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East Penn Foot And Ankle’s iRun Pigs 5k Team 2013

29 Aug

5K_Sponsor 3East Penn Foot and Ankle Associates is sponsoring the Lehigh Valley IronPigs i-Run 5k and Piglet run September 15th at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown. The race is open to runners, walkers and kids under 12 (Piglet run).

We’re psyched to announce the members of the East Penn Foot and Ankle iRun Pigs 5k team. They’ve each received a complimentary registration, a really cool East Penn Foot and Ankle Associates tech shirt which they’ll wear the day of the race, and all of the swag in the standard registration package from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs: commemorative tech t-shirt, chip timing results via text message, and a free entry in an IronPigs team memorabilia raffle.

The EPFAA 2013 team ranges in age from 26 to 63, and is from all over the Lehigh Valley. We have three 2012 team members making a repeat appearance.

  • Angela Smith, Breinigsville
  • Clint Phillips, Catasauqua
  • Heather Mastropieri, Whitehall (2012 member)
  • Katherine Kressler, Emmaus
  • Jackie Hollan, Laurys Station (2012 member)
  • Whitney Roe, Northampton
  • James Rissmiller, Breinigsville
  • Roxy Fatzinger, Emmaus
  • Kevin Dolan, Nazareth (2012 member)
  • Mary Ellen Rudoi (2012 member)
  • Michelle Halwick, Allentown

A personal message from Dr. Teichman: Make sure your feet and ankles are in top shape for the race. Come see us for a complimentary evaluation or to discuss a current condition. We’re excited to sponsor the iRun 5K again this year and we’re looking forward to seeing you in the office and at the race!  Call 610-432-9593 and please mention this offer when making your appointment.*

We still have a few spaces left if you’d like to join the 2013 East Penn Foot and Ankle race team. The early bird complimentary registration has passed, so you’ll have to pay your own way, but we have have really cool East Penn Foot and Ankle tech shirts for everyone who runs. To get more information and sign up for the race click here.  After you sign up, send an email to Heather Chase at marketing@eastpennfoot.com and let her know that you want to be part of the team. She’ll then send you everything you need to know.

Stop by our table at the race to register to win an official Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs / East Penn Foot and Ankle Ball Girls jersey and a $25 gift card to the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Coca-Cola Park.

irun pigs 5k

Dr Adam teichman from East Penn Foot And Ankle and 2012 team member Heather Mastropieri. Click to see pics of the 2012 race.

I-Run Pigs 5K quick info:

Over 500 runners participated in the inaugural run last year

A 5k is 3.1 miles

If you’d like to walk instead, the course is 1.5 miles

The Piglet Run for kids 12 and under is a Fun Run around Coca-Cola Park with special gifts for each child who runs from team mascots FeRROUS and FeFe.

Everyone who runs or walks gets an iRun Pigs 5k tech shirt and a raffle ticket for a chance to win IronPigs merch. Runners are timed by chip for highest accuracy.

Register online before September 10. After that date, register only on race day and add $5.

5K – $28.00

Walk – $25.00

Piglet Run (Kids 12 & Under) – $10.00

100% of the proceeds benefit IronPigs Charities, a non-profit organization striving to provide educational and recreational opportunities for children in the Greater Lehigh Valley area.

*offer for new patients only, does not include x-rays or treatment*

Why Does My Ankle Hurt On The Outside?

15 Aug

ankle pain

Pain on the outside of your ankle can be caused by a number of problems: arthritis, sports injuries, fractures, sprains, repeat ankle sprains, or tendonitis. Most ankle injuries are the result of trauma, a sports collision, or a sudden forceful twisting, but can also be the result of overuse. Contributing factors are improper or insufficient athletic conditioning, obesity, repeat injury, aging, arthritis, and unsupportive footwear.

To help describe your foot pain, see our ankle diagram here.

Lateral Ligament Strain

The three lateral ligaments on the outside of the ankle are most often injured while playing sports. A tear, rupture or strain occurs when the athlete makes a sudden change of direction, especially on an uneven surface like sand. It also might happen when one player lands on the foot of another. This can cause the ankle to roll inwards and backwards, overstretching the ligaments. Sharp pain, swelling, and bruising  accompany the strain, and an inability to bear weight.

Ankle sprain

This one is pretty obvious. It usually occurs when you roll your ankle playing sports. But it can also be not so obvious, like when you roll your ankle stepping off a curb and you don’t feel the pain until hours later. No matter how minor the ankle sprain, it must be treated correctly to heal correctly. Untreated ankle sprains create weak tendons and ligaments which lead to… more ankle sprains. You may experience pain, bruising, tenderness, swelling, or a decreased range of motion.

Dr Teichman from PA Foot And Ankle Associates describes why you need to have every ankle sprain treated by a physician, no matter how minor.

Fractures

A fracture usually creates pain with every step, and may be accompanied by swelling, bruising, and tenderness. A fracture can be caused by sports injury, trauma, aging, or from overuse.

Dislocated Ankle

The ankle joint becomes dislocated (separates) due to trauma from a sports injury or a high fall. Symptoms are severe pain, swelling, loss of function, or an obvious deformity if one or more fractures accompany the dislocation.

Peroneal Tendonitis

The Peroneal tendons run down the outside of the ankle joint and attach to the bones in the foot and ankle. These tendons can become inflamed if you’re performing an activity in which the ankle consistently rolls outward (like when you’re running in past-their-prime, unsupportive running shoes). The outside of the ankle will slowly become painful, and there may be a burning feeling. The area above the tendon may become swollen and tender.

Peroneal Tendon Rupture

Pain comes quickly when this tendon is ruptured, along with significant weakness in the ankle and a loss of function. When the tendon snaps or tears, it may actually be audible, and swelling, bruising, and tenderness may accompany it.

Peroneal Tendon Subluxation

Caused by the tendon moving out of its normal position, creating discomfort, pain, and an ache over the ankle bone. Swelling, bruising, and tenderness may accompany the injury.

Sinus Tarsi Syndrome

Quite common in those with flat feet. The Sinus Tarsi is a small bony structure on the outside of the ankle joint, and inside the canal is a small ligament which helps to hold the ankle together. It’s this ligament which is the source of the pain, which can be hard to pinpoint, as it may be felt from the outside of the ankle to the front.

Anterolateral Impingement Syndrome

This is a result of repeated sprains of the ankle. Pain may be felt over the bone which protrudes from the ankle, and the ankle will click or feel like it’s catching. Pain will increase with weight bearing.

Any ankle pain, even if minor, needs to be diagnosed by a podiatrist or podiatric surgeon if it occurs repeatedly, or if it can’t be relieved with ice, rest, and over the counter anti inflammatory pain medicine such as ibuprofen (advil). If you continue to walk, run, or otherwise put weight on an already injured ankle, the injury may become much worse, or become a chronic condition.

Until you see a podiatrist, employ the RICE treatment: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Rest the ankle as much as possible, preferably in an elevated position.  If swelling occurs, ice for 20 minutes at a time, with a wet towel or cloth between the ice and your skin. Use an elastic bandage around the ankle for support when necessary.

6 Rules When Training For A Marathon, Half-Marathon, or 5K

13 Aug

feet running

Few sports are better at testing your mental and physical strength than long distance running. But in the quest to push ourselves farther and faster, sometimes our bodies can’t keep up, and pain tells us so.  Even minor pain in your foot or ankle will affect your performance, as you end up shifting your balance or changing your gait to take pressure off the injury.

The most common foot and ankle injuries for runners can easily be avoided by observing these 6 simple rules.

Rule 1: Wear Proper athletic shoes.

Having the right shoes are critical. Your athletic shoe must fit well and should be padded and supported in the heel, arch, midfoot, and toe to protect your feet from the intense pounding they’ll receive. Buy them at a specialty athletic shoe retailer, not at a big box store, because you  get what you pay for. Cheap shoes are made with cheap materials and little padding or support. If your shoes are more than two years old, upgrade before you start training. Read about choosing the right running shoe.

Rule 2: Always stretch before competition or training.

Never, ever run cold.  Stretching is the simplest way to avoid injuries, but is so often ignored by amateur athletes. Before competition or training, do stretching routines for your entire body, not just your lower extremities, as all of the muscles work together. Warming up also helps prevent damage to bones, tendons, and ligaments. See stretching exercises from Runners World here.

woman stretching before running

Stretching is key to preventing injuries

Rule 3: Do not ignore pain. 

If you ignore pain and keep running, you’ll turn a minor injury into a major problem. If your foot or ankle hurts in any way, get an immediate diagnosis from a podiatrist. Minor injuries treated early minimize down time.  Learn about the most common running injuries.

Rule 5: Increase distance and intensity gradually.

Every runner likes a challenge, but pushing too hard too fast will lead to injury, especially for those whose 20’s are behind them. Begin with interval training (a mixture of walking and running), and slowly increase the running interval every week as race day nears. Rest completely one day a week to allow time for your body to recover.  Read about the best ways to increase your endurance.

Rule 6: Run on different surfaces and routes to increase performance.

Mix up the surfaces you run on.  The differences between grassy areas, sand, or paths in wooded areas has tremendous benefit for the muscles in your feet and ankles – just make sure to avoid obstacles. Muscles adapt quickly to routine, and if we run the same route every day, we limit conditioning. Change it up, and the muscles react accordingly. Read how to boost your performance.

See you on the track!

Running In Summer: Tips To Stay Hydrated

11 Jul

runner-rests-under-a-treeWe’ve all done it, especially when we were young runners. We stepped out the door into sweltering 90+ degree heat and humidity thick as a blanket, and we didn’t miss a beat. We took off, worked our way into a sprint and spontaneously decided to push a little further than usual. It just felt good to test ourself.

Until we were suddenly gripped by a crippling nausea and felt like we were going to faint. We were miles from home and knew we couldn’t make it back in this condition. So we sat under a tree to rest and cool off. And then breakfast came up. A truly terrible way to start the day.

Who hasn’t suffered the summer double whammy of heat stress and dehydration at least once in their running life? It’s not exactly a badge of courage, in fact it’s quite the opposite and can be downright dangerous, landing the runner in a hospital hooked up to an IV drip for a few hours or more.

Every athlete has unique hydration needs. Some can go for hours in brutal, jungle-hot weather, others… not so much. But one thing is certain – we all need plenty of water.

Hydration guidelines for runners

It’s important that we are well hydrated before our run. And that process starts hours before we step out the door in our shorts and Asics. The American College Of Sports Medicine recommends that you drink 1 ounce of water for every ten pounds of body weight four hours before running. If you tend to perspire heavily, you should drink an additional 0.6 ounce per ten pounds of body weight 2 hours before you run.

Hydration Formula for 200 pound runner

200 pounds = (1 oz x 20) = 20 ounces four hours before run

Adjustment for heavy sweating = (0.6 oz x 20) = additional 12 ounces two hours before run

Total hydration = 32 ounces (1 quart)

+ Bathroom appearances

But when we sweat, we lose more than water, also salt and certain electrolytes: sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Loss of these electrolytes through sweat is a very individual thing – some athletes lose a lot, some a little, depending on how much one perspires. If you’re a heavy sweater on a long, hot run, it’s wise to carry an additional source of electrolytes with you, like Gatorlytes, Pedialite, or Salt Stick. Maintaining these minerals will reduce fatigue, muscle cramping, and help your body cool itself (thermoregulatory response).

How do you know if you’re properly hydrated? Note the color and volume of your urine. Dark colored urine in small amounts is an indication that you don’t have enough water in your system and is a strong message that you need to increase your hydration schedule.

Does Barefoot Running Cause More Foot injuries?

28 Jun

barefoot runningThirty to seventy percent of runners suffer from repetitive stress injuries every year and experts can’t agree on how to prevent them. Barefoot running is seen bysome as an antidote.

On the surface, barefoot running makes a lot of sense: Humans went shoeless for thousands of years, the modern running shoe wasn’t invented until the 1970’s, and athletic shoes have actually been shown to cause more ankle sprains than when barefoot. And every runner has run barefoot on the beach, haven’t we? After all, we weren’t born with shoes on.

But a recent study conducted at Brigham Young University and published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, has turned up some interesting data. Experienced runners who averaged 15-30 miles a week in running shoes were recruited for the study. Half of the group acted as a control and continued to run in their normal fashion in shoes. The other runners went shoeless-style in Vibram Five Fingers barefoot style shoes and were instructed to wear them for one mile during the first week, two miles the second, three the third, and then as much as they liked.

After ten weeks, each runner took an MRI (one was also done prior to the study). The results showed that the majority of the barefoot-style runners were showing significant bone edema, indicating early injury (a small amount of edema is normal, the bone’s response to training). One runner had a stress fracture in the heel bone, and another had a metatarsal fracture(the long foot bones). Almost all of the runners in the barefoot style group were running fewer miles at the end of the study than they were at the start. Most likely because their feet hurt.

Interestingly, our style of running changes when we go shoeless. When we run in shoes, we tend to hit the ground heel-first. But when we go shoeless, we land mid-foot or forefoot, because it minimizes the impact to our feet. In fact, when we hit the ground heel-first, it’s with three times the force. Daniel Lieberman, a Harvard University professor who specializes in research on barefoot running, has found that forefoot-striking runners have lower risks of repetitive stress injuries. On the other hand, the Associated Press reported that doctors have noticed an uptick in the number of injuries associated with barefoot running, including tendinitis in the achilles and metatarsal stress fractures.

It appears that most foot injuries incurred by barefoot runners are a too much, too fast problem. They whip their shoes off and pack on the miles. Unfortunately, their feet have been in shoes since they were infants and the bones can’t handle the stress. The key to safely running barefoot appears to be a slow conditioning process to allow your foot structure plenty of time to adjust to the new demands.

We neither suggest nor endorse barefoot running. Just letting you know the latest.

If you’re interested in finding out more on barefoot running, the foremost expert is Daniel Leiberman at Harvard. His website is here.

Running or Walking: Which Is More Beneficial?

26 Jun

walking exercise beachIt’s been debated for years. Does running do more good for your body than walking?

That depends…

In a study published last month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers studied more than 45,000 runners and walkers enrolled in the National Runners and Walkers Health Study, an ongoing, large survey being conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.

Almost to the person, runners were thinner than when they joined the study, and were better able to maintain their waist size and body mass index than the walkers. In runners 55 and older, the research revealed something surprising: even though these older runners were expending about the same amount of calories per week as their walking counterparts, the runners’ BMI and waist circumference remained lower.

So for maintaining weight, there seems to be a clear winner. But…

In a study using the same survey data published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, runners who ran one hour a day had a 4.5 percent lower risk of high blood pressure, bad cholesterol profiles, diabetes and heart disease than their sedentary peers.  But walkers who expended the same amount of energy per day as the runners reduced their risk of heart disease by more than 9 percent when compared to those who were sedentary. Why this is so is a mystery to the researchers.

So if your goal is weight loss or weight maintenance, it appears you should be running. If you’re already blessed with a weight that falls within the normal range for your frame, you’ll probably do just as well with a good long walk a few times each week. But the important thing is to exercise on a regular basis, because whether running or walking, each had superior health profiles to those who were sedentary.

Running: How To Build Endurance Safely

21 Jun

You get too eager, you push yourself to do the extra mile or five, and you pay the price: sore muscles, maybe even an injury like plantar fasciitis or heel pain that keeps you sidelined for a month or two. If your body isn’t ready for what you demand of it, your body will definitely fight back – or snap, strain, or break.

running summerNot that you shouldn’t push yourself – that’s always a good thing. But you need to ease your body into longer runs and more distance gradually. Here then is some great advice from Runner’s World on the smartest ways to increase your endurance.

1. When adding miles to your routine, slow your pace. This saves energy for the bonus miles. A good rule of thumb is to add 90 seconds to 2 minutes for each additional mile. You should also increase miles gradually, no more than one to one and a half at a time. If you’re an experienced marathon runner, you can push that a bit.

2. Run/Walk combo is okay. When you’re building endurance, it’s okay to take walk breaks during your run. You’ll still get the cardio benefits, and eventually you’ll be able to run the entire distance. But don’t make the walk breaks longer than one minute, or you may cool down too far.

3. If you’re running for more than one hour, especially in summer, take fuel with you. Gels and chews that are high in carbs and electrolytes will keep your blood sugars in the normal range and help you avoid fatigue. You also need to drink water with these products to avoid stomach upset and to keep you hydrated. Dehydration is an extremely serious problem when running in the heat, and can deliver many ill effects. Don’t tempt fate.

4. If the distance you want to achieve is intimidating, break it up into more manageable segments – think of a 10-miler as two 5-mile runs, or five 2-mile runs.

5. Use an outdoor track to extend your run, so you’re close to lavatories. This is a safety net in case you can’t make the distance – you won’t be stuck far from home or transportation. Having to walk a few miles back to your starting point when you’re exhausted is full of risks.

6. Be patient. Your body doesn’t adapt overnight, especially as you reach middle age. Push slowly but consistently.

Five Post-Run Stretches To Save Your Legs And Speed Recovery (video)

29 May

We’ve written a lot over the years about how important stretching is before and after running or any workout. Some recent articles we’ve seen dismiss this step, but we’re firmly convinced that proper stretching not only minimizes potential injuries – everything from toes to neck – but also speeds recovery time.

running stretches

Quad Stetch

The idea is very simple: before placing stress on muscles, tendons, and ligaments, they should be warmed up so they can better handle that stress. It is a fact that most injuries occur in the early stages of a workout when muscles and connective tissue are cold. Post-run stretching forces blood again into these tissues to speed the process by which they cool down (a complicated fluid and gas exchange between the tissues and bloodstream).

Sports injuries are not to be taken lightly, as even a minor glitch can sideline you for the season. It’s wiser to protect yourself with these simple stretches than to be sitting on your couch icing your foot or leg for one month… or worse.

Here are the most effective post-run stretches:

**Note that there are a number of ways to perform these stretches, including sitting or lying on your back.

1. Quad Stretch: Standing on one leg, grab your opposite foot and pull it towards the rear of your body. Hold for about ten seconds until you feel tension in the quadricep (front of your thigh). Release and repeat. Keep your knees aligned and your back straight while performing this stretch. If you have balance problems, hold on to a stable object.

2.  Calf Stretch: Stand on a step or an object the height of a street curb. Place the toes of one foot on the edge of the object and lower your foot until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Bend both knees to deepen the stretch.

standing hamstring stretch

Hamstring stretch

3. Glute Stretch: Cross your ankle just above the opposite knee. Now gently push down on the knee, lowering yourself slowly into a squatting position.  If you have balance problems, hold on to a stable object while performing this stretch.

4. Standing Hamstring Stretch: Place your leg straight out in front of you. Bend your opposite knee and press down gently on your thigh. Now extend and lower your hips back as if sitting in an imaginary chair, while keeping your heel grounded.

5. Chest Stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, head and eyes straight ahead. Lace your fingers behind your head, just above your neck. Squeeze your shoulder blades together while bringing your elbows out to the sides and as far back as possible. Hold.

You can see a video of how to perform these stretches on the Runner’s World website

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