Flat feet (pes planus) is usually a painless condition in which the arches of your feet are flattened and when you are standing the entire soles of your feet touches the floor. Flat feet can change the alignment of your legs and can lead to knee and ankle problems. Infants and toddlers have flat feet since the arches of their feet have not yet developed. As they get older, the arches will develop. However, some people’s arches never develop and this would lead to flat feet. A foot or an ankle injury, aging, rheumatoid arthritis and obesity can all increase your risk of flat feet. One may experience pain in the heel or arch area of the foot and the pain may get worse with activity. Orthotics or supportive shoes can help reduce symptoms and make your feet feel more comfortable.
It is extremely important to maintain and improve your cardiovascular health. Doing a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or performing vigorous exercise for 75 minutes per week can improve your cardiovascular health. Being physically active five times a week and for at least 30 minutes a day can be a huge benefit for your heart. Jogging, walking, swimming or biking are examples of physical activities that are excellent for your heart.
Smoking, a diet low in fruits and vegetables, an unhealthy weight and getting less than 7-9 hours of sleep each night can affect your cardiovascular health and may lead to cardiovascular disease. It is important to visit your healthcare provider if you are at risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, a healthy lifestyle can lead to better health.
We can avoid and manage musculoskeletal injuries by being physically active. For instance, we can participate in high- and low-impact activities.
High-impact activities are more intense and use more energy. They can strengthen our heart and lungs, help burn more calories, improve bone density, and improve our stability, balance, and coordination. However, there is a greater chance of getting the ankle, knee, hip, or back injured if an individual is not prepared. Therefore, it is important to warm up first before beginning any high-impact exercises. Examples of high-impact exercises include jumping rope, plyometric exercises, running, and jogging.
Low-impact exercises are less intense and less jarring on our body and joints. Beginners, people who have arthritis or osteoporosis, older adults, and people with bone, joint, or connective tissue injuries should do low-impact exercises. For example, working out on an elliptical machine, walking, cycling, swimming, and dancing.
When we have a sore throat, a sun burn or sinusitis the process of acute inflammation occurs. White blood cells come in and then anti-inflammatory compounds will take over to start the healing process. Sometimes the activation of inflammatory molecules does not stop and this is known as chronic inflammation. It can be caused by environmental factors and it means that there is an issue with removing whatever caused the acute inflammation. Asthma and arthritis are examples of conditions that can result from chronic inflammation. Moreover, pain and chronic inflammation can occur if biomechanical issues, trauma or injury are left untreated.
There are a few ways to reduce chronic inflammation, such as staying away from foods that are high in saturated fats, trans fats and foods with a high glycemic index. Fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains act as a natural anti-inflammatory and should be included in our diet. People who exercise regularly can heal faster from injuries and are less likely to have chronic inflammation. In addition, inflammation may be decreased with sufficient amount of sleep and by drinking water. Lastly, smoking should be avoided since it increases the level of inflammatory markers.
Poor posture, traumatic injury, strain, or sprain can cause our muscles, ligaments, and tendons to have abnormal tension. This can cause pain, tenderness, and/or movement dysfunctions. Soft tissue therapies are a type of therapy where soft tissues, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons are pressed and kneaded with the hand or a mechanical device. This can be performed by chiropractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, or massage therapists. Soft tissue therapy can help relieve pain and inflammation, reduce stiffness and movement dysfunction, reduce spasm, and increase the range of motion of the injured area. Moreover, it can improve circulation by increasing the local blood flow. It can also assist with tissue healing, fix abnormal postures, and help avoid further injury. Overall, soft tissue therapy can help with your pain and musculoskeletal health.
Food and nutrition labels provide consumers with a lot of useful information. To start off, ingredient lists are sorted by weight. The first item shown on the ingredient list weighs the heaviest in the product and continues in descending order. This is helpful for consumers who are looking for a specific ingredient that they want more or less of. When we read a nutrition facts table, the information on it are based on serving sizes. Serving sizes allow us to compare nutritional values between similar products, know how much of a specific nutrient we are consuming, and give us a better idea of how much food we are eating.
Every nutrition label shows the serving size, the amount of calories, and 13 nutrients (fat, saturated and trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, sugars, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron). The percentage of your daily value or “%DV” is based on the suggested serving size. It is considered a large amount if it is more than 15% and it is a very small amount if it is less than 5%. Lastly, calories equal the amount of energy in food and fats, protein, and carbohydrates provide us the energy to complete our daily activities. Overall, it is important to look at the serving sizes before we look at calories or a certain nutrient.
An ankle sprain occurs when the ligaments that help hold the ankle bones together are forced beyond their normal range of motion. The ligaments on the outer side of the ankle are usually stretched, teared partially, or teared completely. Rolling, twisting, or turning your ankle in an awkward way can lead to an ankle sprain. It can be caused from walking or exercising on an uneven surface or from falling. Someone who has injured their ankle before or wears improper shoes increases their chance of a sprained ankle. It is also a very common sports injury, especially in soccer, tennis, and basketball because these sports involve jumping, cutting action, or twisting of the foot.
Depending on how severe the sprain is, the signs and symptoms include tenderness when the ankle is palpated, pain when weight is applied on the affected foot, swelling, bruising, limited range of motion, ankle instability, or popping sound heard at the time of injury.
Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (R.I.C.E.) can be done to treat the sprained ankle for the first 2-3 days. Depending on the severity, sports tape or an ankle support brace can be used for stabilizing the ankle. In order to avoid an ankle sprain, one should warm up before exercising or playing sports, work on muscle strength and flexibility, and perform balancing exercises.
As we get older our muscles become stiffer and we would start to notice our flexibility declining. The muscles will decrease in length if we don’t stretch our muscles. Shortened muscles could increase our risk for falling and one might find it difficult to perform activities that require flexibility, such as going up the stairs. In addition, using a shortened muscle for activity could also lead to muscle damage, strains, and joint pain.
Stretching can help us become more flexible and it is the key to preventing injury and disability. It can increase our range of motion and reduce joint and back pain. Moreover, it can decrease the risk of falling by improving our balance and can also improve our posture. Lastly, it can reduce the risk for muscle and joint injury.
It is important to warm up before we stretch the muscles. We can warm up by doing 2 to 5 minutes of dynamic stretching, such as lifting our knees and rolling our shoulders. This type of stretch involves moving a joint repeatedly through its available range of motion and does not involve holding a position. Static stretches can then be held for 10 to 30 seconds in order to regain flexibility and should be performed after a workout.
The spine consists of spinal disks and vertebrae and similar to a jelly donut, the disk has a softer “jelly” center. When the “jelly” pushes out through a tear in the tougher exterior, it is known as a herniated disk. Disk degeneration can cause disk herniation in the lower back or in the neck. The water content in the disks decrease as we get older and the flexibility of it decreases. Therefore, a minor strain, twist, and improper lifting can easily lead to a tear or rupture in the disk.
The signs and symptoms that someone will experience includes pain, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness due to the irritation on the nerves. Pain can be felt in the thigh and calf when the herniated disk is in the lower back. Pain can be felt in the shoulder and arm when the herniated disk is in the neck.
Excess body weight and duties performed on the job that put extra stress on your lower back can increase the risk of disk herniation. A few things that you can do to prevent a herniated disk includes lifting heavy objects properly, strengthening trunk muscles, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Heel spurs are also known as calcaneal spurs or osteophytes. Someone with this condition would find a calcium deposit forming a bony protrusion along the plantar fascia. Running and jumping, especially on hard surfaces can wear down the heel and lead to heel spurs. If the membrane that covers the heel bone is torn or if the heel is bruised, it can cause heel spurs. Older adults, obesity, plantar fasciitis, and improper footwear can increase the chance of developing heel spurs.
Heel spurs can lead to a sharp pain in the heel when he or she stands up, a dull ache in the heel, and heat radiating from the affected area. Tenderness, swelling, and inflammation can occur at the heel and a bone-like protrusion beneath the heel may also be seen. One can reduce pain and swelling by resting and applying ice to the affected area. Orthotics can also be worn to remove some of the pressure off the heel.