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Sooner is Not Always Better than Later – Healing Recovery from Injury

By Damien Howell

Sooner is not always better than later when recovering from an injury. Biological tissues adapts to physical stress in a predictable way. There is a threshold where physical stress results in a positive adaptation of the tissue, that is, tissue grows larger and stronger. Conversely if there is insufficient physical stress tissue wastes away gets…

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Stiffness – Resistance to Change: Good or Bad?

By Damien Howell

In the realm of health and fitness, the term stiffness often has a bad connotation. In reality, being stiff can have positive benefits.   When something is stiff, it is difficult to change. When the range of motion of a joint is limited, it is also described as stiff. There is an optimal range of motion…

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Selfish Athlete Syndrome

By Damien Howell

Irish Runner and double Olympic medial winner Noel Carroll said “Runners may make better lovers but sometimes (there’re) lousy spouses”.   Exercising for health is different from training for a marathon, Ironman Triathlon, or double-century bike ride. Exercising for health requires 3 hours a week. Training for competitive sports can require 14 plus hours a…

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Muscles and Stretching

By Damien Howell

What is known about benefits of stretching and flexibility exercises continues to evolve. Some commonly held beliefs are being supported with new research and some beliefs are being proven false. Common beliefs about stretching exercises are that stretching exercises decrease risk of injury, relieves pain associated with stiffness, and improves sports performance. Stretching exercises are…

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Osteoarthritis – Cartilage and Exercise

By Damien Howell

  Osteoarthritis is primarily a degeneration, or wear and tear, of the hyaline cartilage that covers the end of the joint surfaces. Osteoarthritis occurs as a result of “the parents you choose” (genetic influence) or as a sequel to a prior joint trauma or injury. There is a great deal of information dealing with the…

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Hamstring, Buttock, Back, Neck Pain and the Car Seat

By Damien Howell

I frequently hear from my patients that their hamstring started hurting after they ran a marathon or that their back pain developed after they went body surfing at the beach. After closer questioning I discover that the problem did not occur during the marathon or while body surfing, but that it occurred afterwards during the…

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Gait Analysis – Examination and Treatment of Shin Splints

By Damien Howell

The manner in which you walk or run can be a factor contributing to a repetitive use injury of the lower extremity. Pain in the lower leg, commonly called shin splints, occurs in response to a variety of activities including dancing, jumping rope, walking, and running. Novice runners and individuals with poor fitness level frequently…

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Recovering from lower leg, ankle, heel injury using treadmill

By Damien Howell

A basic concept for treating any repetitive use injury is rest and avoiding the activity; whether it is a running injury or elbow pain from opening too many beer bottles. However for many individuals a period of rest and avoiding the activity can disrupt an active life style, and sometimes adversely affect a career. Individuals…

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Are you a half ass? – stretch weakness of gluteal muscles contributing to heel, foot, shin, knee, hip pain

By Damien Howell

There is a growing body of evidence that many repetitive use injuries such as knee pain, shin pain, heel pain, and forefoot pain can be addressed by improving the strength of the gluteal muscles. The gluteal muscles consist of gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, piriformis, and smaller less recognized muscles are commonly called “bun…

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