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When Bad Things Happen to Good Exercisers

"There I am," a very fit patient is saying, "out on my five-mile run, motoring my way up a steep incline. Suddenly, I feel a throbbing pain in the middle of my right shin. Oh, no, I think, not again."

As things turned out, the patient recovered from the shin splints1 quickly, but he knew he'd dodged a bullet. "Why did I get hurt?" he wanted to know. "I wasn't doing anything wrong.…What can I do to make sure this doesn't happen again?"
All very good questions. One answer is - basically − we need a plan for exercise. A powerful strategy that helps us train smart and train safe. When you're working this way − training smart and safe − then you can also train hard.

Training safe and smart means paying attention to what's happening in your body as you do your workout. "Paying attention" is a learned skill. It requires focus and repetition. Visualization is an important part of focus ─ and, if you're working on visualization, you're definitely paying attention!

You can visualize when you're running, too.
• Visualize an erect, fluid spine and strong abdominal muscles.
• Your head is upright, you're looking forward and slightly down, and your chest is open.
• Your arms are active yet relaxed, and your shoulders sit comfortably on your rib cage.
• Visualize a long stride, a soft landing, and a strong pushoff, with your leg kicking straight behind you.

Training smart means trusting your instincts, rather than listening to your ego. This is a tough one. At the time, it seems so important to do that last rep. Now, you can do that last rep if you maintain your form. Form is everything. If you have to sacrifice form in order to do those last few reps, you may get an unexpected, unwelcome result.

Likewise in running. When your form breaks down, that's a signal to slow down and recover your good mechanics. If your training is done with attention to proper, effective form, you'll be more likely, when the time comes, to run a good race at a good pace.

And, of course, we want to do these things to be healthy and well. The American College of Sports Medicine2 states, "Resistance training, particularly when incorporated into a comprehensive fitness program, reduces the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease and non-insulin-dependent diabetes, prevents osteoporosis, promotes weight loss and maintenance, improves dynamic stability and preserves functional capacity, and fosters psychological well-being."

As in much of life, there's a fine line between training hard and overtraining. Remember, the benefit of training is for the long term.

1Couture CJ, Karlson KA: Tibial Stress Injuries: Decisive Diagnosis and Treatment of "Shin Splints". Physician and Sportsmedicine 36(6):29-36, 2002
2Kraemer WJ, et al: Progression Models in Resistance Training for Healthy Adults. Med Sci Sports Exercise 34(2):364-380, 2002

Multicare Health Clinic

3930 STADIUM DR
SIOUX CITY, IA 51106
Phone Number: (712) 276-4325

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Monday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-2:00 pm

Saturday:

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  • "Being able to present my back pain to three different professions in one place and knowing that they are working together to make me better is very comforting."
    Charlie P.
  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
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  • "There couldn't be a better physical therapy team in Siouxland! Not only did my knee feel so much better after six weeks, but I feel like I made new friends."
    Karla K.
  • "After an accident at work I didn't think I'd ever get relief from my aching shoulder. But, the doctors at Multicare gave me adjustments and physical therapy and now I feel normal again."
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  • "I'm now a believer now! I didn't think chiropractic could help my foot problems. But after meeting with Dr. Pistello and Dr. Dave for a few weeks, I'm feeling so much better!"
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  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Henry H.
  • "I'm a runner. When I wasn't able to run due to leg problems, I was devastated. But a consultation at Multicare Health Clinic identified the problem and after some adjustments, stimulation treatments and therapy, I'm running again!"
    Lisa L.
  • "At night my right hand would go painfully numb at least 2-3 times where I could not sleep. Now, I don't have that pain and can get a full night sleep."
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  • "After my knee surgery I was asked where I wanted to do my physical therapy, I chose Multicare Health Clinic and I'm so glad I did! Dr. Steve and the therapy assistants (Sara and Megan) are fabulous! They know what they're doing and they all really seemed to care about my recovery. I'm feeling fantastic! I'll definitely go back again whenever I need therapy or adjustments."
    Sheri J.
  • "Not only is my pain level down to zero, but what I'm really thrilled with, is that I have normal feeling in my hands."
    Jill L.
  • "My company encouraged all of us employees to get screened at Multicare. I didn't know what to expect. It was easy and I learned so much. The orthotics they prescribed really help me to feel more stable and confident at work."
    Jim J.
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    Alycen V.
  • "My shoulder and neck feel so much better. I now have the knowledge, motivation, desire and tools to keep up the exercises."
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    Ellen E.
  • "I now can go a full week without pain and headaches."
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