Getting Started

With the cost of healthcare on the rise, I help proactive adults of all ages to understand how to safely self-treat and manage common musculoskeletal, neurological, and mobility related conditions in a timely manner so they can reach their optimal health.

I am old enough to remember the days without the Internet, and I attended higher education during the transition to the Internet.  I can attest that it is much easier to perform research with the Internet than without!  However, online research can be confusing and it may be difficult to find reputable information.  Most of the time, my research is geared toward scientific journals and peer reviewed articles, but the average non-medical person doesn’t typically have the time or training to fully synthesize the information.

This is most evident within the popular news media today.  In an attempt to rush to publish new medical research, the data is often misinterpreted from the true meaning, if any, from the scientific research.  This leads to misinformation and confusion.  My desire is to filter the research and present it to you in a logical, useful and practical way so you may implement it into YOUR life!

The Physical Therapy Advisor web site is a respected resource for individuals who are searching for advice regarding:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Physical Fitness & Performance
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation
  • Successful Aging & Elder Care

I provide useful and practical types of “how to” information, including methods to safely self-treat and manage common musculoskeletal, neurological, and mobility related conditions.

The information, from a physical therapist’s perspective, is geared toward the adult and geriatric population.  In addition to the physical therapy related topics mentioned above, successful aging, elder care, and life topics are also featured.  As the population ages in the United States, I desire to see the most physically fit and active seniors in history.  I hope over the next ten to twenty years that the paradigm of successful aging is re-written and that old stereotypes of the elderly, the aged, and seniors will be lost in the dust of a new healthier, long lived population.

Health care costs in the United States continue to increase without actual positive change in health status.  It is imperative that we all take a leadership role in our own health care by continuing to be proactive.

Most importantly, I want to hear from YOU!  What are your pains?  What questions do you have? I look forward to providing YOU with useful and practical types of “how to” information and to answer your health related questions.  You CAN achieve optimal health!  Let’s get started!

If you have a question that you would like featured in an upcoming blog post, please submit it to contact@thePhysicalTherapyAdvisor.com.

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Disclaimer:  The Physical Therapy Advisor blog is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice.  No health care provider/patient relationship is formed.  The use of information on this blog or materials linked from this blog is at your own risk.  The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Do not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition you may have.  Please seek the assistance of your health care professionals for any such conditions.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “Getting Started

  1. Hi Ben,
    Just read your self treatment article (through Marathon Training Academy) on Plantar Fasciitis.
    I believe i do have this.
    About 2 months ago i started to feel some tenderness in my heel toward the inside of foot. I backed off running a tad, and rolled foot with golf ball and ice. I would start my run with this discomfort but after 1 mile it seem to always go away, until the next morning tenderness returned. Anyways I continued with self treatment and was able to run Chicago marathon OK. – again i continued with self treatment and 4 weeks later ran another marathon. This time the pain went away after 1 mile BUT returned at mile 14. I was going to stop but I continue to run putting all the weight on outside of foot. Yes it was very painful but much less than running normally. Now I want to take time off and fix this injury. My heel is very tender and sore, not putting too much weight on it.
    My question to you do I do i continue to self treat, do self strengthening exercises and stop running for 3,4,5,6,7, weeks? My son in law (surgical podiatrist) wants to make me orthotics! Is this something I should do? Or should I continue to self treat and stop the running altogether? Please read this……I really respect & would like to know your opinion!

    • Hi Judy,
      Congratulations on finishing the Chicago Marathon! I’m so sorry you are having so much pain in your foot. It does sound like you may have plantar fasciitis. It’s a good decision to work on fixing the issue now. The off season is a perfect time to get this addressed prior to next spring’s marathon season.

      As far as treatment recommendations: Yes, I would stop running for the time being. If you are concerned about maintaining cardiovascular fitness, then you may consider aqua jogging. It has been proven to be one of the best ways to maintain cardiovascular capacity. The length of time you need to take off will vary according to how fast the condition resolves. I would plan on at least 4 weeks.

      Questions for you to consider: “Why have you developed this condition? What is happening with your body that would lead you to develop plantar fasciitis? Is it weakness in the foot or hips? Is it improper foot wear?”

      These are the questions you need to have answered. I recommend that you see a physical therapist (PT) in your area that specializes in feet and is a runner.

      Although orthotics can be very helpful for many, I would not have any made until you know the cause of your condition. It may be that you need them or they could just mask a problem elsewhere.

      For now, my recommendation would be to stop running and have a consult a PT for an assessment. The PT needs to be very thorough–looking at your hip and pelvic strength, range of motion, and lower leg strength (all the way down to your feet).

      Once you have determined the reason for the plantar fasciitis, address that problem while working through the entire treatment protocol. Be sure to focus on foot strength (starting with the exercises demonstrated in http://marathontrainingacademy.com/plantar-fasciitis). Toward the end of your recovery, you may even consider running barefoot on a soft surface like grass as part of your rehabilitation.

      Once you have determined the cause of the pain and eliminated it, take an extended amount of time to taper back into running. Use this time to address any flaws in your running mechanics. My hope would be that by next spring you will be running pain free and be a better runner than you were previously. Good luck!

      Ben

  2. Hi Dr. Ben,

    I was recently diagnosed with moderate COPD. I “knew” I had it for a few years but didn’t want to admit it. What exercises do you recommend that I do to keep my lungs functioning at their best capacity.? I know I need to keep active, gave up smoking last week when I was diagnosed, keep a healthy lifestyle, and “keep going”!! I am not on oxygen at this time. Inhalers are being used to manage my COPD at this time.

    If you would like to use this in one of your blogs please do so…. If it will help anyone from being stubborn, give up the smokes and “get real” because this DOES happen to YOU (me)!!

    Thanks, Ben

    • Hi Linda,

      I’m sorry to hear about your recent COPD diagnosis. It sounds like you are already making some appropriate and much needed lifestyle changes to help you to manage the disease. I am really glad you asked me this question. I think you are on the right track, but I have a few specific thoughts on how a person can best manage the disease from a physical therapy point of view. I’m not sure it is the “typical” advice. I will write a detailed response in an upcoming blog post. It is an important topic and pertinent as cold and flu season often causes those with COPD even more difficulty. I’ll let you know when the post is available.

      Thanks,
      Ben

  3. Hi, I have started running barefoot since last one month but I am facing foot problems like soreness in the foot sole in the morning and metatarsal pain in my left foot. What can be going wrong?

    • Maulik, barefoot running can be a tricky thing. It sounds like you are experiencing the beginning symptoms of metatarsalgia and/or plantar fasciitis pain.

      The following variables can increase the risk of pain: the type of running surface you are running on; how quickly you have progressed from shoes to barefoot; and the amount of running you are doing.

      I always advise clients to take three times as long as they originally planned on to progress from shoes to barefoot. I recommend going very slow as your body adapts to the new way of running.