Strength Training in a Healthy Manner

Much has been written regarding the benefits of strength training. It is known that resistance training, when performed correctly, has many positive benefits such as:

  • Increases the strength of bones, muscles and connective tissue
  • Lowers the risk of injury
  • Increases metabolic rate to assist with maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reduces the risk of falls
  • Improves mental health.

A study published in the Journal Sports Medicine in 2017 concluded that resistance training “Significantly improves anxiety symptoms among both healthy participants and participants with a physical or mental illness”.  The American Heart Association recommends strength training at least twice per week.

Many people desire to engage in strength training, however current aches and pains have eliminated this possibility.  Timed Static Contraction training might be a solution to your dilemma.  TSC training involves performing isometric contractions for a duration of 60-90 seconds continuously in targeted muscles.  The duration of hold is conducted in 3 levels of intensity… 50%, 75%, 100% (without pain).  The force of contraction is slowly built up over time to allow for proper breathing technique and good posturing to prevent possible injury.  All forces involved in TSC are performed below the threshold of pain but performed in a way that leads to improved strength.  This isometric contraction is typically performed in mid-range position but can be performed in any pain-free position.  When performed correctly, Timed Static Contraction can be beneficial in many ways, including but not limited to the following:

  • more efficient and safe recruitment of muscle fibers leading to increase in muscle strengthening
  • Ability to strengthen targeted musculature without producing movements in painful joints
  • Ability to produce sufficient muscle forces to maintain and improve bone density
  • Reduce the risk of injury through the gradual building up of muscle forces overtime

The goal of TSC is to perform strength training in a safe manner that minimizes pain and injury and obtains the positive benefits of exercises.

If pain or an injury are preventing you from being as active as you would like, the therapists at Motion Physical Therapy can get you on the road to recovery. The clinic offers a variety of therapies and techniques including Timed Static Contraction training, that can assist you in achieving the benefits of strength training. Motion Physical Therapy is conveniently located in The Woodlands near I-45 and Sawdust Rd. Call us at 281-881-7099 to schedule your appointment today.

Exercise Works like a Miracle Drug!

We hear this all the time, don’t we? Exercise 3 to 5 days a week to keep your body healthy. Well, it turns out that exercise has many benefits for the mind as well as the body. Time Magazine’s Mandy Oaklander published an article called “The New Science of Exercise,” which focuses on genetic metabolic neurologist named Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky. He describes the positive effect of exercise on the human body and how exercise can truly be a leading medicine for people of all ages.

Dr. Tarnopolsky conducted an experiment in 2011 which involved mice with a genetic disease that was causing them to age prematurely. The results were shocking to say the least. This 5 month experiment split the mice into two groups where 1 group lived a sedentary lifestyle and the other group was prescribed exercise 3 times a week on a treadmill. At the conclusion of the study, the sedentary mice had fur that “had grown coarse and gray, muscles shriveled, hearts weakened, skin thinned-even the mice’s hearing got worse” (Oaklander). On the other hand, the active mice had coats that were “sleek and black, they ran around their cages, they could even reproduce”(Oaklander).

Even though this study was completed on rodents, there are obviously applications for humans. Running and strength exercises can improve skin health, eye health, and even your reproductive health, according to Tarnopolsky.  He also states that a sedentary lifestyles puts people at higher risk for many different forms of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and early death.

Tarnopolsky and other experts know the true scientific benefits of exercise which they consider real, measurable, and almost immediate: slower aging, better mood, less chronic pain, stronger vision, and much more. Continue reading “Exercise Works like a Miracle Drug!”

Pretty Heels but Not So Pretty Feet

There once was an old woman who lived in a…high heel? Okay, so that’s not exactly how the story goes, but if it did, that would be the crankiest woman in the world. It is proven that it’s four times more likely that women will suffer from foot or ankle pain issues than men, due to the shoes they wear. A shoe with just a two inch heal can actually cause a 57% increase in pressure on the forefoot. Every woman knows that sometimes beauty comes with a price, but how much are you willing to pay?

Though sometimes difficult to understand, knowledge about your own anatomy and potential issues can be very beneficial. The forefoot, midfoot and hindfoot are the three subdivisions that make up the foot. In addition to the 26 bones, the foot and ankle use tendons, muscles and over 100 ligaments to work normally. The foot is similar to a machine, so if an issue occurs with one area, it can affect the entire foot and even other leg joints. Injuries to the foot can range from purely irritating to even debilitative at times.

I am sure most of you have heard the phrase “Women are from Venus, men are from Mars.” It is weirdly true, even when it comes to feet. Everything about a woman’s foot is smaller; the metatarsals, the toes, the ball of the foot, the arch. Continue reading “Pretty Heels but Not So Pretty Feet”

Do you have Tennis Elbow?

Living in The Woodlands keeps one extremely busy and our lifestyles have tied us to long stretches of computer use. These type of repetitive motions in a static position can place increased stress on the body. A commonly affected area is the outer elbow in which the tendons of the forearm and hand attach. Inflammation in this area is called lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is a condition that is caused by chronic exhaustion and strain in the muscles that lift the wrist, hand and fingers, (the muscles located on the back of the forearm), and/or an inflammatory condition of their tendons.

Tennis elbow can be felt as a hot, sharp pain at the elbow itself, or as more of an aching pain that spreads from the elbow to the hand and wrist that could indicate a more muscular cause of tennis elbow. Many physicians believe that micro tears in the tendons surrounding the elbow is the source of tennis elbow pain. The pain is usually worse with gripping of the hand with the elbow in an extended position.

What can be done regarding treatment options for tennis elbow?  Continue reading “Do you have Tennis Elbow?”