Choosing the Right Exercise

Choosing the Right Exercise

Did you know that there is a right and wrong way to exercise? Everyone’s body is built differently and operates uniquely at different stages of life. Choosing the right exercise regimen is just as important as the exercise itself. So, you read an article in a fitness magazine that illustrated a workout regimen for women over the age of 50 – well, while I’m sure that there were a lot of helpful tips and core principles in that article, it isn’t realistic to think that any one workout regimen is right for all women over the age of 50. I get those same fitness magazines, and even enjoy reading them, but my knowledge of the human body and how it works began to evolve when I went to Physical Therapy school in my early twenties, and has evolved even more now that I have been practicing for 24 years. Take it from me, the right exercise regimen for you is one that is catered individually to you, your health and your body’s makeup.

The Wrong Exercise Regimen Can Lead to Injury

I have always gone to the gym to work out, even as a young man. Now, having been in my profession for as long as I have, when I go to the gym it can be very disconcerting to see people doing exercises that are actually doing their body more harm than good. They believe that these exercises are building muscle and increasing the strength of their joints, but in reality these exercises are ultimately leading to the breakdown of their joints and muscles, potentially leading to injuries in the future. I have tried approaching these people to offer helpful advice, explaining my background and knowledge of the human body and its mechanics, but I am often met with hesitation. They usually have a story about a personal experience and how they were taught these exercises by a ‘professional.’ Oftentimes, the clients of these ‘professionals’ end up being of patients of mine or one of our other therapists.

There Is a Science to Exercise

exercise-gymThere is more to exercise than just the mechanics of movement. The brain is largely involved in determining which exercises are right for us. In my experience, I have learned that the nervous system likes certain patterns of movement and there are certain patterns that can be detrimental to our bodies. This information may seem foreign to personal trainers and others who consider themselves experts on exercise, but this type of knowledge comes from being educated on the pathology of the human body. That knowledge, paired with 24 years of experience developing individualized exercise regimens for patients of all ages and backgrounds, is how we get our patients on the right track and help to prevent injuries and unnecessary breakdown of muscles and joints in the future.

The Right Exercise for the Right Injury

There are certain exercises that are best for physical ailments that occur over time {without injury} and certain exercises that are best for injury induced physical ailments. These ailments that occur over time can easily be a direct result of the wrong exercise regimen. That breakdown of the muscles and joints will ultimately lead to injuries in the future. Are you following the right exercise regimen for your body? Don’t wander off into the gym and try to figure out these things on your own.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, our physical therapists are true professionals that are qualified to get you on the right track with your exercise regimen. Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center has expertise in assessing, diagnosing, and treating the real issues that cause medical problems.  Let Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC help you determine which exercises are beneficial to your body and which ones to avoid. Take our advice now rather than later and avoid injuries in your future.

Why Physical Therapy & Exercise Should be Used to Treat Ankle Sprains

Though ankle injuries are extremely common, knowledge regarding how to treat a sprained ankle is less common. While immobilization is an important part of the early stages of healing, without exercise to improve strength and flexibility, you run a significant risk of reinjuring yourself.

How Physical Therapy Treats Ankle Pain

Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries with as many as 25,000 incidents occurring per day. Sprained ankles are classified in three “grades” with one being the lowest and three being the highest. Grade one sprains need no medical intervention and should be treated via tolerable stretching and strengthening, isometric exercise, and weight bearing provided none of these actions exacerbate the condition.

Grade two and three sprains necessitate physical therapy as more damage has been done to the ankle. In these situations, physical therapists help you to strengthen your injured ankle and to regain full functional range of your ankle.

The Phases of Ankle Sprain Recovery

When injuries occur, it is because the ankle’s ligament fibers have been damaged.

  • ankleGrade 1: Ligament fibers have sustained some slight stretching and some damage
  • Grade 2: Ligament fibers have been torn partially.
  • Grade 3: Ligament fibers have been torn completely.

In Grade 1 and 2 injuries, there is a method of treatment called the RICE treatment. The acronym RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

  • Rest: Do not walk on the ankle following injury.
  • Ice: Apply ice immediate after injury to suppress swelling; ice can be applied for 20-30 minutes per day three to four times per day. Wrapping should also be used to minimize swelling and pain.
  • Compression: Wrap the ankle with bandages to provide support.
  • Elevate: Lift the ankle above your heart level for 48 hours.

This is the first phase of the rehabilitation process for all ankle sprains; sprains recover in a three-step process.

  • Phase 1: This is the resting, protecting, and immobilizing stage of recovery. The purpose of this stage is to reduce swelling and to protect the ankle while it is still fragile. This stage lasts one week.
  • Phase 2: This is the very important stage in which the ankle regains movement and functionality including flexibility. Range of motion and strength are also regained during this stage. This stage lasts one to two weeks.
  • Phase 3: This final stage involves returning to normal. Patients start with activities that do not involve turning their ankle, and they build up to ‘normal’ activities that do put increasing demands on the ankle (sports like tennis or basketball). This stage lasts for weeks to months.

Immobilize then Exercise

You will note that immobilization is a part of the healing process; however, it is only a component of the first phase of the process. Many people believe that protocol in treating a sprain is to immobilize the injury, which is why when a person has a sprained ankle (even a Grade 1 sprain), they will have the injured apparatus wrapped and will avoid using it even for walking short distances (even after the first week of injury). The misconception is that the ankle has to rest in order to heal; they neglect to respect exercise and stretching’s role in healing.

jogging-coupleThe reality is that extensive immobilization after an ankle sprain can actually increase the risk of re-injury. Exercise and physical therapy are thus essential for avoiding chronic pain and for mitigating the risk of re-injury. Additionally, it is important to complete the entire curriculum of care and healing recommended by your physical therapist. This includes trusting your physical therapist when they say that it is time to transition from immobilization to stretching and regaining strength and range of motion.

The physical therapists at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center are fully trained and have years of expertise in assessing and treating sprained ankles, so trust them to tell you when it’s time to start moving again because you can also trust them to help you every step of the way.

With four locations from Crestview to Destin, Florida, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.