Each day…

Each day I look forward to a few things:

My coffee, my dogs, saying good morning to Dawn and Dr. Kathy Dooley’s Daily blogpost. The first 3 things should be apparent as to why I look forward to them. But some of you may not know Kathy. I’ve never met her personally but I’m going to soon. Her Immaculate Dissection course will be coming to Kinesis this summer and we’re over the moon excited to share in it! https://www.facebook.com/ImmaculateDissection?ref=br_tf

Each day, Kathy’s Daily blogs inspire, push, ignite and remind me of the WHYs Kinesis was brought to life. Her mission – http://www.drdooleynoted.com/the-dooley-mission/ – really brought me back to the REASON for opening our own business.(http://www.KinesisLiving.com)

Each day, Dawn and I hope to give our clients power over their pain, educate them into their own physical evolutions, allow them to safely advance their movement patterns and honestly LIVE in the most optimal way possible.

Each day, all of you remind Dawn and me why EACH DAY is so very important.

Coach Kimmie

Plot Twist!

 

By: Dr Dawn DPT

Plottwist

Plot twist seems to be a theme for me these days. Here’s my latest.

I was seeing the light at the end of a long knee injury tunnel. I built up strength through crossfit-inspired training and rowing, addressed my biomechanics, and lubricated some dehydrated tissues.  I slowly resumed my running and had worked back up to a solid 8 miles. I felt confident enough to sign up for a half marathon at the end of May. Passion, persistence, and positivity got me back on the trails!

Good-Running-Form

 

And then…I dropped a #45 barbell on my right foot during a warm up routine on Tuesday, March 18th at 7:30am. goodbarbellposture

I self-treated with LiteCure laser, Rock Tape, compression sock, and gentle range of motion for 2 days but when I still couldn’t put weight on it by Thursday, I went to urgent care for an x-ray. Verdict – no fracture but a type 1 crush injury that would most likely take at least  2-3 months to heal. Definite plot twist!

Dorsal view of right foot injury

Dorsal view of right foot injury

Medial view of right foot injury

Medial view of right foot injury

Litecure Lightforce Pro Laser

Litecure Lightforce Pro Laser

Rock Tape for edema and bruising

Rock Tape for edema and bruising

Me on crutches…putting on a happy face!

Me on crutches…putting on a happy face!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I became depressed and relived the moment of losing the barbell from my fingers over and over again in my mind. It was a stupid accident! But why?!? Why now?!? I was just getting my run mojo back and feeling good about it. I was starting to dream about triathlon again!! And then…a barbell dropped on my foot!!!

After several days of this moping, I stopped and yelled PLOT TWIST! I reminded myself this is not the end…just a bump in the road! So get over it!! I set up a treatment schedule for myself…and stuck to it. Laser, linament application, gentle range of motion, and taping everyday for the first week.

By week 2, I was down to 1 crutch and added in Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls to reintroduce proprioceptive awareness and normalize my hypersensitive touch sensation as well as initiate some space-making in the congested foot tissues.

balloffootonball

Ball of foot on the ball

Arch on the ball

Arch on the ball

skinrolling

Skin rolling dorsal tissues

toesonball

Toes on the ball

At

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of week 2, I was walking with a cane and started my Tuesday and Thursday morning workouts again, albeit modified. I did alot of floor work for my core with heavy focus on the obliques, kettlebell swings (yes, I grip the hell out of the bell even though I know I shouldn’t!), 1/2 Turkish get ups, and rowing on my Indo Row water rower.

Oh, and I spent more time on my left knee releasing and strengthening my tissue imbalances. My left knee is feeling better than ever!

Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Swing

Indo-Row Water Rower

Indo-Row Water Rower

 

 

 

 

Half Turkish Get Up (TGU)

Half Turkish Get Up (TGU)

By the end of week 3 I was fully off all assistive devices for walking and had very little limp. I added single leg work with Romanian deadlifts (RDLs) and step ups on a 20″ box. And I started really pushing my rowing with sprints ranging from 400 meters to 1600 meters (1 mile).

It has now been 4 weeks almost to the day that I was handed my little plot twist. After a few days of wallowing, I think I twisted my lemons into some great tasting lemonade!

I can row a 10k (6 miles) in under 50 minutes. My core is stronger. My left knee is stronger and more stable. My right foot tolerated a light, slow, short jog for the first time today! The light at the end of the tunnel is shining brighter! I guess plot twists aren’t so bad after all…until the next one comes along LOL!!

De Feet Boss… De Feet! ~ Part Deux

By: Dr Dawn DPT

As promised…some of my favorite stretches for de feet! You can check out Part 1 here.

1. Myofascial release for the tissue tension: Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls are the perfect myofascial release tools to create space in the well-packed foot region. Remember, there are 26 bones, 33 joints, and over a hundred soft tissue structures in each foot! I refer to the YTU® therapy balls as my rubber scapels that can poke, prod, and partition the tissues that bind us and manifest as pain. You can roll them around the entire plantar surface of the foot from heel to toes in a weighted (standing) or de-weighted (sitting) position depending on your (dis)comfort level. Aaaahhh…what a relief it is!

ytuballoffoot

ytutoeonball

I really like to finish off the roll with a prolonged toe extension (especially big toe) stretch. Big toe extension is super important for decent gait (fancy word for walking/running) mechanics. Even a small loss of range here can cause the foot to spin off the big toe joint as you push off during walking instead of rolling over the ball of the foot. This spinning action may contribute to bunion formation.

interlacedtoes

Interlaced Toes

happyalignedtoes

Foot Alignment Socks

2. Toe separation: Your toes have many of the same muscles as your fingers and should be able to perform many of the same tasks. They are under-performers due to being stuffed in shoes all day with no wiggle room or ability to exercise their right! Free your toes! They will thank you immensely…eventually!!

3. Top of toes/foot/ankle and anterior leg compartment stretch: This is a fantastic but oft overlooked area to stretch. If you walk, run, and/or hike frequently especially on hills…this will feel aahhmazing!!!

Toe/foot/ankle/anterior leg stretch

Toe/foot/ankle/anterior leg stretch

4. Calf stretch: There are many ways to get at the calf for stretching. This happens to be my favorite. You need a yoga mat or some other device (book, 1/2 foam roller flat side down). Stand with your feet parallel to each other and place ball of one foot on the top of one end of the rolled up mat. Ensuring you keep your hips squarely forward and your knees straight, step your other leg forward only as far as you can keep this good form. Inch your step forward slowly allowing your calf muscle’s stretch-ability to be your guide.

Calf stretch on yoga mat

Calf stretch on yoga mat

Hamstringstretch

Double hamstring stretch

5. Hamstring stretch: As with calf stretching, there are a multiple number of hamstring stretches on the market. I like this one because you can easily stretch both…at the same time. And if one is tighter than the other, feel free to allow one knee to bend to get a little deeper stretch on the opposite hamstring. And why are we stretching this far up the leg? Because the posterior fascial chain extends from the plantar surface of the foot all the way up the back and neck!

Be kind to yourself as you begin this process of foot space exploration. A little bit goes a very long way at first. You are releasing prisoners; they may need a major readjustment period. Here’s to FREE AND HAPPY FEET!!!

De Feet Boss… De Feet!

By: Dr Dawn DPT

How many of you really think about your feet? No, I mean really consider those 2 (if you’re lucky) pieces of flesh at the end of your legs that serve as ground-body interface to transport you (again, if you’re lucky) from point A to point B? Most do not even think about the toes and feet until they demand some attention! They are taken for granted to be always at the ready. But what happens if they’re not happy? Cranky feet make for a cranky attitude in general! My feet are KILLING me! Don’t talk to me until I get these shoes off! Etc!

feetscreaming

Let me introduce you to your feet…the complex machinery taking up real estate just south of your ankles. There are 26 bones, 33 joints,  and over a hundred muscles/tendons/ligaments.

footbones intrinsicfootmuscles

Take a stand on foot health! Pay attention to standing posture. It is the first step to a healthier relationship with your feet and their interface with the rest of you.

Look at the potential chaos that ensues up the chain from a chronic toe out posture. malalignedskeleton

And chronic toe out posturing often leads to foot pronation which often leads to bunion formation.

pronationandbunions bunionbones

footalignment

If your car wheels were aligned like this, you would rush to your trusted auto mechanic for a realignment…ASAP! Otherwise, you might end up driving in circles and ruining your car tires as well your axles in the process. So why do you allow your pedal vehicles to point in a direction other than the one you intend to travel?

footalignmentLook at the photo to the right and then look in a mirror. Which set of legs and feet look most like your own? If you didn’t choose the center, you’ve got some work to do. And it does take work! Lots of it! Frequent corrections throughout your day during various activities. Your brain needs a neuro reset…an attitude readjustment so to speak. It is important that you remain persistent in your pursuit of a better stance. Remember, this habit stance may have developed years ago! It won’t change overnight or over a month.

earlyposturizing

Look at the toe posture on that young girl on the right. Oh and what do you think about the 2 photos? First thing I notice is the change in youth stance from 1981 to 2012! Yikes!!!

You better get started now! Katy Bowman, biomechanist, is a great resouce for further info on foot health: http://www.alignedandwell.com

Next entry: calf, ankle, and foot stretches to assist in the alignment process.

Success…

By: Dr Dawn DPT

succesfrom within

It’s in the air and it’s not by accident! As they say, good things come to those who work their asses off. Even over night sensations have back stories of hard work no matter how easy it appears when looking in from the outside.

Whether you mark your success by opening a business, making a certain amount of money, getting recognized as a top performer in your craft, improving your performance, or returning to activity/sport after injury; there are basic components that when present almost guarantee a positive outcome. And the common ground with these basic components is that they are internally vs externally driven.

So what are these basic components you ask?

THE 3 Ps:

1. PASSION – without passion, the process will feel like a slog fest! You must have passion for the business, your craft, your sport, etc or the process will weigh you down so heavy that the burden becomes unbearable at some point. Passion keeps you moving along the process trail even when the obstacles appear insurmountable.

makeyourpassion happen

persistence

2. PERSISTENCE – no matter the perceived barriers, persistence must prevail. There are many roads to success. In fact it’s the various roads or processes you travel that help create the success for which you are searching. When one door closes, another opens and exercising your persistence muscle will allow you to capitalize on the new road map before you instead of giving up.

3. POSITIVITY – a truly deep-down-in-your-DNA positive attitude will get you everything, even what appears to be most elusive and out of reach. You know it is yours…you own it…you dream it, see it, feel it, taste it, and manifest it. The only option is success!stay positive

yesyoucanSome days are better than others and that’s okay. It’s the process of passion, persistence, and positivity that keep you on track. And you may have multiple tracks you are exploring, creating success in a variety of life arenas. I am working on a fairly new business (starting our 3rd year), honing my craft (physical therapy and it’s never ending!), and recovering from a year and a half long knee injury. Utilizing the 3 Ps to hone my craft is easy. All the components are effortless and life long learning and growing in my chosen field keeps me fresh! I am learning to love the 3 Ps as applied to my business – it’s an acquired taste for someone who has never really had an interest in owning the show. Embracing the process of healing an injury with passion, persistence, and positivity has given me back my running! Yes it has taken 1 1/2 years but that’s the nature of healing through self-care vs a scalpel.

Good-Running-Form

So how are you incorporating the 3 Ps into your life?

Anything… Everything

By: Dr Dawn DPT

How we sit, stand, walk, run, squat, carry, lift, push/press, sleep, and anything else we do on a repetitive basis affects our body composition and tissue health. Tissues here include bones, muscles, fascia, nerves, blood vessels… you get the picture! Our movements and positions either honor our biomechanical systems or they don’t. That is why it is sooooo important to practice “right” movement strategies throughout the day, not just while you are working out or doing your home rehab progam.

Anyone who comes into Kinesis for rehab, prehab, athletic conditioning, and/or core work hears this over and over again. But I believe one can never hear this too much. We all need movement corrections, even myself and Coach Kimmie! The goal is to spend more time in right movement patterns so our bodies can weather the times we revert to poor movement choices. No one is perfect! Spend time practicing… building myelin for future injury resistance.

In the meantime, enjoy the following video from one of my mentors Kelly Starrett. If you know Coach Kimmie and I personally, this video will ring true and sound verrrryyyy familiar!!!

It’s Genetic… NO, It’s Mechanics!

By: Dr Dawn DPT

If I had a nickle for every time a client tried to convince me their foot problems were genetic, I’d be rolling in the deep money! I won’t dispute the possibility of some genetic predisposition due to collagen fibers, bone structure, and other genetic markers. However, I take issue with the statement “It’s genetic, I have my mother’s (or father’s or uncle’s or grandmother’s) feet being used to avoid owning their bad habits and correcting biomechanical faults that can change the course of their foot health for a lifetime. A genome can not be altered (well, for the sake of this discussion it can’t!) but a mechanome can definitely be modified for the greater good.

“We are how we move” according to Katy Bowman, biomechanist extraordinaire. Read her timely blog on this topic here: Mechanome vs Genome. The moral of the story is you can do something, many things in fact, to address the issues with the tissues in your feet (or anywhere else in the body for that matter but today it’s the feet).

The most common malalignment of the foot attributed to genetics is the bunion. bunion anatomyIn reality, gait pattern, tissue tension, and poor shoe choices are the biggest contributors to bunion formation. Tight calves and hamstrings as well as walking like a duck (or ballerina) are the quickest way to achieving a beautiful (not) bony protrusion on the side of your big toe. Add wearing a shoe with a small toe box and a heel to push your entire body weight onto the ball of the foot and pow!

If we were meant to wear heels, our foot structure would look more like this:

foothighheelSo… what can I do? you may ask. I will tell you.

First: Wean down your heel height as much as possible and wear heels for special occasions instead of daily.

Second: Choose shoes with wide toe boxes to give your toes plenty of room to spread out. And help your toes find a new spread position by encouraging them with your fingers, spreading with toe muscle control, and wearing my new favorite toe aligment tool:

toealignmentsocks I wear these in the evening for about an hour or so before going to bed. WOW! What a stretch!

ytutoeonballThird: Use a myofascial release tool to loosen up the tissues in the foot and create space for blood flow, nerve communication, and mechanical efficiency. My favorites are the Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls. They come in several sizes but the classics are best for the feet. ytuballoffoot

Fourth: Stretch your calf muscles

katybowmancalfstretch

Fifth: Stretch your hamstrings/posterior chain

kbhamstringcalfstretch

Sixth: Fix your standing and walking foot pattern. If you are not a duck or a ballerina on the stage, please work on paralleling your feet one to the other.

footalignment

Your feet should line up similar to the middle set, feet in parallel to each other. Practice this in both standing and walking. The more you practice this preferred posture, the more comfortable and less foreign it will feel.

Seventh: Make an effort to do something for your foot health daily. Your feet and toes will thank you immensely for your efforts! You can create change! Your foot structure is malleable based on the mechanical stresses placed on it.

happytoes