
The handlebars are too far forward causing you to overstretch which will increase tension in your lower back.
Flexing the lower back and causing core abdominal muscles to be in a poor position and so won’t work effectively. This means you won’t be in a stable position when you’re cycling.
Using BIG gears. You should aim for a cadence of around 90 RPM. If you are getting lower than this then it will put extra stress on your back.
Being tight! For example tight hamstrings can reduce your movement so will pull on your pelvis and rotate your spine into a more rounded position.
Weak core muscles.
If you are riding on bumpy ground. This increases jarring and compression to the spine while you cycle and can cause your back to get aggravated.
Length of cycling done weekly. Cyclists who ride an average of 160 km or more per week are significantly more likely to report back pain than those who rode less km per week.
It is not just your lower back that can be affected, sometimes your neck and upper back can be achy or painful. Especially if you extend your neck for long periods causing irritation in your neck
You can also hurt your neck and upper back by bending your neck too far upwards. This will increase the strain in your neck and you could also hurt it going over unexpected bumps.
But overall we would recommend 3 main things to do:
Check your bike fit.
See if you are cycling at around 90 RPM as a low cadence puts more strain on your back so may need to be increased.
Strengthen your core and back muscles. Your core can protect your back if you cycle often or for long periods so is a key area to work on.
If you suffer from back pain when cycling and would like a full functional assessment or to see where you can strengthen up your body feel free to contact the clinic today on 0578678904 or book now.
A common question we get in clinic is what to do before warming up and more importantly what not to do. Sometimes people can be doing a warm up that will last as long as their actual workout because it contains a number of different elements to it. These might be an aerobic phase, self-myofascial release, mobility drills, activation drills and movement patterning. Then by the time they workout you are tired and fatigued.
But something that is always important and to always be thought of before warming up on your workout days is some days you will need certain exercises and some days others, depending if you wake up stiff or if you are feeling good.
Any exercise that does not directly contribute to making your workout better is not worth doing. An overly extensive warm up can actually decrease your effectiveness to workout causing some central fatigue.
Central fatigue is not to do with how you are feeling on a certain day, but rather the weakening of your central nervous system to send signals to your muscles.
For example a 20 minute cycle before you start deadlifting is not the most effective way to prepare your body for this but rather will cause you to be tired and also not have prepared the right areas in order to perform.
A good start in general is some mobility work for certain areas that are weak. A common area is the Thoracic spine and below are 2 links for exercises to prepare your Thoracic spine for working out.
Cat Camel: Aim for 15-20 slow and controlled reps making sure you are getting the movement through your upper back.
Reachbacks: Aim for 1-2 sets of 10 reps on each side depending on how you are feeling on the day of your workout.
Then as well as this you can do some assistance exercises before you workout for example a patient pull down or dumbbell row prior to deadlifting will help set the correct muscles for when you start the exercise.
Overall, having an intense stretching and mobility work can actually increase the risk of injuries when done before lifting. This is because you can create changes that can reduce the force you can create in your lift and therefore making it less able to resist force from an external load such as a barbell. So the risk of injury increases.
So if you have a pain or find out more contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois