Orthopedic Associates' Blog

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Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Does Foam Rolling Actually Work?
Does Foam Rolling Actually Work?
By: Dr. Burke Ah, the foam roller. So many gym-goers finish up their workout of choice and then head straight to the blue cylinder for another session of self-myofascial release (SMR). Many athletes swear by this tender-spot-targeting practice but there is no empirical data to date that supports the belief that foam rolling improves muscle performance, increases range of motion, or aids in recovery. So, is foam rolling really effective, or is it more of an assumed benefit that misjudges the end results? Let’s start with the purpose: self-myofascial release. Fascia is the soft tissue that helps connect your muscles together and supports muscle movement. When you overuse a group of muscles, even during exercise, the fascia can become restricted. Fascial restriction can also be caused by trauma, namely injury, and inactivity. Inflammation can start to take place during fascial restriction, which can cause the connecting tissue to thicken and become very painful. This is why myofascial release, such as massages and other forms of physical therapy, can be initially painful but excellent for your long-term muscle improvement and joint health. With ...

Does Your Running Shoe Type Matter?
Does Your Running Shoe Type Matter?
By: Dr. Aaranson   An experienced runner knows a well-fit shoe is priceless, especially when you face the uphill section of a marathon. Improper fits can cause blisters, foot conditions, and a variety of other complications. Shoes is arguably one of the most debated topics among runners: what type of running shoe is best for runners? Support structure is important to consider: how much motion control does your shoe give you? If you’re naturally overpronated in your gait, a shoe ‘expert’ may have recommended a heavier type of shoe with more support. Unfortunately, research shows that the type of running shoe likely doesn’t matter. A recent study published by Aarhus University in Denmark followed the running progression of 927 adults who were novice runners for an entire year. (British Journal of Sports Medicine) The runners were men and women ranging from age 18 to 65. Researchers profiled each runner’s foot to determine their most natural pronation pattern. The runners were then divided into five categories: Neutral pronation ...

How to tell if you need custom shoe inserts or orthotics
How to tell if you need custom shoe inserts or orthotics
By: Dr. Aaranson  Our feet withstand an amazing amount of weight and pressure over the course of a lifetime. The reality is that our feet were never intended to wear shoes, but we adopted the use of shoes through innovation, technology, and comfort. Of course, wearing shoes provide all sorts of helpful benefits, as well as protection from sharp or hard objects that can damage our feet. Shoes can also bring their own potential health risks, namely from improper support for your feet as you walk. Spending significant amounts of time on your feet without the proper support can lead to any combination of foot, knee, hip, and back pain. Wearing shoe inserts or a custom set of orthotics is one of the best ways to alleviate shoe-related foot pain and prevent further damage. 3 tips for telling if you need orthotics How do you know if you need shoe inserts or orthotics? These three tips can you help determine if you need to invest in a new pair of shoe inserts or orthotics: Look at ...

How frostbite affects your extremities
How frostbite affects your extremities
By: Dr. Randal Aaranson The winter cold can have a devastating effect on your skin, especially sub-freezing wind chill. Frostbite is essentially the freezing of skin and tissue and can occur within a matter of minutes. Frostbite typically affects the skin and tissue of exposed areas, such as your nose, cheeks, ears, hands, and feet. One of the common misconceptions is that frostbite only affects exposed skin. Even covered extremities, such as hands and feet, can be at risk of developing frostbite because of the relative temperature under gloves and shoes. Can you get frostbite in St. Louis? You may wonder, “Doesn’t frostbite only occur in extremely cold places, like the Dakotas and Canada?” Unfortunately, the risk of frostbite can be present in any sub-freezing temperatures. St. Louis’ winter wind chill temperatures often register at below the freezing point. A 10- to 15-minute walk to the train station without the proper winter clothing can put anyone at risk for developing first-stage frostbite, a condition called frostnip. Symptoms of frostbite Since frostbite is the freezing of tissue, the initial symptoms are pain and tingling sensations ...

Protect your feet and legs from these common running injuries
Thousands of St. Louisans love lacing the low tops and pounding the pavement for a good exercise. Whether you’re an Asics aficionado or a Nike newbie, there’s a lot to learn about running, including what injuries you might expect. Hopefully you can avoid any injuries this summer, but if not, it’s helpful to know what to do. That's why Orthopedic Associates recently hosted an event, with the help of running shoe specialist David Spetnagel (Fleet Feet), on the best ways to keep yourself in top-running condition during the Summer months. Participants were able to come out and ask questions about their foot and running health directly to the experts! For those who couldn't make it, we typed up a little summary of the night's events for your reading pleasure! (image of Dr. Aaranson speaking on runner's health at our recent event) Most common injuries for runners One of the best ways to avoid injuries involves preparation and prevention. This includes appropriate stretching before and after running, and also watching where your feet fall along the path. Some injuries can’t ...

How To Get In Shape for Biking The Katy Trail
The Katy Trail is one of Missouri's greatest recreational excursions. 237 miles of glorious twists and turns along the bluffs and banks of the Missouri River is what make the Katy Trail so inviting for travelers along the way. Every year thousands of cyclists take to the Katy Trail to stretch their legs and see the sights along some of Missouri’s most beautiful scenery. Of course, it takes an extreme cyclist to even consider tackling the massive length of the Katy Trail, but many cyclists throughout St. Louis do enjoy a day’s ride between some of the small towns dotted along the trail. Here are a few tips for getting into shape before you swing onto your bike seat and pedal away down the Katy Trail. Start with a shorter distance around your neighborhood or park Most of the Katy Trail is fairly flat, especially compared to other biking trails throughout the country. Don’t let the terrain fool you though; five miles on a bike is still five miles, no matter how steep or smooth the ...